Kamloops to host 2013 B.C. Seniors Games

Kamloops was named host city for the 2013 B.C. Seniors Games (BCSG)

Kamloops This Week

The wait is over for senior-aged athletes in and around the Kamloops region.

Kamloops was named host city for the 2013 B.C. Seniors Games (BCSG) at a press conference held on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Interior Savings Centre.

“We’ve been waiting, waiting and waiting because [Kamloops] is so central and yet they’ve gone to the Island three times in six years and the Kootenays and Prince George,” said Hellen Byron, who plans to represent Salmon Arm at the Kamloops Games in dragon boat racing.

“It’s going to be fantastic to have them here.”

The 2013 BCSG will run from Aug. 20 to Aug. 24 in the Tournament Capital.

“We’ve been trying to get a seniors’ games here since 2007, but it just wasn’t the right time,” said Sean Smith, Tournament Capital co-ordinator for the city.

“It was nice to see it finally come to fruition.”

Smith said a bid committee — which included himself, Zone 8 representatives Bob Reid, Bruce Dahling and Russ Reid, along with Kris Austin of Tourism Kamloops — has been working toward securing the Games for about a year and a half.

Their proposal was recently green-lighted by June Parsons, president of the B.C. Seniors Games Society.

“They’ve been putting a bid in for quite a while and I’m so pleased they’ve got it this time,” Parsons said.

“It is extremely competitive.”

Parsons said the Games will bring about 4,000 athletes and visitors to Kamloops.

The tourists will make an economic impact of about $2 million on the city, Parsons said, noting that number is a conservative estimate.

Mayor Peter Milobar attended the press conference and spoke with KTW about the bidding process.

“We’ve been having an eye on this for a while, but we had to work through some of the other bids first,” Milobar said.

“Once we landed [the 2011 Western Canada Summer Games], then we went after the 2015 Canada Winter Games. Then, as soon as we had a decision on that, we seriously started going after the [B.C.] Seniors Games.”

Prince George edged Kamloops and Kelowna to win the 2015 Canada Winter Games.

Milobar hinted during the press conference there will be more announcements pertaining to sporting events coming to Kamloops in the near future.

“We’re working on some single-sport national-type events,” he said.

“More often than not, we’re being approached by different sporting groups.”

Early in the new year, likely in January, a board of directors will form. The board will nail down which sports and venues will be a part of the 2013 BCSG.

A minimum of 24 events and a maximum of 29 will be featured in the River City, according Parsons.

There will be 26 events at the 2012 BCSG in Burnaby: Archery, badminton, bocce, bridge, carpet bowling, cribbage, cycling, darts, dragon boat racing, five-pin bowling, floor curling, golf, horseshoes, ice curling, ice hockey, lawn bowling, one-act plays, pickleball, slo-pitch, snooker, soccer, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track and field and whist.

Langley will host the 2014 BCSG.

The Zone 8 region of the province is comprised of Anglemont, Ashcroft, Avola, Barriere, Blue River, Canoe, Celista, Chase, Clearwater, Clinton, Falkland, Grindrod, Kamloops, Lillooet, Little Fort, Logan Lake, Lytton, Merritt, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Sorrento, Valemont and Vavenby, according to bcseniorsgames.org.