The administrative offices of the 2011 BC Senior Games officially opened in Castlegar on Tuesday night, with the mayors of the three host cities cutting the ribbon and re-iterating their pledge to work together on the regional sporting event this summer.
Castlegar Mayor Lawrence Chernoff, Nelson Mayor John Dooley and Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs each spoke of co-operation between their municipalities as they addressed a gathering of several dozen games organizers, volunteers, sponsors, business leaders and local politicians who had gathered at the West Kootenay Regional Airport for the ceremonial event.
“The BC Senior Games will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase the beauty and the hospitality of our communities to the rest of the province,” Chernoff said.
Dooley added that regional co-operation ought to extend beyond just the games and continue well after the closing ceremonies in August.
“We hope that this is a stepping stone for further opportunities for us to do bigger and better things as communities,” he said.
“We know that working as unit throughout the West Kootenay gives us much more strength.”
At least 3,200 competitors aged 55 and over will take part in the annual event when it comes to the West Kootenay in August, said BC Senior Games Society president June Parsons, who flew in from Sidney for the event.
Parsons added that she was amazed by the support the games have already received from the West Kootenay community.
“I have been with the games for — well, I’m not going to tell you — but I have involved for a long time,” she told the crowd.
“I have never, ever seen so many local, corporate sponsors.”
The administrative offices, themselves, are located on the second floor of the West Kootenay Regional Airport and were donated by the City of Castlegar for use by games officials.
There will be 27 events at the 2011 B.C. Seniors Games, which will take place at venues in Castlegar, Trail and Nelson from Aug. 16 to 20.
The events range from archery to ice hockey, equestrian to darts, mountain biking to golf, and even card games like whist, cribbage, and bridge.