Athletes from all over B.C. get dropped off for accreditation outside the Island Savings Centre in Duncan. (Ragnar Haagen/Black Press Media)

BC Games ready to begin on Vancouver Island

More than 2,000 athletes will compete in 18 sports from Friday to Sunday

The eyes of the B.C. sports community are on Vancouver Island this weekend as the Cowichan Valley hosts more than 2,000 young athletes for the 2018 BC Summer Games.

The participants are competing in 18 sports in venues throughout the region, from Shawnigan Lake to Ladysmith and from Cowichan Bay to Lake Cowichan, with one sport — synchronized swimming — being contested in Nanaimo. The 2,373 athletes are supported by 453 coaches, 246 officials and an army of 2,500 volunteers.

The Cowichan Games mark the 40th anniversary of the BC Games. This is the 31st iteration of the Games, which were held on an annual basis from 1978 to 1998 before going to a biennial format.

“As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the BC Games, I am so proud of our successful history of sport and community development,” said Kelly Mann, CEO and president of the BC Games Society. “With an eye to the future, I am equally proud of how the Games are expanding, with a focus on inclusion and reconciliation, and creating lasting legacies in every community and across the province.”

READ MORE: Cowichan 2018 marks 40 years of BC Games

The 2018 Games, which started with opening ceremonies at Laketown Ranch on Thursday evening and run until Sunday afternoon, are expected to attract thousands of visitors in addition to the athletes, and generate up to $2 million for the local economy.

“We are thrilled to host this exciting multi-sport event for youth,” said Jennifer Woike, president of the Cowichan Games Society. “It’s a great opportunity to share Cowichan Valley’s warm hospitality and great sports facilities with people from every corner of B.C. I hope all the athletes, coaches and officials have a wonderful time, and look for opportunities to visit us again.”

Competitors are representing eight geographic zones: Kootenays (Zone 1), Thompson-Okanagan (Zone 2), Fraser Valley (Zone 3), Fraser River (Zone 4), Vancouver Coastal (Zone 5), Vancouver Island-Central Coast (Zone 6), Northwest (Zone 7) and Cariboo-North East (Zone 8). The Zone 5 team will include more than 50 athletes from the Cowichan Valley.

READ MORE: More than 50 Valley athletes set to compete on home turf

Premier John Horgan commented on the value events like the BC Summer Games have for young athletes and for the province as a whole.

“Sport brings people together, helps us overcome barriers and differences, and plays a powerful role in the lives of young people,” he said. “A kid trying a new sport today could be a BC Summer Games champion of the future, and move on to higher levels of competition, like Team BC, Team Canada and beyond. The experience, camaraderie and confidence they build will help them succeed in life.

READ MORE: Expect long ferry lineups following BC Summer Games

With many athletes coming from the mainland, BC Ferries has warned passengers to book a reservation ahead of time to ensure they catch a specific sailing. The afternoon of July 22 is expected to be the busiest time for athletes and other visitors returning home.

The busiest runs are expected to be the 4:45 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. sailings from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay, the 5:45 p.m. sailing from Duke Point to Tsawwassen, and the 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. sailings from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen.

Those travelling without a reservation should consider travelling before 4:45 p.m. or after 7 p.m.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Multilingual signage welcomes athletes from across the province to the Cowichan Valley for the 2018 BC Summer Games. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Just Posted

Surrey high school robotics team ranked first in the world for programming

Enver Creek’s seniors team also named tournament finalists at VEX Robotics Competition on Feb. 1

Snowfall warning issued for Surrey, Langley

Environment Canada warns to ‘be on the lookout for adverse weather conditions and take necessary safety precautions’

Lost a ring? This White Rock man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

PHOTOS: Family Day celebrated at Historic Stewart Farm

Youngsters participate in some old fashioned fun

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Ten Surrey students receive $5,000 scholarships

The Horatio Alger Canadian Scholarships will help fund their university education

Man shot dead in front of Kamloops hotel may be case of mistaken identity: RCMP

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Super snow moon set to rise across B.C.

It is the biggest and brightest moon of the year

5 to start your day

IHIT investing South Surrey homicide, B.C.’s budget set to focus on climate change, poverty and more

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Most Read