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BC SENIOR GAMES - Venues set and ready for start

A few small additions here and last-minute changes there are all part of putting the final touches on preparing for the opening of the 2011 Seniors Games.
Clockwise from top: Zone 3 Fraser Valley chair

A few small additions here and last-minute changes there are all part of putting the final touches on preparing for the opening of the 2011 Seniors Games.

The Games start today with Track and Field, curling, tennis and five-pin bowling all getting underway at various Trail locations. Other sports start up Thursday with the official launch, the opening ceremonies, at 5 p.m. at Haley Park tonight.

Trail Parks and Recreation director Trisha Davison is the city liaison and making sure city facilities are top-notch and ready to go.

“There’s lots of little, last minute things, because we’ve been trying to leave a lot of them open for the general public. Once the final details get put on, they’ll more or less get closed down for the games but we don’t like to do that before we have to,” said Davison. “But these fine details take time . . . Every one of our crew members are out doing something for the Games today.”

From installing dartboards to resurfacing tennis courts, the big and small needed to be completed to ensure a seamless event.

“Tomorrow is a huge day for the city, not all sports are underway tomorrow but all the venues will be in the final stages of getting set up.”

Independent operators of venues like Trail’s Royal Canadian Legion (darts) and Glenmerry Bowl (five-pin bowling) see the Games as a positive for the city and for their businesses.

“We wouldn’t normally have anything this time of year,” said Glenmerry Bowl proprietor Carol Sandnes.

She and her husband Ron have owned the bowling lanes for close to 40 years, so setting up the event with the help of Senior-Games staff and volunteers was relatively easy and it also prepared them for their own season.

“For us, it’s like putting on another tournament. However it’s really exciting to have these people come from all over.”

The couple expects good crowds for the four-day tournament with local bowlers joining visiting teams and their families in what promises to be a lively and competitive four days.

Legion secretary and dart coordinator Glenda Reilly also hopes it might give the game of darts, a once-popular pastime at the Legion, a boost.

“We’re hoping maybe with this we can generate a little bit more interest and get people back involved in it.”

Reilly says the Trail Legion will be jumping during the three-day event as it welcomes about 100 dart throwers.

“We signed on because this is a very quiet time for us in the summer with everybody being away so we thought it would be a good thing to help give us a little bit of business and the community all seems to be on board.”

Visiting teams were already at venues Tuesday morning, preparing and getting use to the ice, bowling lanes, tennis courts, pools and dartboards.

With preparation all but complete, the real work of seeing the Games through starts today and  it means city staff and organizers will have to be ready for anything. Davison is confident they will be.

“We’ve got some incredibly competent people on all levels of the organizing committee, and in Trail we’re strong on the volunteer side, and people that are running their sport or activity are really good at what they do.”

Jim Bailey

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