On Aug. 25, upwards of 3,000 people, aged 55 and higher, travelled from all parts of British Columbia, converging on North Vancouver to join in an extraordinary celebration.
The event, running until Aug. 29, was the annual 55+ BC Games, run by the BC Seniors Games Society (BCSGS),where individuals were involved in a friendly competition in a total of 27 events, ranging from intensely physical to the exactingly intellectual.
The tradition of the games began in 1988 and has continued to the present without interruption.
Creston is a part of Zone 7 (East Kootenay) and has been involved in the games, primarily in track and field, cycling and in tennis.
In 1993, the BC Seniors Games were held in Cranbrook, where 1,723 participants competed in 20 medal sports and two demonstration sports.
In the past four years, Zone 7 participants have earned 138 gold silver and bronze medals, excelling in track and field, bowling and cribbage, among many other categories. Participants from Creston have brought home medals in track and field and in tennis. Zone 7 routinely sends 35-45 competitors to all parts of the province .
Among these BCSGS members, there has been a dedicated cadre of volunteers who serve as executive members and maintain functions including the duties of secretarial, fundraising, bookkeeping, registration, playdown, chairmanship, sport co-ordination and a few others. Though numbers are small, these tasks have always been accomplished in exemplary fashion.
This work has encouraged many of our local citizens to remain socially and physically active, contributing mightily to the health and well-being of our communities.
This year, the organization is facing a serious challenge that could present a serious obstacle to the continuation of this important work. Valuable executive members, after years of dedicated service, are retiring. At the same time, the communities of Cranbrook and Kimberley are bidding to host the games in the near future. Their chances are good, as there is a serious commitment by our provincial organization to have more of the games hosted in Interior parts of the province. This is clearly the wave of the future. It is an exciting time for Zone 7 and other rural communities, and a great opportunity for Crestonites to experience the games.
The zone’s annual general meeting will be held in Cranbrook AGM in October, allowing a good representation of 55-plus athletes from Creston. For more information, contact Bob Ewashen at 250-428-5088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
—BY BOB EWASHEN, BC Senior Games Society