Ready . . . set . . .British Columbia’s best young athletes, along with their coaches and officials have gathered in the City of Penticton for the 2016 BC Winter Games.
More than 1,200 athletes will compete in 17 different sports at venues throughout the South Okanagan.
Competitions for athletes with a disability are also included with events scheduled in basketball, figure skating and cross country skiing.
The athletes will be supported by over 330 coaches and 184 officials who will share their knowledge and expertise with the athletes and have earned certifications in order to support this competition.
“As the very first host of the BC Games in 1978, Penticton is once again ready to welcome athletes, coaches, officials and visitors from across British Columbia to the BC Winter Games," said Kelly Mann, BC Games Society president and CEO.
"The BC Games inspire excellence and make a lasting impression on our future Canadian athletes and community leaders.”
To further recognize this important provincial celebration of sport and community development, February 25-28, 2016, has been officially declared BC Winter Games Week.
The Games provide a training ground for emerging high performance athletes.
Kristi Richards of Summerland is a BC Games alumna, who competed for Team Canada at the 2006 and 2010 Olympics in freestyle skiing. She will return to speak to the athletes at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 BC Winter Games.
Community engagement, volunteering and job skills development are other key features of the BC Winter Games experience.
Planning has been underway for the past 18 months and more than 1,800 volunteers will welcome the participants to Penticton and ensure the Games are an exceptional and memorable experience.
“The BC Winter Games is a chance for athletes to reach for their goals and do their best," said Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation.
"The event brings athletes, volunteers and the community together to celebrate sport and this year it also provided a great opportunity for work experience participants to build their job skills.”
The Games have also provided four individuals with five months of work experience through a provincial Job Creation Partnership funded by the provincial government as part of the Employment Program of B.C.
- This is the 29th BC Winter Games and the fourth time the City of Penticton has hosted including the very first BC Summer Games in 1978
- Feb. 25-28, 2016, has been officially declared BC Winter Games Week
- 1,738 participants including 1,224 athletes, 330 coaches, 184 officials
- 17 sports including four sports for athletes with a disability
- Participants represent one of eight geographic zones in the province
- Able-body athletes range in age from 9-17 years old depending on the sport
- 1,800 community volunteers plan and stage the Games with support from the BC Games Society
- 55% of Team BC athletes at the 2015 Canada Winter Games were BC Games alumni
- 18 BC Games alumni competed for Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
- BC Games alumna and 2010 Olympian, Kristi Richards of Summerland, will speak to the participants at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 BC Winter Games
- To date, the Community and Employer Partnerships program has helped more than 900 job seekers benefit from work experience and funded nearly 200 projects throughout the province.
To learn more about the BC Winter Games visit: www.bcgames.org