The shoes of recently retired SEAPARC manager, Larry’s Hutchings, are being filled. That’s right, SEAPARC has a new manager who started filling those shoes on Monday, December 2.
Steve Knoke — where every letter in his three-syllable last name is pronounced, up to and including the E — has an extensive background in fitness. He worked for the District of North Cowichan, managing the Cowichan Aquatic Complex in Duncan, and prior to that managed the pool for the City of Abbotsford. He’s even been to Australia in his younger days, taking advantage of the Canadian Australian exchange program where he worked at several pools as assistant manager and manager.
Knoke came back from there and worked with Recreation Oak Bay, after which he worked for Abbotsford.
In spite of the Australian jaunt, Knoke is a local boy, born, raised and educated in Victoria. He used to work at the All Fun Waterslides and Recreation Park on Millstream in his younger days. Water remains one of his favourite mediums for active living.
“I’m a huge surfer,” Knoke grins. “A perfect day for me would be sitting out on the water, in nature.”
He’s also an innovative, out-of-the-box thinker, interested in exploring different ways of doing things. While in Duncan, for instance, he thought to bring the spinning class outside. The idea behind it was twofold: to give the spinners a change of view; and to give passerby’s a visual of what they, too, could be doing.
His first order of business, however, is not to radically alter anything; rather, it’s about getting his feet wet and figuring out how things work around here. A part of that will include having an open-door policy where if anyone wants to bring their ideas or concerns to SEAPARC, Knoke wants to hear them. “Recreation pursuits, things that your passionate about, we’re here — SEAPARC is here — to serve the community,” Knoke invites.
Knoke feels lucky to be working here in Sooke.
“This is an amazing facility,” Knoke observes, “and the staff and the community take a lot of pride in their recreational opportunities. To be a part of that is going to be exciting.” Knoke is hoping to provide new opportunities and a different perspective.
The young 36-year-old Knoke lives with his wife and their two young children in View Royal, and he enjoys the easy counter-crawl commute to Sooke. It beats his earlier commute over the Malahat, and he’s very happy to land here at SEAPARC.
“I’m passionate about recreation,” says Knoke, “and I love working with people.” So bring your ideas and suggestions, and knock on Knoke’s open door.