East Kootenay hopes to double local presence at next year’s 55+ BC Games

The 28th Annual 55+ BC Games were recently held in Coquitlam from September 20 to 24.

Members of Zone 7 smile for the camera at the 2016 55+ BC Games in Coquitlum.

Members of Zone 7 smile for the camera at the 2016 55+ BC Games in Coquitlum.

Brad McLeod

The 28th Annual 55+ BC Games were recently held in Coquitlam from September 20 to 24, and according to the president of Zone Seven — the region representing towns from the East Kootenay — it was a huge success for local senior athletes.

“It went quite well … [the medals we won] were pretty well distributed from Golden to Fernie to Creston and in between,” said president John Boucher.

There were 35 attendees at the games from the East Kootenay zone participating in a number of different activities. There were six members of Zone Seven in five pin bowling, eight in pickleball, five in carpet bowling, three in track and field, six in cribbage, one in tennis and one in cycling. There were also a few additional competitors who joined other region’s teams to participate in their sport, including one slow-pitch player, three ice hockey players, and one soccer player.

Six different members of the East Kootenay community came home with medals, and the final count for the region was three golds, four silvers, and two bronzes. Cranbrook’s own Jim Johnson picked up a silver medal in both power walking and javelin, while Bruce Williams, also of Cranbrook, earned a gold in power walking.

According to Boucher, 2016 saw an increase in memberships, the number of participants in the annual games, and the funding for sports in zone seven. For the Vernon 2017 edition of the games, he has his sights on even more success.

“With the games being closer [next year], the goal is to increase from 35 participants to maybe 70 participants,” he said. “And, then in 2018, because the games [will be] held in Kimberley/Cranbrook we hope to have 200-300 people because there’s no travel involved.”

A joint bid between Kimberley and Cranbrook earned the rights to host the 2018 55+ BC Games back in September 2015. Although a committee to plan the event has not yet been formed, the Zone Seven executive branch are already working to increase the number of participants in the community in order to showcase their best talent to the province by the time 2018 comes around.

Unfortunately, the executive recently lost their treasurer/registrar. The combined position was too time-consuming for one person and as the activity will increase with the Vernon 2017 Games, and even more so for the 2018 Kimberley/Cranbrook Games, they are in desperate need of someone to fill the position of treasurer.

Boucher said that someone has already agreed to take over the registrar position but that a Treasurer is still needed. He said that the workload is somewhere between 10 – 20 hours per month and anyone interested should contact him at 250-427-1844 or by e-mail at jbandjb2000@gmail.com.