The International Children’s Winter Games had a significant impact for the community. The Games generated more than $2.274 million dollars for the local economy and helped create 66 jobs.
That according to the recently completed economic impact study by the organizing committee for the Games. The study was competed with assistance of the Economic Development Commission of the Central Okanagan.
“We are excited that the Games were a success in so many ways” said Heather Schneider, chair of the organizing committee.
“The Games promoted Kelowna to a brand new international audience and brought youth together from around the world through this once in a life time sport and cultural event. From the feedback we received, we did an outstanding job hosting this event while also having a very positive economic impact.”
The 5th International Children’s Winter Games were held Jan. 26 to 31 in Kelowna, the first International Children’s Winter Games to be held outside of Europe.
The theme for the Kelowna Games was “Connecting Lives,” which celebrated the ICG vision of promoting friendship and sharing.
The Games had 37 cities participating—18 international and 19 Canadian from 13 different countries. There were 472 athletes (271 boys and 201 girls), 125 coaches and 52 VIPs taking part. It is estimated that more than 15,000 people attended Games events. To make it all happen, there were 890 volunteers and 125 performers that gave over 15,000 volunteer hours.
The Games website was a very busy one in January with 24,604 visits of which 11,746 were unique.
The next International Children’s Games will be the summer version, to be hosted by Lanarkshire, Scotland, from Aug. 3 to 8.
The competing athletes will include sailors Elizabeth Hardy and Thish Rajapakshe; golfers Trevor Hamilton and Casey Sullivan; swimmers Katie Dunlop, Tia Itterman, Monique Kennedy, Lacey Falkingham, Denzel Mohamad, Aaron Obedkoff, Josh Zakala and Cameron Feil; track athletes Davis Hughes-Geekie, Adam Murray, Kennedy Kneller, Cassie Laturnus, Katrina Ledding and Elina Painchaud.
The coaches making the trip overseas are sailing, Devin Rubadeau; track and field, Daniel Medland-Marchen; swimming, Peter Wilkins; golf, Ursula Sullivan, and the head of the delegation, Heather Schneider