More than 3,600 participants are expected to take part in the 55 Plus BC Games next month in Vernon and area.
Organizers say that’s how many have registered for the five day event featuring 27 sports from September 12 to 16.
The largest participation and increase will take place on the ice rinks with 453 hockey players registered, followed by Dragon Boat Racing with 371 paddlers.
Pickleball continued its steady growth in recent Games to a record setting 286 players, exceeding organizers’ estimate, with matches being played in four different venues.
Equestrian, another record setting sport, will feature more than 100 participants representing all 12 of the BC Senior Games Society provincial zones.
“We’re very excited about the number of people who will be attending the Games and know it is going to be a fantastic event,” says Wee Yee, president of the Vernon & Area 2017 55+ BC Games.
Two new sports – Squash and Mountain Biking – are being introduced at this year’s 55+ BC Games, and as such, reflect lower participation numbers, but will proceed ahead in the historical 30th event.
The Vernon event will mark the 30th Anniversary of the 55+ BC Games which got it start in Vernon as the BC Seniors Games in 1988.
The list of sports : Archery, Badminton, Bocce, Bridge, Carpet Bowling, Cribbage, Cycling, Darts, Dragon Boats, Equestrian, Five Pin Bowling, Floor Curling, Golf, Horseshoes, Ice Curling, Ice Hockey, Lawn Bowling, Mountain Bike Racing, Pickleball, Slo-Pitch, Soccer, Squash, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Track & Field and Whist.
About 700 people have signed up to volunteer for the Games so far.
“1,200 volunteers are required to execute the Games successfully – all backgrounds and interests are welcome for the many available positions and opportunities throughout the Games,” says Yee.
Specific volunteers are required more urgently such as hosts to provide general information and the “go to” people at events, first aiders with current level 1 certification, drivers with a clean driver’s abstract as well as some drivers holding class 4 licenses, muscle and brawn for various set-up and tear-down, and photographers. Further training will be provided for those positions that require it.
Those wishing to assist in the Games are asked to visit the volunteer registration link on the Games website, specifically www.55plusgames.ca/volunteers for more information.