The Kamloops 2018 BC Winter Games kick off in less than one month and 1768 of BC’s best emerging high performance talents have registered and are ready to be part of this celebration of sport and community which runs February 22-25.
The 1229 athletes are from every corner of the province and have trained to earn a place to represent their zone at the Games. Competing in 19 different sports, the athletes are an average of 14 years old and for most, this will be their first experience at a multi-sport Games. Special Olympians will compete in basketball and figure skating and athletes with a disability will compete in wheelchair basketball.
These athletes will be supported by 342 coaches and 197 officials who have earned their certification in order to provide the best knowledge and expertise to the athletes and the competition.
“Kamloops hosted the very first BC Winter Games, so it is fitting to return to Canada’s Tournament Capital as part of our 40th anniversary celebrations,” said Kelly Mann, President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “The athletes, coaches, and officials will benefit from the extensive event hosting experience in Kamloops. These BC Winter Games and the coinciding Olympic Winter Games will inspire many of these young athletes towards future national and international level competitions.”
Volunteers in Kamloops have been preparing for the past 18 months to host the Games. There will be over 1600 volunteers working to ensure the participants have exceptional competition and a first-rate experience with Opening and Closing Ceremonies, special events, and wonderful hospitality.
“We are ready! I am immensely proud of the volunteer team that has invested hundreds of hours to ensure that every athlete, coach, official, and parent has an unforgettable experience in Kamloops,” said Niki Remesz, President 2018 Kamloops BC Winter Games. “The pinnacle of these Games’ can be credited to 40 years of BC Games success provincially and a labour of love, locally, from our team’s passion and expertise in leading. I’m excited that Kamloops will be the beginning of that story for so many young athletes joining us next month.”
The BC Winter Games has been the starting point for many athletes who have gone on to higher levels of sport. 14 BC Games alumni have been named so far to Team Canada for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Games including Kamloops’s very own Josie (Spence) Morrison who will compete in long track speed skating. Other BC Games alumni include, Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa (Ski Cross), Summerland’s Justin Kripps (Bobsleigh), and Whistler’s Teal Harle (Freestyle Skiing).