B.C. Summer Games coming to Ridge in 2020

Organizing team being recruited

Maple Ridge is gearing up for the B.C. Summer Games next year.

The Summer Games will see up to 2,840 athletes, 565 coaches, and 382 officials gather in this city for four days of competition, July 23-26, 2020.

But the first step is to get the organizers all in place by creating a board of directors who will deal with security, ceremonies, special events, food, fundraising, marketing, medical services, volunteers and transportation.

“In the coming months, we will recruit the board of directors, who will lead a team of up to 90 organizers and 3,000 volunteers across a wide range of technical and host roles,” said Mayor Michael Morden.

Council is due to approve that board by the end of March so organizing can begin.

“We are all committed to making the 2020 B.C. Summer Games another first-rate experience powered by our amazing volunteers,” Morden said.

Opening ceremonies are tentatively planned to take place in Memorial Peace Park.

Some of the locations where the Games will take place are Maple Ridge secondary and Merkley Park – the location of Karina Leblanc Field, which will host soccer. Track takes place at Maple Ridge secondary.

Hammond Stadium, Maple Ridge Leisure Centre, Albion Sports Complex, Whonnock Lake and the gymnasiums located in local secondary schools are some of the other venues.

The new artificial fields at Thomas Haney secondary also will host events. It’s not yet certain though where the rowing events will take place.

It’s currently expected that all of the swimming events will take place in the competition pool in the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre, which completes its renovation this summer.

All of the sports that were at the 2018 B.C. Summer Games will return for 2020 and include athletics, baseball, basketball, canoe/kayak, equestrian, golf, lacrosse (box and field), rowing, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming, synchronized swimming, towed water sports, triathlon, volleyball (indoor and beach) and wrestling.

The city’s nomination committee that is selecting the board of directors will be seeking people who can both get involved in the early planning, as well as assisting when the Games get closer.

Once the board is in place, they’ll be reaching out to the community to recruit volunteers, said recreation manager Christa Balatti.

Maple Ridge has previously hosted provincial-level sporting events: the Maple Ridge 1983 B.C. Summer Games, the Ridge-Meadows 1998 B.C. Summer Games and the Ridge-Meadows 2009 B.C. Disability Games.

Pitt Meadows residents will be encouraged to come forward for the more than 3,000 volunteer opportunities available, said Balatti.

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