Photo by Don Fennell
Plans are afoot for the possible return of the B.C. Seniors Games to Richmond.
Coun. Bill McNulty tabled a motion at the city’s Parks and Recreation meeting Wednesday. The Games were last held here in 2009.
McNulty and Richmond Sports Council chair Jim Lamond, both longtime supporters of sport locally, are prepared to lead a bid for the 2020 Games. The Games would be held in either late August or early September of that year.
“Richmond Sports Council and the Richmond Games Society would be co-hosts of the Games,” said McNulty, who along with Lamond are working on a presentation to formally request city council’s support.
A bid package, expressing Richmond’s wish to host the Games, must be submitted to the B.C. Games Society president by June 28, 2018.
McNulty said the Games would be run entirely by volunteers, with the support of city staff.
“The Games will mobilize our volunteer force,” he said. “We’ll have 2,000 volunteers. Most communities don’t have that opportunity. We’ll have young and old working side by side, representing a nice blend of intergenerational co-operation.”
The 2009 Games turned a profit, from which a legacy fund of about $69,000 was established. The largest Games ever, they attracted 3,800 athletes aged 55 and older from throughout the province.
“In 2009 we got our seniors moving,” McNulty said. “We have everything from darts, whist and bridge to pickle ball, swimming and track and field. That’s what I like about these Games, you don’t have to be a star athlete or in the prime of fitness. I may go in and throw the javelin.”
McNulty is envisioning an even bigger, more successful Games in 2020.
“In five years, 50 per cent of our population is going to be over 50, so we’re an aging community as well,” he said. “I think hosting the B.C. Seniors Games fits in with our goals of being the longest living and healthiest people. We’ll even have events for 80-year-olds, accentuating the masters programs. Those athletes are already going beyond where people used to stop competing.”
McNulty said the potential economic spinoff from four days of activities could generate in excess of $4 million.