In 1993, Cranbrook hosted the B.C. Seniors Games.
Now, more than 20 years later, Cranbrook and Kimberley have submitted a joint bid to host the Games in the very near future.
When Cranbrook first hosted the event, 1,723 participants competed in 20 medal sports and two demonstration sports.
The event has grown since then, with North Vancouver hosting this year’s edition of the event at the end of August, which will feature upwards of 3,000 people aged 55 and up competing in 27 events ranging from intensely physical to the exactingly intellectual.
Zone 7, which encompasses the East Kootenay region, routinely sends 35-45 competitors each year to the Games, and local athletes have brought back 138 medals in gold, silver and bronze in events such as track and field, bowling and cribbage, among others.
The legacy of the B.C. Seniors Games has encouraged many local citizens to remain socially and physically active, contributing to the health and well-being of communities across the region. However, the Zone 7 executive is facing some challenges as a number of volunteers are retiring after decades of service.
Over the years, there have been a dedicated cadre of volunteers who serve in duties of secretarial, fundraising, bookkeeping, registration, play down, chairmanship, sport coordination and a few others.
Attendance at monthly meetings have declined and Bob Ewashen, the director of the B.C. Senior Games Society—based out of Creston—is concerned the absences are due to members who are feeling pressured to step up.
“At this time, there is a serious commitment by our provincial organization to have more of the Games hosted in interior parts of the province,” said Ewashen. “This is clearly the wave of the future. It is an exciting time for Zone 7 and other rural communities.
“My hope is that this information will inspire civic-minded community members to seriously consider making our challenge their opportunity to become involved in a meaningful, rewarding commitment.”
Membership to be involved in the organizational side of the B.C. Seniors Games is not limited to those who are 55 years and older; that only applies to competitors in the Games itself.
The group is hosting an annual general meeting in September and advance notice will be published. For more information, contact Ewashen directly at 250-428-5088 or through temail at firstname.lastname@example.org.