Greater Victoria is building a pitch for the 55-plus BC Games in 2020, 2021 or 2022.
“There’s a real benefit to having a multi sport games,” said Keith Wells, executive director of the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission making the bid. “For 55-plus the idea of coming to the Capital Region and everything we can do here, staying and lingering and enjoying the region, it just makes perfect sense.”
The 55-plus BC Games (formerly BC Seniors Games) haven’t been held in Greater Victoria before, and Island communities have hosted four times in their 30 years, Wells said. “It’s long overdue, I think the time has come.”
Previous economic impact statement show the expected 4,000 athletes bring more than $3 million into the community
Minimum 20 sports, means a fair amount of venue opportunities, even for small Oak Bay with a variety of golf options, three recreation centres, lawn bowling club. We could even host hockey, notes Jensen, since women’s hockey only requires one sheet of ice. Then there’s bridge, cribbage and whist which are all potential sports for the 55-plus Games.
The bid must be in by June 29 and Wells is making the rounds to gather community support.
“It’s very collegial and there’s great support so far for these Games. everyone gets the idea that this is a regional event and no one municipality could do it themselves,” said Wells.
Oak Bay officially backs the bid. The community could offer one or more of a variety of venues, said Mayor Nils Jensen.
If the bid is successful, Oak Bay would support expenses not to exceed $5,000 and offer venues where available.
Jensen specifically noted Oak Bay could host table tennis at Henderson, Women’s ice hockey (which only needs one sheet of ice), lawn bowling and myriad card games such as bridge, cribbage and whist.
“Some of these card games we could accommodate at the Monterey Recreation Centre,” he said.
The host community chooses at least 20 sports for each Games.
This year’s 55-plus BC Games are set for Sept. 11 to 15 in Kimberley.