The 2020 55+ Games have been cancelled in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and protocols put in place by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Seniors Games Society and Richmond Host Society announced.
The games were set to run Sept. 15 to 19 at various venues throughout Richmond.
On Mar. 16, Henry issued an order that there were to be no gatherings over 50 people. Since then, events have been cancelled across the province.
“This was not an easy decision to make,” said Cindy Simpson, president of the BC Seniors Games Society, in a press release issued Mar. 25.
“There are hundreds of participants, supporters, officials and volunteers needed to host the games. We need to protect our community and our partners. It was the most prudent decision to make at this time.”
The 2020 games would have brought together over 3,500 participants, competing in 28 sports. Richmond’s volunteers had been working to plan and prepare the games’ opening and closing ceremonies, special events and sports competitions.
“While we are disappointed to not host the 55+ BC Games this year, it is of the utmost importance to keep all participants, volunteers and spectators safe,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie.
“We thank everyone for their hard work in organizing this year’s Games and wish everyone success in 2021.”
The games are held annually in different host cities across the province, and celebrate sport and active living. According to the BC Senior Games Society, the 55+ BC Games are the largest annual multi-sport gathering in the province.
Greater Victoria will be hosting the 2021 games, from Sept. 14 to Sept. 18 of that year, and Abbotsford will be the host Aug. 23 to Aug. 27, 2022.
The 55+ BC Games were last held in Richmond in 2009, with over 3,800 participants.