Get ready Surrey, some of the best young athletes in the province are coming to a sports facility near you.
After years of planning, the 2012 B.C. Summer Games are just a week away. More than 2,500 athletes plus another 800 coaches and officials are all Surrey-bound for the annual sports showcase that runs from July 19 to 22. Add in parents and other family members and the four days of competition is expected to pump as much as $3 million into the local economy.
Organizers have been working for more than two years to prepare for the games. The planning has involved 15 directors heading committees with 125 members coordinating more than 3,000 volunteers.
"The community has been awesome and we have the greatest thanks for the help we've had from the City of Surrey," said Bill McNamara, president of the 2012 B.C. Summer Games organizing committee. "We have an awesome group of directors, committee members and volunteers, which is critical to making this possible. It's working out quite well so far but there's always little snags that come up in the final week or so.
"This is a big week for us because we are fine tuning all the details in preparation for the athletes who begin arriving on Wednesday."
The games will be staged in 20 venues spread throughout the city. Sites include Hazelmere Golf and Country Club (golf), South Surrey Athletic Park (baseball, rugby, triathlon, beach volleyball) and Blackie's Spit (sailing) in the south; Guildford Recreation Centre (wrestling) and North Surrey Recreation Centre (inline hockey, box lacrosse) in the north; Cloverdale Arena (box lacrosse) Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary (basketball) and the Cloverdale Recreation Centre to the east; and Newton Athletic Park (soccer, field lacrosse) to the west.
"The games will be taking place all over Surrey, not just Bear Creek Park where the track and field will be held," McNamara said. "The venues are spread all over the city, plus there's opening and closing ceremonies and two dances.
"There's also the Fusion Fest in Holland Park and its opening ceremonies is the same night as ours. It's incredible how much is happening really and if the weather is anything like it is right now, everybody is in for a super show."
To make it all possible, organizers have had to overcome a daunting logistical challenge. In addition to staging the athletic events themselves, the respective committees have to address the demands of transporting, housing and feeding all those athletes.
On the transportation front, the B.C. Summer Games will utilize a fleet of 80 48-passenger buses to make roughly 1,500 trips moving a total of 60,000 passengers around the city.
For housing, the 2,500 athletes will be sleeping on 3,000 foam mattresses in 14 schools. These makeshift dorms will be overseen 24/7 by retired RCMP officers with more than 500 years of police experience.
When it comes to food, the numbers are even more astounding. Over the course of the games, athletes will consume 16,000 B.C. apples, 32,000 juice boxes, 5,000 pounds of sliced deli meats and 16,000 slices of bread - and that's just for the boxed lunches.
A total of 32,000 meals will be prepared over the four days of competition.
"I gave a presentation to Surrey city council the other night and they were amazed at the numbers," McNamara said. "When I explained some of the logistics, I think some of the councillors had their mouths hanging open. I can understand that because when I looked as some of the stats as they came in I was amazed, too. When you look at what has to take place in the space of five days, it's mindboggling."
For more information on the 2012 B.C. Summer Games, visit 2012bcsummergames.ca.