July 17,2014(ISN) – British Columbia’s best young athletes, coaches and officials are gathering in the City of Nanaimo for the 2014 BC Summer Games.
“The BC Games are an essential component of our sport development system. They provide our promising young athletes with an important opportunity to compete against the province’s best, to test their athletic skills and build self-confidence. These athletes are a tremendous source of pride for British Columbians, some of whom will go on to compete for Team BC at Canada Games and international competitions. I wish them all the best of luck,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.
During the next four days, over 2500 athletes between the ages of 11 and 18 will compete in 19 different sports at venues throughout Nanaimo. Competitions for athletes with a disability are also included with events scheduled in athletics, para-equestrian and swimming. The athletes will be supported by over 500 coaches and 300 officials who have earned their certification in order to provide the best knowledge and expertise to the athletes and the competition.
“Strong competition is essential to skill development in sport, and the BC Games will bring together some of the best competitors in our province,” Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell said. “I know these young athletes will seize the opportunity to compete hard and give it all they have during the Games.”
Community engagement and development is also a key feature of the BC Summer Games. Planning has been underway for the past 18 months and over 2800 volunteers will welcome the participants to Nanaimo and ensure the Games are an exceptional experience that will never be forgotten.
“This first multisport Games experience creates a world of possibilities and inspiration for B.C. athletes to take forward in their future sport, education or leadership activities,” said Kelly Mann President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “Our team of partners and supporters have committed to make the BC Summer Games a success and provide this unique opportunity for thousands of British Columbians.”
The BC Summer and BC Winter Games were established in 1978 and provide a training ground for emerging high performance athletes. BC Games alumni include 2012 Olympic medalists Brent Hayden (Swimming) and Carol Huynh (Wrestling) as well as professional athletes like Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays.