Game on? Delegation seeks Whitehorse council support for Canada 55+ Games bid

‘Yukon has an excellent track record in hosting major games’

Western Canadian athletes are “chomping at the bit” for the 2020 Canada 55+ Games to be held in Whitehorse. That’s what Tom Parlee, president of the Elderactive Recreation Association told Whitehorse city council on April 30.

“Yukon has an excellent track record in hosting major games including the Canada 55+ Games that were hosted in Whitehorse in 2004 and people tell us that it’s time for us to host again,” Parlee told council. “And that’s athletes from across the country that I bump into every time I attend the Canada 55+ Games.”

Parlee spoke as part of a delegation with George Arcand, president of the board of Sport Yukon, to ask council for a resolution in support of Whitehorse hosting the games.

A resolution is a requirement for the bid, which is due at the end of May.

Arcand said hosting gives an opportunity and a platform to Yukon athletes who might not be able to travel Outside to participate in the games.

“They’d have a chance to compete at this level at home,” Arcand said. “And it would encourage and promote an active lifestyle in all ages.”

Arcand also said there’s a great economic incentive for host cities.

The games could bring as many as 2,000 coaches, athletes and fans to the city, Arcand said. According to Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance estimates, that could have a $3.8-million economic impact.

When Whitehorse hosted the games in 2004, 1,100 coaches, athletes and fans attended.

He further told council a committee organized in fall 2017 to look at numbers and make sure the city has the capacity, in terms of finances and volunteers, to facilitate the games.

If Whitehorse is successful, the games will take place in August, a few months after the city hosts the Arctic Winter Games in March.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

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