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.

BC Games

 

Multilingual signage welcomes athletes from across the province to the Cowichan Valley for the 2018 BC Summer Games. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Just Posted

Bride thankful ailing stepdad was able to walk her down the aisle

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

One in custody after two men stabbed in Victoria

Police arrest suspect morning after stabbings on Pandora Avenue

Island Sikh community donates 800 meals to frontline workers

Volunteers out handing out prepared meals to grateful Cowichan District Hospital workers

Mill Bay students petition for formal graduation

“We have a few realistic ideas in mind that could provide a safe and healthy grad celebration”

Province pays $4.08 million for hotel to house fire victims

Purchase will provide 41 units of affordable rental housing for those displaced by the fire.

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Inquest into death of Jocelyn George postponed due to COVID-19

Coroner’s inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni woman was supposed to start July 6

ICET provides Qualicum Beach with $250K for East Village project

Town expects revitalization plan to attract more developments

Comox Valley RCMP impound six vehicles in six days in May

All drivers were found to be going at least 47 km/h over the speed limit

Person finds bag of drugs while out for walk in Langford

Police ask residents, drivers to check surveillance footage

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Langford man arrested after fleeing a serious crash in Saanich

Other driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police say

Most Read