The 2016 BC Winter Games has its new slogan, and the verdict is in: Penticton’s Got Game.
Celebrating the return of the games to Penticton, the Host Society board of directors held the Name Our Games contest challenging students and residents to submit a unique slogan or tagline for the games.
Steve Lalonde, a 39-year resident of Penticton, submitted the winning entry.
The contest winners were celebrated with a rally May 8, and Lalonde took home four tickets to the upcoming performance of Cirque du Soliel’s Varekai at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
“I heard about the contest through work, and I thought it was a nice challenge. Any games that come to our community will help shine the spotlight on our little town and our Okanagan Valley,” Lalonde said.
Both of Lalonde’s children — 18-year-old Hanna and 13-year-old Matthew — have participated in sports like basketball and track and field for years, which Lalonde feels is an important part of being a well-rounded individual.
“They’re wonderful athletes and their experiences in sport have been great. They’ve both been part of teams that have been competitive, sand they also both succeed in school as well. They make their dad quite proud,” Lalonde said.
Penticton’s Got Game was chosen from over 50 entries.
“We were so pleased at the quantity and quality of the Name Our Games slogan responses. Congratulations to all for taking the time to get involved with this contest. Our judges had a difficult time selecting the winning slogan, but felt that Penticton’s Got Game captures the spirit of our community and this wonderful event,” said Bill Bidlake, president of the Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games.
The upcoming games will showcase B.C.’s best young developing athletes, with an average age of 14 years old. Athletes like Penticton moguls skier Jordan Kober, a past BC Winter Games medalist who is now on the Canadian Freestyle Ski Team and has aspirations to one day compete at the Olympic Winter Games.
“The BC Winter Games is just such a cool experience. It is a mini-Olympics and when you are a young athlete it is a great opportunity to further yourself. There is nothing else like it,” Kober said.
Kober’s picture will appear on the 2016 games banner, to be featured at several community events promoting the games.
“It will be a lot of fun for the athletes coming to Penticton because it is such a great community to host an event like this,” Kober said. “One of the coolest things is, besides competing, is getting to meet the people in the different sports and from all over the province.”
Next year marks the fourth time Penticton has hosted the BC Games. The city was the host of the inaugural BC Summer Games in 1978, the 1990 BC Winter Games and the 1995 BC Summer Games.
“It (the slogan) says a lot about our community. Penticton has always had a lot of community pride through our beautiful beaches, the Penticton Vees hockey club and our outstanding volunteers,” states Doug MacMillan, vice-president of the Penticton 2016 BC Winter Games. “These multi-sport Games will give us an opportunity to further build our community through volunteer development, enhancements to sport venues, or post Games financial legacies.
The games take place from Feb. 25 to 28, 2016.