Seniors Games ceremony focuses on need for volunteers

More than 4,000 athletes will be in Langley from Sept. 9 to 13 to take part in the B.C. Seniors Games.

Fort Langley Canoe Club’s Cheryl MacIntosh

The best way to keep in touch with your culture is to respect and listen to your elders.

Those were the words of Kwantlen First Nations’ elder Kevin Kelly.

“We pay respect to our seniors; it is very important, our elders are our teachers,” he told the crowd at Fort Langley’s Bedford Landing on Thursday  evening.

“Always take the time to talk to your elders. If you don’t, you lose your culture.”

The crowd was on hand to mark the unofficial countdown to the B.C. Seniors Games, which are less than 100 days away from beginning.

The Games run Sept. 9 to Sept. 13 and are being co-hosted by the City and the Township.

The ceremony concluded with the lightning of the Games’ torch as Cheryl MacIntosh — the Township’s volunteer of the year and a member of the Fort Langley Canoe Club — passed the torch to Langley MLA Mary Polak, who then lit the Games’ cauldron.

The torch was brought to the ceremony via dragon boat by members of the Fort Langley Canoe Club along the Fraser River.

“We will light this torch as a symbol of this community’s pride in hosting the Games,” said Jim McGregor, who served as emcee of the ceremony.

More than 4,000 athletes ages 55 and up will compete at the Games, with an expected $2.5 million economic impact generated, said Milt Kruger, the president of the Games’ organizing committee.

“‘Everybody wins’ is not about individual victories,” he explained about the Games’ slogan.

“It is everyone who is involved — the participants, the businesses in Langley, the community, the volunteers.”

“It is going to show what the Langleys are all about, and what we are capable of,” said Polak.

Volunteers are still needed for the Games.

So far, 400 have signed up and Kruger said they are hoping to get 1,800 volunteers altogether.

To register to volunteer, visit www.bcgames.net/lng2014se, email volunteer@2014bcsg.com or drop by the Games’ office at 101-20560 Fraser Highway. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

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