Acampaign drive to recruit more than 3,000 volunteers for next year's B.C. Summer Games in Nanaimo will begin in the coming weeks.
The games are slated to take place July 17-20 next year, and the organizers are "close" to competing a team to organize the effort, said Jeff Lott, president of the board of directors for the games.
Lott said the economic impact of the four-day Summer Games will be huge. According to the B.C. Games Society, the event is capable of generating $2.6 million worth of economic activity for the region.
Roughly 4,000 athletes, coaches and games officials are set to descend upon the city, not to mention people who will travel to the city as spectators.
The last time the city hosted the event was in 2002, during which time the city inherited a 'legacy fund' of $197,000 - a province-wide record. "We hope to reach that mark or exceed it with these games," said Lott, a retired superintendent for the Nanaimo RCMP.
"Nanaimo has a proven track record of holding great games and (bringing) great support," he added.
Lott and his team of board directors were in Maffeo Sutton Park Tuesday scouting for possible locations for the opening ceremony for the games. No venues have been decided upon yet.
He said his although hosting the games is a sizeable task, he feels comfortable with the progress made so far. Each director is tasked with a different area of responsibility - such as security - and needs to set up systems for dealing with the expected influx of volunteers.
"I think we're well on the road to putting that team together," he said.
He noted that most of 125 volunteer chairing positions have already been filled.
At a presentation to Nanaimo council on Monday, Lott said volunteers will help serve 32,000 meals, hand out 2,100 medals and organize 290 ceremonies for events in 19 different sports.
Lott is co-ordinating the effort with Vancouver Island University athletics director Bruce Hunter, who is vice-president on the board of directors for the games.
Mayor John Ruttan said the city's role as host of the event is "testimony to our community's reputation of our support and commitment to sport and youth development."
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