Community support needed for games bid

It’s getting closer to the time for citizens of Red Deer to get ready to show off.

In late August the committee checking our City out in order to host the 2019 Canada Winter Games will be taking a tour of what we have to offer and we need to put on our best face.

“One of the big components of it (the bid) is the community engagement, the fact that the whole community is wanting these Games,” said Lyn Radford, chairman of the Red Deer bid committee.

“So we have to look at the broad cross section of the demographics making sure even school kids understand that the Games are coming, right up to the senior citizens.”

Radford says she has been at plenty of events to explain just what these Games will mean for the region and many times people who are not sports persons per se wonder what hosting the Games will do for them.

“Sport is kind of the backbone of the event but when you get into the cultural experiences that will be happening (Canadian and ethnic), we’ll have the opportunity to see and feel all parts of Canada and what happens in their communities just by bringing them to Red Deer.”

One of the side effects of hosting the Games is an opportunity for volunteers with non-profit agencies to learn from how these Games have been run in the past in other communities, said Radford.

She says some of the people within these agencies are worried the Games will deplete their volunteer base but Radford says the opposite is likely to happen.

“When they take these experiences back after the Games then they go back to other non-profits and they bring a new, fresh air look to their volunteer base.”

When it comes to the legacy left behind by these Games Radford says there is more to it than the bricks and mortar people will see in facilities which are either upgraded or built new.

There is an environmental angle to this bid.

“We need to try to come down to almost a zero footprint for these games so then our waste management needs to be kicked up,” she said pointing to transportation with hybrid buses or water bottle filling stations to cut down on the small bottles of water being left behind.

For more information about the bid you can go to the Games’ facebook page, ‘Red Deer is Ready’ and like the page to show support.