Tri-council considers Games

BC Senior Games could bring thousands of visitors to Peninsula

Rooms of players in the throes of competitive whist, swimmers ‘of a certain age’ and grandparents on stage could all come together in one giant party on the Peninsula if the municipal councils here pursue hosting the BC Senior Games in 2013.

Though unable to attend the meeting, Central Saanich Councillor Susan Mason brought forth the idea for discussion with Sidney and North Saanich during the recent tri-municipal gathering.

“It would be resources in our communities that would be interested in helping with all of the logistics,” said councillor Adam Olsen of Central Saanich, who spoke to the topic in Mason’s absence. “Hosting multi-sport games is not for the faint of heart it’s a very intense job.”

“I have concerns whether we have the ability to host 3,900 participants on the Peninsula … though I think the opportunity to bring that many people into our communities should be considered,” Olsen added.

Sidney Mayor Larry Cross agreed, saying it should be a Saanich Peninsula-wide event where the three municipalities pull together and support the Games.

“I think all of us could benefit from it,” Cross said.

Some councillors voiced concern over the infrastructure available to serve the 29 sports covered in the Games, from archery to whist, suggesting Saanich or another community might also make a worthwhile project.

“I truly believe that Saanich would be a valuable partner,” said councillor Marilyn Loveless of Sidney, who has been involved in a number of arts and athletic festivals. “It’s an amazing opportunity … Really all you need to do as a council is unleash your citizens.”

“I think we should go for it. It would be really fun, it would be exciting,” agreed councillor Anny Scones of North Saanich. “One of the events is actually theatre and you’ve got your Charlie White Theatre right there. We’ve got everything. My main question is, who would take the lead?”

Council members opted to create a task force to look into the logistics of hosting the event, and gathering information from neighbouring communities as well.

“My sense is it’s a good idea, but we’re a little bit hesitant because we need a little more information,” said councillor Peter Chandler of North Saanich.

Chandler and Loveless both offered to join as liaisons on the committee to gather more information.

Deadline for application is the end of June, putting the pressure on the Peninsula to pull together an application.

Peninsula News Review