The greatest collaborations can create a level of success that can springboard an Association to new heights. The partnership between Shelley Crawford, her Tourism Toronto team, and the Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) has done exactly that.
Shelley and her team were instrumental in securing a venue large enough to deliver a festival style event capable of safely housing 56 courts, a 30,000 sq ft tradeshow and food vendor area, athlete lounges and everything in between that comes with creating a festival-sized event. The OVA was ecstatic when a deal was stuck with the assistance of Tourism Toronto to secure the Enercare Centre for the first ever “under one roof” experience for Ontario Championships (OC’s) 2020.
Tourism Toronto’s expertise not only allowed the OVA to find ways to showcase our sport, but also help lay the groundwork for promoting and placing the Association on the radar of potential new partners for years to come. Despite the 2020 OC’s being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OVA is looking forward to returning to the Enercare Centre and continuing our partnership with the Tourism Toronto team in 2023 and 2026.
Spending years and countless hours prior to the 2020 Ontario Championships, Shelley and her team made significant efforts to assist the OVA in showcasing the grand scope of the Association that would generate an economic impact for the City of Toronto rarely seen with amateur sport. Amassing nearly 50,000 attendees, fans, and vendors under one roof for one week of competition was a dream the OVA had laid out six years ago in the Association’s strategic plan. It was with the guidance of Shelley and her Tourism Toronto team that helped bring the dream to life.
“Our membership, past and present, have never seen the full scope of our Association in action,” stated Alishia Lidums, Director of Volleyball Operations for the OVA. “We traditionally only see the segments; age group and gender divided tournaments separated out over various weekends. We have never had the segments competing at one venue at the same time. The festival style events in Toronto allowed us to dream big and show everyone what we already know. Volleyball is a force in Ontario.”
You never know who your true friends are until a crisis happens and when COVID-19 struck, Shelley and her team allowed the OVA to have complete confidence they would do everything in their power to ensure the Association could do their best to weather the pandemic storm.
“They have been a great partner for us,” said Lidums. “When COVID-19 first struck, they were there by our side, once again helping us navigate uncharted waters. That is when you know you have a strong relationship with a team full of class and empathy.”
Congratulations to Shelley Crawford and her Tourism Toronto team on receiving the 2020 Corporate Award on behalf of the Ontario Volleyball Association.
Shelley Crawford. Image: MeetingEncore.com
Tag(s): Volleyball For Life