The city’s bid to host the 55+ BC Games has been given new life. While staff from the Comox Valley Regional District – Campbell River’s potential host partner – weren’t too keen on hosting the games, Courtenay’s city council had a different view.
Mayor Andy Adams said last week he spoke to Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula about a joint bid to host the 55+ Games in either 2017, 2018 or 2019 and he eagerly jumped on board.
“He immediately called his members of council and they are enthusiastically supportive of a co-hosted bid for the Seniors Games between the City of Campbell River and the City of Courtenay,” Adams said.
At the April 7 council meeting, Coun. Charlie Cornfield had put forward a motion to have Campbell River’s mayor meet with the mayors of the Comox Valley to see if there was a “political will” to host the games.
Adams, who missed that meeting as he was in Ishikari, Japan with the Young Ambassadors exchange program, said he had already spoken to Jangula before he learned of Cornfield’s motion.
“Before I read the comments of Charlie and what he wanted me to do, I already did,” Adams said. “We’re certainly on the same page.”
Cornfield had wanted the politicians to get together after City of Campbell River staff said recreation staff at the Comox Valley Regional District bowed out of hosting the games.
Comox Valley staff said in light of several events happening in the Valley within the next two years that it may be hard to recruit volunteers.
Without the Comox Valley, it would be impossible for Campbell River to host the games as the city alone does not have all of the facilities required to hold the games.
Adams said while he has not yet spoken to the mayors of Comox or Cumberland, Courtenay is definitely up for the challenge.
“The City of Courtenay is certainly game,” Adams said. “The benefits you get from bringing this in are too good to pass up.”
According to the 55+ BC Games Society, the multi-sport event has the potential to generate more than $2.1 million in economic spin-off for host communities.
Campbell River co-hosted the event with the Comox Valley in 2010 and roughly 3,300 athletes took part in 28 competitive games and sports.
Communities with successful bids for the games are provided with $85,000 from the B.C. Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to help with the cost of hosting the event.