EDITORIAL: Get in the Games

B.C. Summer Games will be hosted in Surrey in July.

If you go strictly by the numbers, making a bid to host an upcoming B.C. Summer Games event looks like a no-brainer.

According to information contained in the bid package for the next two summer events – in 2016 and 2018 – the financial outlay appears to be relatively minimal, about $95,000 split between cash and in-kind contributions. And in return there’s the chance to reap some pretty hefty economic benefits.

The document points to the City of Kelowna and its hosting of the 2008 B.C. Summer Games. It reportedly experienced direct spending of $2.6 million.

Even the B.C. Winter Games from the same year that were staged in Kimberley and Cranbrook raked in $1.7 million in direct spending – a figure that would bring a warm, rosy glow to the cheeks of most local business owners. Aside from the economics, roughly 3,500 volunteers are required to make things run smoothly.

Surrey is hosting the 2012 B.C. Summer Games July 19-22. So, what’s holding Delta back from getting on board?

The financial costs don’t seem to be daunting. Volunteer-wise, Delta also proves it can muster a good crew that helps with the annual Tour de Delta races. And who could object to the exposure the community would get province-wide, not to mention the potential for a nice financial shot in the arm for local business?

It does look like a pretty simple matter of filling in the bid papers and hoping for the best.

But one possible hindrance may just be Delta’s sports facilities.

Is the pool at the Ladner Leisure Centre too small to host such a sporting event? Is the running track at South Delta Secondary School in need of some refurbishment?

Yes, is the answer to the latter. And while that would likely take a good chunk of money to remedy, the long-lasting benefits would be to promote a more active and healthier lifestyle for all residents.

And isn’t that at the core of the provincial Games movement?

It would be a shame if Delta sits on the sidelines and doesn’t get in the Games.

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