British Columbia

Olympic-style tournament in the works for Kamloops

The City of Kamloops is in the planning stages of a new tournament called the Tournament Capital Games. The organizers of 11 different sports have already signed up to compete in a three-day event which will take place in September.

Planning for the Tournment Capital Games is underway with hopes of a tournament this September

The Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops is known as the 'showpiece of Kamloops.' It features an Olympic length pool, FIFA-certified artificial turf field, track and field facilities and a gymnastics centre. (Tournament Capital Centre)

Kamloops wears the badge of Canada's Tournament Capital proudly and now there are plans to attract even more attention to its venues by hosting an Olympic-style tournament this fall.

The Tournament Capital Games would be the first of its kind in B.C.

"This is an opportunity for Kamloops to create our own homegrown, multi-sport games that will be geared towards an adult market," said Sean Smith, the special events supervisor with the City of Kamloops.

The plan is to sign up about a dozen sports to compete on the same weekend (Sept. 8 to 10). Early September is an ideal time to hold the event, Smith said, as it's before the fall sports leagues start and when tourism is generally down.

"We have ice in the arenas. We have water in the pools. We have green grass and Kamloops is beautiful at that time of year," Smith said.

The Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah is entering its third decade. Thousands of athletes compete from Utah and beyond in sports like volleyball. (seniorgames.net)

'Hopefully, we'll have the same success'

The games would be modeled after the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah.

Over the past 30 years, those games have grown from an invitational concept on a small stage to a festival-type event where about 10,000 people participate over the course of 12 days.

"Hopefully, we'll have the same success," Smith said.

He expects 2,000 or 3,000 people in Kamloops would take part in the games in the first year.

"Just offering adults that multi-game opportunity that so many kids get is a pretty neat idea we think," Smith said.

Jan Oram, Thor Fridriksson, Sharon Moore and Earl Thompson are all players with the Kamloops Pickleball Club. The courts opened in June, 2016. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

The organizers of 11 sports have already expressed interest in signing teams up including curling, cycling, dragon boat, women's hockey, volleyball, squash, tennis and pickleball.

Although pickleball is a new sport to Kamloops, Smith said they figure it can probably attract about 300 people to the games all by itself.

'The idea is for it to be a self-sustaining event'

Smith said details as to how the games would be financed are still being worked out.

"There will be a registration fee ... and the idea is for it to be a self-sustaining event that doesn't cost the city anything," he said.

The venues for the games are all city-owned, including the Tournament Capital Centre, McArthur Island Park and the Tournament Capital Ranch.

"Hopefully at the end there will be some kind of a legacy for all the sports that participate so there's incentive for them to carry on," he said.

With files from Daybreak Kamloops.


To hear the full interview, click on the audio labelled: Olympic-style tournament in the works for Kamloops.

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