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

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Oct. 14

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, October 21, 1893 Revelstoke Station is rapidly… Continue reading

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Okanagan College dives into cannabis courses

The college has adapted its programs in Kelowna

Don’t be dazed and confused about legalization

Sitting down with an Okanagan lawyer to clear the haze of marijuana rules

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Hero campaign raises $24,000 for Okanagan non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

Most Read