My name is Rob Middaugh and I am originally from London, Ontario but I have lived in Kelowna, British Columbia since 2005. I have spent the last 21 years working with thousands of youth from all over the world. I got into this field because of a severe act of bullying. When I was 15 years old I was in my PE class and a classmate of mine began harming a boy with mental and physical disabilities. I didn't take kindly to that and I had to make sure in that moment, the act of senseless bullying wasn't going to continue. After that day I started volunteering my lunch hours playing basketball with a group of kids with diverse abilities. I did this for the majority of my remaining high school days. I had no idea that something like that would effect who I wanted to be in my life. When I was 17 I had a huge opportunity to work for one the largest sports camps in North America, Olympia Sports Camp in Hunstville, Ontario. During my five hours of intense interviewing I knew instantly I wanted a job there. I remember getting the call saying I had been accepted and I was so happy yet scared at the same time. For someone who has spent my whole life playing competitive sports and living at home with my family I was now leaving for two months going to a new place with over 250 strangers. Before the camp starts there is something called pre-camp. This is one week before the camp opens for the summer where the staff complete training, live together, get to know each other and learn all of the things we will be doing throughout the summer. I was playing in a basketball tournament during the first three days of pre camp so I was showing up late and walking into this alone when everyone else had been together for the past three days. I was always a confident kid and although I had faced serious adversity in my life, this was different. When my dad was dropping me off at the gate there was a huge turtle outside on the road and I asked him to stop so we could look at it. Finally, after about 15 minutes lol my dad said something like "Ok Robbie stop stalling and let's go" I remember being so scared to even go through the gates I was using a turtle to avoid going in after we had just driven four hours to get there. I'm extremely glad I did because from the opening minutes of getting to my cabin and meeting people I knew I had made the right decision. Working there for the next six years completely helped shape the person I wanted to be. Working with thousands of youth while helping them through their struggles in sports and in life.
Since moving to Kelowna I have spent 11 years working for the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, coaching sports and working one on one with aspiring athletes. Through all of these experiences I have worked with so many kids and families who are struggling every single day with various issues. I want to make a difference in peoples lives as I have always tried to do.
Through Awareone I want to bring to light exactly what people are going through and not only make people feel comfortable with themselves, but comfortable with being able to talk about these issues, which to me is arguably the most important part.