Greater Victoria, B.C. – On Tuesday, June 7, the torch of the 55+ BC Games was lit, marking the 100-day countdown to the 2022 Games, taking place in the capital region September 13 to 17.
The closed event was held at Berwick Royal Oak. Berwick Retirement Communities are the presenting sponsor of the 2022 Victoria Games.
Crysta Davidson, a Berwick Royal Oak resident and long-time participant in the Ontario Senior Games in basketball and slow pitch, lit the torch.
Greetings were offered by Honourable Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South; Councillor Karen Harper, acting mayor of Saanich; Michael O’Connor, board president, Victoria 55+ BC Games; Paul Kingan, president, BC Senior Games Society; Kristen Kit, gold medal rower in women’s 8s at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics; and Lesley Sikorski, director of sales and marketing, Berwick Retirement Communities.
Entertainment was provided by musicians Daniel Lapp and 10-year-old Max Francis as well as Lək̓ʷəŋən traditional dancers.
“Watching the torch being lit, I felt a great sense of pride and excitement,” said Michael O’Connor, board president, Victoria 55+ BC Games. “The community has been working so hard to bring these Games to Greater Victoria. The torch is a very visible symbol of our community spirit and collaboration. It heralds the countdown to this fabulous event, which celebrates active living, healthy and engaged seniors, and camaraderie.”
The torch will be officially re-lit on September 14, at the Games opening ceremony at Save on Foods Memorial Centre (media invitation to come in September).
Before arriving in Victoria, the torch travelled in a relay through Kamloops, Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach, Campbell River and Comox Valley, held at each city’s Berwick Retirement Communities location. Volunteers, board members and Berwick residents gathered at each location for a ceremonial relay, torch lighting, entertainment, and refreshments.
“As the proud presenting sponsor of the Victoria 2022 55+ BC Games our investment has provided us an opportunity to tie our brand and company values to an event that will make a real impact in our greater community,” said Lesley Sikorski, director of sales and marketing, Berwick Retirement Communities. “It is a tremendous opportunity to celebrate and support healthy adults aged 55 and up through fun and competitive sport and recreation activities. This is such a passion of ours as a company, so we could not have aligned ourselves with a better partner. We are thrilled to welcome our esteemed guests to Berwick Royal Oak today to celebrate 100 days out from the Games beginning.”
More than 3500 participants, 1200 volunteers and thousands of spectators from around B.C. will travel to the capital region to participate in sport and community building during the 2022 Games. They will feature 30 sports and activities including curling, triathlon, mountain biking, bocce, cribbage, and bridge.
“Businesses in our region welcome the opportunity to host 4,000 athletes, along with their families and friends cheering them on,” Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce CEO Bruce Williams said. “It’s inspirational to see so many active and healthy people at our local sports venues — and at our restaurants and retailers when their competition is done for the day.”
It’s the first time Greater Victoria has hosted the 55+ BC Games in the event’s 36-year history, and it’s the first major multi-sport event the capital city is hosting since the 1997 North American Indigenous Games.
“We are thrilled to be coming back to the Games with such a strong Host Society at the helm. Our participants are ready to get back to the courts, fields, pools and card tables and to reconnect with friends they haven’t seen in two years,” said Paul Kingan, president, BC Seniors Games Society.
Participant registration for the 2022 Greater Victoria 55+ BC Games closes June 30, 2022. Volunteers are being actively recruited. More information: www.55plusbcgames.org.