Seniors games stumble on way to starting line

Council scraps proposal to host 55+ BC Games after Courtenay withdraws partnership in application

Campbell River won’t be hosting the 55+ BC Games anytime soon as a second potential co-host has pulled out of the process.

In April, Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula and his council had been on board with jointly hosting the senior games but Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams announced at Tuesday’s council meeting that things have changed.

“I had a discussion with Mayor Jangula from the City of Courtenay and he confirmed that their staff have not supported moving ahead with a bid application at this time,” Adams said.

Jangula and his council had stepped in to revive Campbell River’s waning hopes of hosting the games after Comox Valley Regional District staff had already turned down Campbell River’s proposal to co-host the games due to a busy next couple of years in the Valley and a lack of time to prepare an in-depth bid.

Adams said at Tuesday’s council meeting that he and Jangula agreed both of their councils should send a letter to the 55+ BC Games committee stating that while the two communities will not be submitting a bid for 2016, 2017 or 2018, they are interested in bidding in the next round of call outs which will be for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Coun. Charlie Cornfield made that motion and council unanimously approved conveying its support to host the games in 2019 and beyond.

Adams said in order to do that, however, another community will have to come through.

“At this point, for either the summer or winter games, Campbell River does not have the ability to host it on our own as we don’t have the facilities to support the minimum requirements,” Adams said.

“So, unfortunately, we are not able to submit a bid unless we have a dance partner to bid with us.”

Adams has been a strong supporter of bringing the games to Campbell River because of the opportunities it brings.

“The benefits you get from bringing this in are too good to pass up,” Adams said in April.

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.