Coq. has competition for BC Summer Games bid

Connor Frost of Port Moody receives his gold medal in field lacrosse Sunday at Newton Athletic Park during the 2012 BC Summer Games in Surrey - BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO
Connor Frost of Port Moody receives his gold medal in field lacrosse Sunday at Newton Athletic Park during the 2012 BC Summer Games in Surrey
— image credit: BLACK PRESS FILE PHOTO

Coquitlam isn't the only community going after the 2016 or 2018 BC Summer Games.

Yesterday, the BC Games Society announced Abbotsford, Cowichan Valley and Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows also submitted bids to host the sporting event in 2016; the same municipalities — plus North Vancouver — have also opted for the games two years later.

Coquitlam, which has the support of Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and School District 43, is aiming to tie in the 2016 games with its 125th birthday as well as the opening of the Evergreen Line, due to start running in the summer of 2016 and terminate at Town Centre Park, where many of the athletes would compete.

If successful in 2016, 3,700 athletes — most of them aged between 13 and 15 — would descend on Coquitlam between July 21 and 24 to compete in 22 sports.

The event would also generate massive economic development, city staff say, noting Kelowna reaped $2.6 million in spin-offs by hosting the 2008 four-day summer competition.

The 2012 BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon, which were sponsored in part by Black Press, the parent company to The Tri-City News, saw some 1,145 athletes and 2,400 volunteers taking part in 15 sports. The 2012 BC Summer Games were hosted by Surrey while the 2014 summer and winter games will be held in Nanaimo and Mission, respectively.

To date, a number of local groups have signed up to back Coquitlam's bid such as the Sports Centre User Association, Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame, Coquitlam Aquatics User Group, Coquitlam Field Sport Association, Tri-Cities' Chamber of Commerce and Douglas College; several Tri-City athletes have also pledged to be champions, including Olympians Chris Wilson and Leah Pells, and retired BC Lions' kicker Lui Passaglia.

Coquitlam last hosted the BC Summer Games in 1991 when Coun. Lou Sekora was the city's mayor; as well, Coun. Neal Nicholson was the treasurer for the BC Seniors' Games, held that same year.

This fall, the BC Games Society will review and score the applications before making its recommendation to MLA Bill Bennett, minister of community, sport and cultural development. A decision is expected in November.


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