The Greater Victoria 2022 55+ BC Games went out with a rock and roll party on Friday (Sept. 16) as the games’ flag was officially passed on to the organizers of next year’s games in Abbotsford.
While several matches and medal ceremonies were scheduled for Saturday, Friday’s Rock the Roundhouse event saw athletes and volunteers mix for a celebration of the 2022 edition of the games, and to wish the next host city good luck.
The Roundhouse on Esquimalt Road was packed all evening as everyone involved in the games enjoyed good food and drink, and danced the night away to the sounds of The Late Shift. There was plenty to celebrate for many of the athletes, as shown by the medals around their necks, but by far the loudest cheers of the night came when it was time to thank the volunteers who made the games possible.
“You look at tonight and the smiles on people’s faces, I think it is a good reflection that they have had good competition but that we have also treated them properly,” said games general manager Clint Flood. “The weather has been fantastic, (Greater) Victoria itself has been fantastic, so yeah, I think we put on a good show for everybody.”
Flood said some 2,700 athletes competed in this year’s games across 22 sports, which were held for the first time since 2019 due to the pandemic. He said the two-year break for the games likely contributed to this edition being a little smaller than in 2019 as competitors may still be a bit nervous about attending large events, or they may simply not feel they are able to compete at their best simply because they have not been able to train much with previous public health restrictions.
While the main focus for games organizers is ensuring the event is enjoyed by the athletes, Flood said another important goal and measure of success for them is whether the games are able to break even financially, and there too he said this year’s event was a success.
A big part of every games is also ensuring the next games’ organizers are prepared to start work on their event, and the flag transfer ceremony is the culmination of that work.
“We are so excited to welcome all of you to Abbotsford next year,” said Mary Boonstra, president of the Abbotsford 2023 55+ BC Games after receiving the games flag. “We have gone through some major challenges as a community with the (Dec. 2021) flooding, so this will be the event which will wake us up and bring Abbotsford back to life again, and we are so excited to have you with us.”