Austin Vargo new Leisure Services Manager in Kipling

September 11, 2023, 4:09 pm
Sierra D’Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Kipling’s Leisure Services Manager Austin Vargo.

The Town of Kipling welcomed Austin Vargo as the new Leisure Services Manager on Sept. 1.

As part of his new role, Vargo will be responsible for recreation facilities and community programs for all ages, along with maintaining community partnerships and affiliations.

“Sports and recreation has always been a big part of my life,” said Vargo.

“My family is always involved with the Bobby Vargo Tournament, and community involvement has always been important to me, so it’s the perfect job when you’re able to be involved in it too.”

Vargo is the brother of late Bobby Vargo. He and his family organize a slo-pitch tournament every year in honor of Bobby’s contributions to the Kipling community.

Vargo said he is excited to contribute to recreational events in town and give back to the community through Leisure Services.
“Recreation brings everyone together,” he said.

“A good community event is when people from in town, and people who have moved away, come home, and where you’re raising money for projects and groups through community events. It’s a big thing so it’s important.”

Prior to this position, Vargo was working in Whitewood in recreation.

“I was born and raised in Kipling. I moved away when I was 15 to play hockey, but then I came back and worked around here,” he said.

“I was in Whitewood, last year, for a little while doing the same role. The option to be at home, to be involved in the community, and keep building on what Susan has built here over the years, it’s pretty enticing.”

Former Leisure Services Manager Susan Hengen, recently retired after working in the position for years.

“It’s pretty impressive what she’s been able to accomplish in her time here,” Vargo said.

“I’m hoping to continue building on that, and to try and get all of our facilities busy, and to make people proud of the town they live in.”

Construction at Kipling Arena expected to finish mid-September
Currently, ongoing upgrades to Kipling Arena have been happening over the summer months, and is expected to be completed by mid-September, in time for fall.

The town closed the arena over the last few months during its construction phase for improving the facility. The upgrades included redoing the entrance, installing wheelchair accessible bathrooms, putting up new siding, and electrical work.

“We have a tournament coming up in October at the rink. We’re trying to get everything sorted out and get my boots on the ground,” said Vargo.

Vargo said sports and recreational activities play a vital role in small communities.

“It’s important. I think it’s a big selling feature for people moving in, and it’s important to the people that live here,” he said.