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Winter games prep a year away

Preparation for the 2016 BC Winter Games in Penticton will not begin until January of 2014.

The city council received an update on the games this week, including information and timeline.

“A timeline is important because you want to have everything in place at the appropriate time,” said Mayor Dan Ashton.

News the games were coming to the city was announced in January by Bill Bennett, the minister of community, sport and cultural  development.

They typically involve 2,000 participants including athletes, coaches and officials, and 2,500 volunteers.

For the 2012 games held last year in Vernon, 2,210 volunteers  ensured every need was met for  those in attendance from serving meals to arranging buses to coordinating dormitories and sleeping areas.

The average age of the athletes is 13 to 15-years-old and the games are typically considered a stepping stone for many athletes to national and international multi-sport competitions like the Olympics.

The host community establishes a volunteer board of directors composed of a president and 14 directors. More than 120 key  volunteers  work with the directors, forming committees responsible for different program areas.

In all, approximately 2,500 volunteers are recruited and trained.

In terms of a budget, the BC Games Society provides $525,000.

Typically, the host community volunteers in the past have raised between $30,000 and $200,000 in cash and between $200,000 and $800,000 in kind to offset budget expenses and provide for a potential financial legacy post games.

Vernon raised 488,000 combined cash and in-kind.

The hosting community is required to commit a minimum of $45,000 cash and $50,000 for in kind services and facilities for the planning and staging of the games.

Any inquiries related to the games should be directed to the recreation department.

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