2016 BC Winter Games open in Penticton

2016 BC Winter Games open in Penticton

Author: BC Games Society/Thursday, February 25, 2016/Categories: 2016 News, 2016 BC Winter Games

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PENTICTON - British Columbia's best young athletes, along with their coaches and officials have
gathered in the City of Penticton for the 2016 BC Winter Games.

More than 1,200 athletes will compete in 17 different sports at venues throughout the South
Okanagan. Competitions for athletes with a disability are also included with events scheduled in
basketball, figure skating and cross country skiing. The athletes will be supported by over 330
coaches and 184 officials who will share their knowledge and expertise with the athletes and
have earned certifications in order to support this competition.

To further recognize this important provincial celebration of sport and community
development, Feb. 25-28, 2016, has been officially declared BC Winter Games Week.
The Games provide a training ground for emerging high performance athletes. Kristi Richards of
Summerland is a BC Games alumna, who competed for Team Canada at the 2006 and 2010
Olympics in freestyle skiing. She will return to speak to the athletes at the Opening Ceremony of
the 2016 BC Winter Games.

Community engagement, volunteering and job skills development are other key features of the
BC Winter Games experience. Planning has been underway for the past 18 months and more
than 1,800 volunteers will welcome the participants to Penticton and ensure the Games are an
exceptional and memorable experience.

The Games have also provided four individuals with five months of work experience through a
provincial Job Creation Partnership funded by the provincial government as part of the
Employment Program of B.C.

Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development -

"The BC Winter Games provide a chance for young athletes to demonstrate the results of their
hard work and dedication over a cross section of sports. These emerging high-performance
athletes are a source of pride and inspiration to us all. Congratulations Penticton on hosting this
important event. Thank you athletes, coaches and officials for your support of these Games."

Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation -
"The BC Winter Games is a chance for athletes to reach for their goals and do their best. The
event brings athletes, volunteers and the community together to celebrate sport and this year it
also provided a great opportunity for work experience participants to build their job skills."

Dan Ashton, MLA for Penticton -
"I'm so pleased to see the BC Winter Games return to Penticton and the South Okanagan. This
region plays host to so many events throughout the year, but something of this magnitude truly
showcases how a community can come together with the help of all the incredibly committed

Kelly Mann, BC Games Society President and CEO -

"As the very first host of the BC Games in 1978, Penticton is once again ready to welcome
athletes, coaches, officials and visitors from across British Columbia to the BC Winter Games.
The BC Games inspire excellence and make a lasting impression on our future Canadian athletes
and community leaders."

Quick Facts:
  • This is the 29th BC Winter Games and the fourth time the City of Penticton has hosted including the very first BC Summer Games in 1978
  • Feb. 25-28, 2016, has been officially declared BC Winter Games Week
  • 1,738 participants including 1,224 athletes, 330 coaches, 184 officials
  • 17 sports including four sports for athletes with a disability
  • Participants represent one of eight geographic zones in the province
  • Able-body athletes range in age from 9-17 years old depending on the sport
  • 1,800 community volunteers plan and stage the Games with support from the BC Games Society
  • 55% of Team BC athletes at the 2015 Canada Winter Games were BC Games alumni
  • 18 BC Games alumni competed for Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games
  • BC Games alumna and 2010 Olympian, Kristi Richards of Summerland, will speak to the
  • participants at the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 BC Winter Games
  • To date, the Community and Employer Partnerships program has helped more than 900 job seekers benefit from work experience and funded nearly 200 projects throughout the province.

To learn more about the BC Winter Games visit: www.bcgames.org
To learn more about the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development visit:
To learn more about community and employer partnerships visit:

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

Media Contacts: 

Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250 356-6334

BC Games Society
Lia Threlfall
Communications Manager
250 812-3887



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