The fact the 2014 BC Seniors Games is a half a year away didnâ€™t stop the host community from having a kick-off party last weekend.
Langley is welcoming more than 3,500 athletes ages 55-plus from across the province for the multi-sport competition taking place Sept. 9-13.
On Saturday afternoon an event introducing invited guests to the Games was held at the at the Langley Seniors Resource Centre.
The afternoon also served as a thank-you to the â€œFriends of the Games,â€ businesses, organizations, and volunteer partners who are donating their time and money to make the event a success.
The celebration included refreshments, carpet bowling and table tennis demonstrations, and guest speakers including Sheila Lanktree, who partnered with Bill Pike to win silver in their cribbage flight at the 2013 Games that ran Aug. 20 to 24 in Kamoops.
â€œI was treating the whole experience in a rather blase manner,â€ Lanktree recalled.
Then she attended the opening ceremonies where 3,700 participants from 15 zones from across B.C. â€œmarched into the centre with great fanfare, Lanktree said.
â€œAnd at the end [1968 Olympic alpine skiing champion] Nancy Greene Raine jogged in, carrying the torch to light the flame for our Games,â€ she shared. â€œThis whole opening ceremony was so impressive.â€
Lanktree realized then that the BC Seniors Games is a huge event for seniors, and an equally huge undertaking for the eventâ€™s organizers and volunteers.
Lanktree and Pike were among 100 cribbage participants involved in fiveflights at the Kamloops Games.
She said that she and her partner were presented with their medals during a formal ceremony.
â€œIt was very official, we were presented with our medals, and it just felt so good,â€ she said.
There are 25 sports included in this yearâ€™s 27th annual Games, and they range from whist and crib to swimming and bowling.
Lanktree hopes to experience the Games again, â€œhopefully as a competitor or, if not, a volunteer.â€
The push continues for volunteers.
People can register online at 2014bcseniorsgames.org and by clicking on the â€œcontact usâ€ tab on the right hand side of the screen.
They can also drop by the Games office to sign up in person. Located at 20560 Fraser Hwy., the office is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 604-533-8065.