Huntsville began its one-year countdown to the Ontario 55+ Winter Games.

Last night, March 7, Huntsville began its one-year countdown to the Ontario 55+ Winter Games.

The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) gathered at the Active Living Centre with community members, volunteers, dignitaries and Town of Huntsville staff to celebrate. The Town of Huntsville will host the 2019 Games from March 5 to 7, 2019, in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Huntsville last hosted the Ontario 55+ Winter Games in 2013.

“Here we are at the Summit Centre to ignite and kick-off the spirit and the spark for the Ontario 55+ Winter Games for next year,” said GOC Chair Fran Coleman. “We’ve had a long history of sports and tourism in our community and this adds another layer to what we have successfully done.”

Coleman thanked the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Ontario Senior Games Association for their partnership and support of the Games, and introduced GOC General Manager Sheri Renaud and the volunteer committee chairs.

The one-year-out celebration also launched the Huntsville 2019 volunteer recruitment campaign. As with many local events, local volunteers will be critical to the success of the Games and more than 400 will be needed to support the event.

Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison gave a shout out to all of the volunteers who will be involved in the Games. “Having been involved in a few of these games now, it’s a lot of work but it’s rewarding… I appreciate your service to our community,” he said. “This is a community of volunteers and you’ve shown us once again that that’s the case.

“We are no strangers to these events. We are good at it and we like doing it and we’re always happy to welcome people from all over the province and all over the world.”

Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement agreed, “We’ve got such a great history of volunteerism in this community. It’s just fantastic… I look forward to this already. I think it’s fantastic that we get to welcome the province again and show our traditional hospitality and show off our great community, both the people and the surroundings.”

Greetings and well wishes were also extended by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) and the Ministry of Seniors Affairs.

Russell Zavitz, Manager, Games Unit for the MTCS shared a message from Minister Daiene Vernile: “I am thrilled that the Town of Huntsville was selected to host these Games for a second time and I am certain that your vibrant community will deliver an exceptional experience for the athletes and their coaches, friends and families. Our government is pleased to support this event through the Games Ontario program, part of our commitment to helping more people participate and excel in sport.”

Minister of Seniors Affairs, Dipika Damerla, wasn’t able to attend the celebration, but sent the following message: “Supporting an active lifestyle for seniors is part of the government’s new Action Plan for Seniors. I commend the OSGA for their efforts in ensuring that seniors remain physically and mentally active, and have the opportunity to participate in fun and stimulating social pursuits with their peers.”

Huntsville 2019 General Manager, Sheri Renaud, unveiled the sports to be included in next year’s Ontario 55+ Winter Games: badminton, 10-pin bowling, curling, duplicate bridge, alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, ice hockey, prediction skating, table tennis and volleyball.

She encouraged the community to follow the Games on its social media channels – facebook.com/Huntsville2019 and on both Twitter and Instagram @Huntsville2019 – and watch for the launch of the new Huntsville 2019 website soon.

Community members and local businesses are invited to get involved with Huntsville 2019 as volunteers or sponsors. Email sheri.renaud@huntsville.ca for details.

Games Ontario

The Huntsville 2019 Ontario 55+ Winter Games is supported by the Ontario Government through its Games Ontario program. This program delivers or supports multi-sport events, including the Ontario Winter and Summer Games for youth, the Ontario 55+ Summer and Winter Games, and the Ontario ParaSport Games.

Town of Huntsville

The Town of Huntsville is a town of 20,000 people in north Muskoka. Visit Huntsville.ca for more information.

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