Rob Debest

Catch sports fever in Surrey July 19-22

The 2012 BC Summer Games will descend on the city for four days this month and leave behind a strong economic and sporting legacy.

Surrey will be in the spotlight when the 2012 BC Summer Games – a celebration of youth and sport achievement – rolls into town from July 19-22.

It marks the first time the “City of Parks” has hosted the province’s largest multi-sport event since 1989.

The city will welcome 2,800 athletes, ages 11-18, who will be accompanied by 900 coaches and officials from around the province.

The BC Games brings the best kids in these sports, puts them in competitive situation and guides them towards Canadian youth teams, and then Canadian junior teams and on to national competition,” says Tom Hastie, director of sport, 2012 BC Summer Games.

Para and Special Olympic events are also integrated into the program.

“We are trying to make the BC Summer Games inclusive,” explains Hastie.

All told, there will be 20 sports to see: athletics, baseball, canoe/kayak, diving, equestrian, golf, inline hockey, lacrosse, rowing, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming, synchronized swimming, towed water sports, triathlon, volleyball, beach volleyball and wrestling.

Surrey will host the majority of these events over 12 venues in the city, while three neighbouring municipalities – Abbotsford, Langley and Delta – will pick up three outdoor water sporting contests.

The South Surrey Recreation Centre, Semiahmoo secondary and the South Surrey Athletic Park will be a hub of activity during the Games, showcasing six events within a five-to-10 minute walk of each other.

One of the venues, Surrey’s most famous public green space – Bear Creek Park – is being significantly upgraded for these Games and as a legacy for the community to enjoy.

The BC Summer Games will also gift the host city with an economic boost: Surrey’s hotels, restaurants and retail outlets will split an estimated $2.5 million in tourism revenue during the four-day event.

There are 3,200 local volunteers – from BC Summer Games board directors to food organizers – who got this elaborate event off this ground and will ensure that it runs smoothly.

On Thursday, July 19 the 2012 BC Summer Games will kick off with the opening ceremonies at Surrey’s Holland Park from 7-8 pm. For more information on the Games, visit bcgames.org

Surrey North Delta Leader

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