More than 2,000 of the province’s best young athletes are arriving in the Cowichan Valley for the opening of the 2018 BC Summer Games, and the chance to compete for glory in 18 sports.
“Like British Columbians all over the province, I’m inspired by the athletes participating in the Summer Games. I am especially happy to see more First Nations athletes in this year’s Games,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “Along with medals and personal bests, competitors will leave the Games with new friendships and new experiences which will last a lifetime. Through sport, we’re building a better British Columbia.”
The 2,373 athletes — who are, on average, 14 years old — earned their entry to the BC Summer Games by participating in qualification events around British Columbia. The athletes are supported by 2,500 volunteers, 453 coaches and 246 officials, who will ensure participants have the best possible competitive experience at the Summer Games.
“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.”
Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games is supported with $625,000 in base funding from the Province, and funding from local partners — the Cowichan Valley Regional District, School District No. 79 and Cowichan Valley businesses. The event, which runs July 19-22, 2018, is expected to attract thousands of visitors, and generate $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.”
The BC Summer and Winter Games were established in 1978 to bring young people around B.C. together through sport and friendship. Former BC Games participants who have gone on to compete for Team Canada at the Olympic or Paralympic Games include:
- William Dean (rowing)
- Brent Hayden (swimming)
- Bo Hedges (wheelchair basketball)
- Georgia Simmerling (ski cross and cycling)
- Kirsten Sweetland (triathalon)
- The 31st BC Summer Games takes place in the Cowichan Valley, which previously hosted the BC Winter Games in 1991.
- Competitors represent 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).
- To date, 38 communities have hosted BC Summer and Winter Games.
- The Cowichan 2018 BC Summer Games participants will compete in athletics, baseball, basketball, canoe/kayak, equestrian, golf, lacrosse-box, lacrosse-field, rowing, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming, synchronized swimming, towed water sports, triathlon, volleyball-beach, volleyball-indoor and wrestling.
- Athletes with disabilities will compete in athletics-Special Olympics, canoe/kayak-para, equestrian-para, swimming-para and swimming-Special Olympics events.
- More than 350,000 participants and volunteers have taken part in BC Summer and Winter Games over the past 40 years.
For more information about the BC Summer Games, visit: www.bcgames.org
For more information about the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/governments/organizational-structure/ministries-organizations/ministries/tourism-arts-culture