Archery during the 2016 B.C. 55+ Games in Coquitlam. (Photo: youtube.com/tricitiestv)

Archery during the 2016 B.C. 55+ Games in Coquitlam. (Photo: youtube.com/tricitiestv)

SPORTS

Surrey aims to host 2026 55+ BC Games for up to 4,000 participants in 20 sports

City council-approved bid involves $190,000 funding, promise of economic benefits during summer Games

Surrey wants to host the 2026 55+ BC Games, formerly known as BC Seniors Games.

The summer Games are an annual, multi-sport event hosted by a different community in B.C. each year, involving sports that have included badminton, floor curling, golf, carpet bowling, equestrian, bocce, archery, hockey, tennis and even the card game whist.

On average, 3,500 to 4,000 participants from around the province compete in a minimum of 20 sports as selected by the host community and approved by BC Senior Games Society (BCSGS), according to a report to city council.

“The BCSGS envisions that communities across B.C. are transformed by the inspirational lifestyles of the 55+ BC Games participants.”

The City of Surrey last hosted the 55+ BC Games in 2001.

The city council-approved bid for 2026 involves a one-time commitment of $55,000 for in-kind services and facilities for hosting the Games, $60,000 for general expenses and $75,000 for a full-time Games Operations Manager to be employed by the city for a seven-month period in advance of the games.

For the 2026 Games, the deadline for bid submission is June 30; city council approved Surrey’s bid application on Monday (March 25).

“Hosting a multi-sport event such as the Games offers an opportunity for economic benefits to the host community and surrounding areas,” notes the report to council. “This aligns with the goals and objectives mentioned within the City of Surrey – Sport Surrey Tourism Strategy. The hosting of the Games in Vernon in 2017 showed $3.3 million of direct spending in the community and surrounding areas, while the City of Langley’s 2014 Games showed $3.1 million of direct spending in the community.”

The BCSGS has signed agreements with several provincial sport organizations to reduce the workload of the host community in staging the sporting competitions in the Games, according to the report.

“These agreements allow the provincial sport organizations to provide assistance and guidance with officials, schedules and specialized equipment. The City has the capacity to support the Games through an excellent range of venues. A resolution would be required from the School District #36 Board, indicating support for the bid application and willingness to donate the necessary School District facilities during the Games should that be of interest to the BCSGS.”

Surrey has the capacity to recruit the necessary number of volunteers “to ensure a successful Games through our volunteer services team and central volunteer registry, which contains the names of hundreds of willing volunteers,” the report adds.

The 2022 +55 BC Games will be held in Victoria this September.

Details are posted on the website 55plusbcgames.org, along with photos and more on facebook.com/55PlusBCGames.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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