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Outlook: Rec supervisor Redlick is up for the challenge

Town of Outlook Spotlight: Owen Redlick, Recreation Supervisor
Owen Redlick, Outlook's recreation supervisor, says the job can pull him in many directions at once.

OUTLOOK - Life just doesn't stop at the Jim Kook Rec Plex in Outlook.

That's what it seemed like when this reporter dropped in last Friday evening for a talk with Owen Redlick, the town's recreation supervisor. Let's remember that the hockey season hadn't even officially started for the year, and yet there was Owen, being pulled in seemingly four or five different directions at once by people looking for a hand with one thing and someone asking for guidance on another thing.

If this gives you at least something of an idea of what the workload can bring, you should definitely see it during the peak of the season. How someone like Redlick can keep the hairs on his head from turning grey due to the stress that comes with the job is perhaps beyond some peoples' comprehension. But there he is, day in and day out, getting things done and ensuring that things will run as smooth as possible for those looking to enjoy the rink over the next few months.

Redlick is relatively new to his role, acquiring it after putting in some time at the rink.

"I started in this role quite recently, in August of this year," said Owen, talking with The Outlook in one of the rink's offices. "I started out as a rink hand, helping out where I could, and I just continued working here before the position came to me."

With what the job demands, coupled with the many different offerings that Outlook's recreation department promotes to the public, it's safe to say that there's no such thing as a "typical" work day for people in Owen's line of work.

"Usually, it's not so typical," he explained. "It's different every day. You get asked to do one thing, but the majority of the thing is your routine is taking care of the ice. That's your big thing, but different seasons call for different things. You have the pool, you have the baseball diamonds, so really, it depends on what time of the year it is. In the summer, we obviously don't have the ice in and there isn't a huge amount of rentals, so it's more just taking care of the baseball diamonds, cutting grass, making sure the pool's good to go, and taking care of the grounds."

The challenges that can come with Redlick's job is not being able to be everywhere at once, a formula that not even most superheroes are capable of these days.

"Well, you just can't please everyone, and you can't be everywhere," he said. "As of now, I was trying to fix one thing, and you see me having to go and run over to help someone else because they needed ice cleats. Like I said, everything is different, but it's kind of the same. There's a rhythm to it."

It's being around sports and athletics that ultimately drew Owen to the job, and it's something that today makes him look at the people around him and acknowledge that everyone is doing their best to make sure that everything turns out positive in the end. This job can sometimes be a team effort, and Redlick likes it when the team is successful.

"Well, I love sports....and I'm surrounded by sports!" he said. "What more could I ask for? Sports were my thing growing up. I loved baseball, and basically any sport I could play, I played it. It didn't matter what. When I got this position, and when I started out, I just thought, 'I love coming to work'. Every day, you're surrounded by competition, you're surrounded by people trying to get better, and you just feel good that you're helping them try to get better."

People who don't know exactly what comes with Owen's job can sometimes make the mistake of handing out misdirected labels without fully understanding the whole picture.

"I think that people just don't understand the operations behind the scenes of what you're trying to accomplish," he said. "So it becomes this - if I can't find you, you aren't doing your job because I should be able to find you. Well, no, I AM doing my job, and that's why you can't find me!"

One thing that has stood out to Owen about his job is the way that people come together to back their hometown teams and athletes.

"The community in what it can offer and what they can bring," he said, when asked what's been eye-opening for him. "You see the sports teams and the way people come together in the stands, and it's great and good to see."

When asked what makes Outlook stand out as a community, Redlick took a moment and thought about the question, replying with a different response than what's usually been offered when asked. Looking at his perspective, it perhaps begs another question - is Outlook doing all it can to fully stand out?

"Honestly, I think that's something that we can work on in trying to stand out," said Owen. "I think that maybe we lack that certain essence of having something."

As someone who enjoys what his position entails, Redlick likes hearing from the public and he says if they have questions or need anything, look him up.

"If there's anything you need, ask me," he said. "That's all I ask!"

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