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B.C. Seniors Games head into the next 25 years

Donna Tyrrell, left, the Zone One director/chair and Carol Howell of Chemainus unveil the banner recently presented to the Cowichan Valley Regional District as part of the B.C. Senior Games 25th anniversary. Each of the host communities over the years received a banner. - Don Bodger
Donna Tyrrell, left, the Zone One director/chair and Carol Howell of Chemainus unveil the banner recently presented to the Cowichan Valley Regional District as part of the B.C. Senior Games 25th anniversary. Each of the host communities over the years received a banner.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Athletes and organizers involved in the first 25 years of the B.C. Seniors Games enjoyed the experience so much, many can't wait to see what happens in the next quarter century.

The games in Burnaby last year were the 25th and the planing is already well under way for this year's competition in Kamloops.

Donna Tyrrell of Chemainus is the current director/chair for Zone 1 (Vancouver Island South) that includes the Cowichan Valley. She recently presented a banner to the Cowichan Valley Regional District at a board meeting commemorating the 2005 Cowichan games.

"To celebrate the 25th anniversary last year they had these banners made up,'' explained Tyrrell. "They went to each host group.''

It's up to the CVRD where the banner will hang, but Cowichan Arena is the most likely destination.

"While here, our visitors gained an understanding of our rich history and of our cultural diversity,'' noted 2005 games president Gerry Giles in a statement published in a 25-year commemorative brochure. "Over 2,000 volunteers helped our guests enjoy the spirit and camaraderie of the games and we were certainly enriched by the experience.''

Tyrrell is excited about the coming year.

"One of the things we're doing is our gaming grants changed,'' she said.

"Gaming grants pay for officials and facility rental, that sort of thing.''

Zone 1 will be combining with Zone 2 (North Island) for many of the competitions to determine games qualifiers. That will reduce the costs of having separate competitions and result in a larger entry.

"We'll still have North-South,'' said Tyrrell. "This way, we could have playdowns together and make it more meaningful.''

A full list of contact numbers for sports coordinators can be found by going to www.bcseniorsgames.org. and clicking on Zone 1 on the left side of the page.

Some sport playdowns are coming up as early as the first week of March.

There's also a slight difference each year in the sports or events that are part of the agenda depending on the host site. Kamloops won't be staging bocce, one-act plays or snooker but will be adding mountain biking and equestrian.

"A lot of it is contingent on facilities,'' said Tyrrell. "Kamloops has excellent facilities for the horses.''

B.C. residents age 55+ are eligible to compete in the annual games. Tyrrell welcomes inquiries from anyone by calling her at 250-416-0503.

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