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

Lake Country’s Citizen of the Year never expected to win award

“I was totally blown away, I had no idea,” Robert Conelley said.

Housing proposed on popular Kelowna golf course land

Kelowna council may implement changes at the Quail golf course

Kelowna mom concerned with needles found at Knox Mountain Park

Maria Beinarowitz, who has a five-year-old son, said she’s noticed a fair amount at the Kelowna park

UBC Okanagan Heat athletes nominated for awards

28th Annual Athletic Awards Celebration will recognize the star athletes

Updated: Scene cleared after accident near Ellison Lake

An accident near Ellison Lake near Kelowna and Lake Country is causing traffic delays

Penticton resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Prescribed burns to start this month in the Okanagan

The Lower Similkameen Indian Band with partners are starting a multi-year burn on Crater Mountain

New highways maintenance contractor begins work April-May

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. to service Shuswap, North and South Okanagan

Lack of bus service leaving residents stranded

Ministry’s Health Connections solution visits Salmon Arm just twice per week, once west, once south

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Dozens of B.C. temperature records smashed as spring brings early warmth

Squamish Airport was the hottest spot in all of Canada on Monday

VIDEO: Vancouver police release clip of ‘life-altering’ 2018 assault in search for suspects

The attack happened at about 2 a.m. on Mar. 31, 2018, outside Pierre’s Champagne Lounge in Yaletown

Hackers seek holes in B.C. Hydro power grid, auditor says

System meets standards, but local outages still a concern

Penticton resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Most Read