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05 May 2017
Bahamas 2017's remarkable volunteer
The 90-year-old Beverly Wallace-Whitfield is a LOC volunteer at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and an ardent supporter of the Bahamas national team
"This is what I do," Beverly Wallace-Whitfield said with a deeply-felt confidence as she cast her eyes towards the sand pitch where Paraguay and Tahiti's players were warming up ahead of their crucial quarter-final.
Wallace-Whitfield is one of many volunteers at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017. The Local Organising Committee (LOC) volunteers are the heartbeat of the tournament.
"I've been a public servant for many years," said the 90-year-old. "I'm the type of person who likes to be doing something. I can not be idle. So, I volunteer."
Her servant heart has seen her give back in a multitude of ways. She's volunteered for the Bahamas Red Cross, sold raffle tickets for charities, volunteered for the IAAF when it started in 2014 and always works in accreditation. "I want to give back. That is what I do at this point in my life."
She could be doing anything, so why does she give back?
"I've had a very full, wonderful life. I've got three children, I've travelled a good deal, I went to the Olympics last year in Brazil. I love sports. It was just natural for me. Because I have the time as a retiree, I must fill it with something. I can't be idle. That is not my nature, so I fill it with things I like to do!"
Bahamas' No1 fan
One would struggle to find a more enthusiastic supporter of the Bahamas national beach soccer team than Wallace-Whitfield.
"I was rooting very loudly for the Bahamas team, of course! You should have heard me the other night when they won! (Laughs) I will take away the fact that they won on their last attempt. Working behind the scenes and then coming out as a spectator, gives me an opportunity to see both sides of the fence.
"I think the organisation has been marvellous. Everything has been put in place and then we can come and enjoy it for free! I think that's just perfect."
Does she have any advice for any young people thinking of volunteering in the future?
"I think you owe it to yourself and your country to be involved as far as you can be. We aren't an island. We can't live just to ourselves. You have to live with other people, and interact with them. Therefore, let's give and do things for others wherever you can. I think it's important to share yourself."
Everyone in the Bahamas who has interacted with the remarkable Wallace-Whitfield at the Beach Soccer World Cup is certainly thankful that she has chosen to share herself.
February 12, 2020
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