On Monday July 18 the Delta Sport Council hosted a send-off for all Delta athletes, officials and coaches who are participating in the 2016 BC Summer Games.
Seventy-one Deltans will be participating in the games this weekend, which are being held in Abbotsford July 21 to 24. Justine Geboers and Jessie Weststrate, who play softball for the South Delta Invaders, are excited to be participating in the BC Summer Games.
“I just love the competitiveness and making so many new friends,” said Weststrate, who’s been playing softball since she was six years old. “This is an experience of a lifetime.”
Geboers is in her 11th year in softball and says she is excited to be going up against different teams and have new players on her team.
The Delta Sport Council has hosted these send-offs since 2005 in order to celebrate Delta athletes and show appreciation for their participation in the games. For most of the young athletes, this will be their first exposure to a multi-sport event.
“We try to recognize all those athletes that are going to the multi-sport because those are the pinnacles of their careers,” said Carlene Lewall, a director at the Delta Sport Council. “We want kids to learn to love the sport, to enjoy it, and be recognized for their achievements and to hopefully be in recreation for life.”
This year’s event included guest speaker Robert Esmie, who won gold in the 4×100 metre relay at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. Esmie spoke to the athletes about staying focused, enjoying the moments, and letting all their hard work shine during the Games.
The BC Summer Games brings together the province’s best athletes, coaches and officials for a three-day competition celebrating sport and community while providing athletes the necessary stepping stones to reach the next stage of their careers.
The games have been held in 38 communities since the inaugural competition in 1978.
This is the first time in the history of the games that Delta will be a part of zone five along with Richmond, Vancouver and the North Shore, which “makes us a really strong zone,” Lewall said.