COVID-19 pandemic shuts down Victoria 2021 55+ Games
In a media release Monday, the BC Seniors Games Society (BCSGS) in consultation with the 2021 Greater Victoria Host Society have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2021 55+ BC Games.
The Games were to run September 14-18, 2021 in Victoria.
Because of the ongoing public health concerns due to the pandemic, the Games will be postponed until the fall of 2022.
The city of Abbotsford has also officially requested that the 2022 Games they were awarded in October of 2018 be moved to 2023.
“This is not the decision we wanted to make but the health and safety of our participants and volunteers comes first,” said Paul Kingan, Acting President BC Seniors Games Society.
“Our staff consulted with government and health departments and we all came to the conclusion that this was the best decision we can make with the information we have at the time.”
The 55+ BC Games are presented on an annual basis in different host cities by the BC Seniors Games Society (BCSGS).
The Games are an important part of the BC sport system and are the largest annual multi-sport gathering event in the province.
They offer the opportunity to celebrate sport and active living with other participants from across the province and experience the hospitality of the Host City.
“While this delay is yet another blow caused by COVID 19, we seek to see the positive in allowing Greater Victoria now having the time to deliver an event in a world we all want to get back to – not just normal – but truly great,” said Michael O’Connor, President of the Greater Victoria Host Society.
“And now our committee will set the goal on how we can accomplish that against a revised timeline.”
Each year the Games attract approximately 3,600 participants and require approximately 1,500 volunteers to stage and deliver the Games in the Host Community.
Moving the 55+ BC Games a full year ahead provides for the opportunity to deliver not only safe events that meet the required health and safety protocols as established by viaSport as well as the Provincial Health Authority, but more importantly means that participants, families and volunteers who come to Greater Victoria and Abbotsford can expect to not only have great competition but experience all the host communities can offer in terms of music, food, arts and culture without restrictions.
“Coming together through sport is something that is foundational to building a complete community,” said Henry Braun Mayor of Abbotsford.
This year has been unlike any other, and the safety and well-being of our residents are a top priority. On behalf of the City of Abbotsford, we are looking forward to hosting a fantastic 55+ Games in 2023.”
No concrete decisions have been made on the dates of the 2022 Games but both the Greater Victoria Host Society and the BCSGS agree that the Games will be hosted in the fall of 2022, tentatively September 13-17.
Dates for the Abbotsford Games will be announced as well.
All three organizations will continue to monitor developments relating to the pandemic and to safeguard the health of all participants. BCSGS will continue to update all stakeholders on the 55+ BC Games postponements as they become available.
About 55+ BC Games
The 55+ BC Games is an annual, multi-sport competition celebrating active and healthy seniors. The Games are funded primarily by the BC Seniors Games Society and the Provincial Government. They are an important part of the Sport 4 Life Long Term Athlete Development, with many of the Provincial Sport Organizations providing support. The BC Seniors Games Society is the parent organization that is responsible for the overall governance of the Games, the sport specific rules, and the liaison with the senior participants.