Penticton scores honour of hosting 2016 B.C. Winter Games

Image Credit: (SOURCE/Facebook - City of Penticton)

Penticton has been chosen to host the 2016 B.C. Winter Games.

The honour was awarded this morning at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, but Penticton is no stranger to hosting the event. The city was home to the very first B.C. Winter Games back in 1978. They did it again in 1990 followed by the summer games in 1995.

Olympian and Games alumnus Kristi Richards was in attendance along with minister of community, sport and cultural development Bill Bennett and CEO of B.C. games society Kelly Mann as part of the ceremony and to enjoy sports demonstrations by local children in gymnastics and martial arts. Local schools will be participating by hosting athletes.

"The B.C. Games are an essential step in the development of B.C.'s high performance athletes, not to mention a lot of fun for the athletes, coaches and communities involved," said Bennett. "The economical impact on the host community is substantial—over $2 million—and the social impact is probably even larger."

Along with the announcement for Penticton came news that Kamloops will host the B.C. Winter Games in 2018, while Abottsford has been awarded the 2016 B.C. Summer Games and Cowichan Valley will host the B.C. Summer Games in 2018.

An average of 1,200 athletes participate in the B.C. Winter Games while around 2,500 take part in the B.C. Summer Games. Athletes range in age from 9 to 19 years. There are between 2,000 - 3,000 volunteers involved. The estimated economic impact on host communities is up to $2.6 million.

"The number of quality bids that were received speaks to the significant strategic investment in hosting capacity and infrastructure in B.C. communities to date," said Mann. "The 2016 and 2018 games will bring further opportunities to sport and community development but ultimately it is the skill, expertise and qualities of community volunteers that will make each games experience unique and memorable."

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