Recreation Professionals Week Spotlight: Shelley Thoen-Chaykoski

During Recreation Professionals Week, June 18-24, 2018, the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) and the Saskatchewan Association of Recreation Professionals (S.A.R.P.) are shining a spotlight on the professionals who make recreation opportunities possible through their hard work and passion. 

Today we'd like to highlight the contributions of Shelley Thoen-Chaykoski

Shelley grew up on a Mixed Family Farm (Livestock and Grain) south of the community of Viscount, Saskatchewan. Shelley’s parents taught her the importance of volunteering and contributing to the community in which you work and play. The community of Viscount and surrounding rural district provided her with the exposure for what would become a personal passion for recreation and a love for rural Saskatchewan and everything about it!

Upon completion of her elementary and secondary education, she went on to study Recreation Technology at SIAST in Saskatoon, and not long after that, she found herself in the community of Foam Lake, Saskatchewan to embark on a career journey. This is where she met her lifelong partner and husband, Metro and raised her family that consists of two stepchildren and four grandchildren, as well as their beloved English Springer Spaniel dog.

I have always felt very fortunate....I like where I am, and I love what I do. Does it get any better? - Shelley Thoen-Chaykoski

Following a 33 year career in community municipal recreation; Shelley now owns and operates TC Consulting, which specializes in recreation work in rural communities. Some of the services they provide to communities include project management, research, informational manual development, keynote speaking engagements, organizational development, and one-on-one consulting specific to leisure and recreational (Sport, Culture & Recreation). One of their goals is “community development through recreation.”

We asked Shelley a few questions about what recreation means to her, and why she loves working in the field. Here's what she had to say: 

What does recreation mean to you?

All people being able to freely choose the leisure pursuit or activity of their choice, leading towards self -fulfillment, happiness and overall wellbeing as an individual, and being active and feeling good physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

What do you love about working in recreation?

I absolutely love watching people take part in the activities and services that they choose, and seeing their satisfaction and happiness that results from their participation. I love witnessing the joy that our services bring people; this includes people of all ages. I also love the fact that I am dealing (in most cases) with people who WANT TO BE WHERE THEY ARE AND DOING WHAT THEY ARE DOING, IT IS THEIR CHOICE.

Why do you work as a recreation professional?

I work in the field of recreation because I want to say, at the end of the day and at the end of my time here on earth, that I made a positive difference for people and my community.

Why is recreation so important to communities in Saskatchewan? 

Recreation is important for the wellbeing of all individuals, the wellbeing of our communities, and the wellbeing of our natural and built environments. This is what we are envisioning and striving for. This is so important, and I am very proud to be a part of this movement called Recreation!

Recreation Professionals Week is June 18-24, 2018 in Saskatchewan.

For more information on Recreation Professionals, visit