Left to right: Kathryn Teneese

Left to right: Kathryn Teneese

Kimberley and Cranbrook celebrate 2018 55+ Games bid

A celebration marking the successful joint bid to host games by the communities of Cranbrook and Kimberley took place Friday.

Townsman Staff

The coin to determine the naming order of the two hosts of the 2018 55+ BC Games has been tossed. It came up in favour of Kimberley and so the games will be known as the Kimberley Cranbrook 55+ BC Games.

A celebration marking the successful joint bid to host games by the communities of Cranbrook and Kimberley took place on Friday afternoon at the Canadian Rockies International Airport. The successful bid by the two communities was announced by the Ministry of Community, Sports and Cultural Development on Sept. 26.

Kootenay-East MLA Bill Bennett called the Games a positive thing for the region. He noted the Games bring in thousands of people and will bring in $2 million to the local economy.

“Physical activity is a huge part of a healthy lifestyle and the 55+ BC Games provide motivation for getting and staying in shape,” Bennett said. “Cranbrook and Kimberley will benefit from an influx of visitors, and the Games will leave a legacy of community pride.”

Kathryn Teneese, Chair of the Ktunaxa Nation Council, said the Ktunaxa Nation is pleased to have the Games are coming here.

“I must commend the work done by the cities of Kimberley and Cranbrook to bring these games here and I look forward to watching the amazing athletes and spirit of competition I’ve come to expect from the BC Senior Games,” Teneese said.

The BC Seniors Games Society receives funding from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development with a portion of that funding is forwarded to the host Society for operation of the Games.

“This is great news for both Cranbrook and Kimberley,” Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt said. “This is a large undertaking but I am confident there will be lots of volunteers from both communities and they will do an excellent job hosting this event. There will also be a huge positive economic spinoff for the whole region. A great opportunity for both communities to showcase all that we have to offer.”

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick said the games are yet another opportunity for the two communities to work together

“Thousands of new visitors will see first-hand why we are an amazing market for sport tourism,”McCormick said.

Participants in the Games range in age from 55 to 90+ and represent 12 different zones across the Province. The mission of the BC Senior’s Games Society is to improve the health, lifestyle and image of BC’s 55+ populations.

“On behalf of our Society and 55+ BC Games, we would like to thank, and congratulate the winning bid communities of Kimberley and Cranbrook,” Wayne Naka, president of the BC Senior Games Society, said. “Our members will be extremely excited about the opportunity to travel, stay, and compete in this area of our amazing province. We will make an immense and positive impact on your communities as we transform the image and attitudes towards the 55+ population among residents of all ages in British Columbia.”

For more information about the BC Seniors Games Society, visit their website at www.bcseniorsgames.org.