Passion for sport parlays to dream job

Lia Threlfall is the woman behind the stories of the BC Games

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

When a heart-strings-tugging tale of perseverance and success by a BC Games athlete reaches out to a reader from a newspaper, Lia Threlfall feels a win.

A passion for sport drives the Oak Bay High grad in her role for the last dozen years, seeking and sharing stories of young athletes as communications manager for the BC Games Society.

“I’ve always loved sport and it’s sport and telling stories about sports,” she said. “It is a great job.”

While she calls Victoria home these days (by about a block), Threlfall grew up on Newport, attended Monterey (then an elementary school) before heading for Oak Bay High, and finally down Caddy Bay way to get a kinesiology degree at the University of Victoria. Throughout her school years she competed in sport, specializing in field hockey and competing at a provincial and varsity level – achieving three national titles with the Vikes.

Threlfall volunteered in press operations during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Her love of multi-sport events dates as far back as seventh grade when she wrote a report on the Calgary Winter Olympics.

Now she plans and implements communications initiatives, including branding and media relations for the BC Games and Team BC.

She enjoys digging into the stories behind the Games, seeking what drives the young competitors to achieve. For some the Games is a first step toward international acclaim and Olympic competition, for others it’s the pinnacle. Either way the light on their faces when hard work pays off, is the best reward for the Games staffer.

“For many it’s their Olympics, it’s their first step or for some it’s as far as they go,” she says. “We’re starting to see kids from the first Games on Olympic teams and doing well internationally.”

More than half of Team BC at the 2015 Canada Winter Games were BC Games alumni and 18 alumni were part of Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“It’s also just amazing to watch them having the time of their lives at 14 years old.”

The young competitors, and their coaches, sleep on foamies on the floor in dorms fashioned from school classrooms and meet fellow athletes at the dance. “It’s a celebration of sport and it is a competition.”

Once in Vernon she discovered a family with three kids competing in the same Games. Watching them rib each other for the camera while the parents watched with pride was a “pretty unique” situation.

And that’s her highlight: “to find those gems and pick them out and have that story shared.”

Threlfall also coaches her two young children and volunteers with KidSport Greater Victoria, the BC Wheelchair Sports Association and the Oak Bay High School Alumni Association. A longtime volunteer as well, these Games mark a return for Threlfall, who coached during a Summer Games in Penticton. “It’s a great community and the volunteers up there are fantastic,” she said.

Volunteers are critical in throwing a successful event, she said, as the BC Games Society includes 10 staff and a successful event requires 1,500 to 1,800 volunteers.

“That’s the other story that continues to amaze me, the time and energy the community puts in to host.”


Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read