Summer Games in Maple Ridge in 2020 and a new Karina Leblanc soccer field

One of four future sites announced on Friday.

Olympic soccer star Karina Leblanc was on hand Friday for announcment of BC Summer Games in Maple Ridge in 2020.

Olympic soccer star Karina Leblanc was on hand Friday for announcment of BC Summer Games in Maple Ridge in 2020.

Maple Ridge has been selected to host the 2020 B.C. Summer Games.

It was one of four locations announced Friday as host sites for the B.C. Summer or Winter Games.

Part of the announcement was the naming of a new artificial surface soccer field which opens this fall near Maple Ridge secondary, after Maple Ridge soccer star Karina LeBlanc, who used to attend the school.

“How often do I get a field named after me?” LeBlanc asked.

She told a crowd assembled at Maple Ridge Leisure Centre that she wants all the kids who play at the field to have fun and dream, “crazy, big dreams.”

The field is located in Merkley Park across from the school, where LeBlanc used to spend hours playing – and dreaming.

Nathan Stein, a Paralympic swimming medalist, was also at the announcement, in front of the pool where he began his sports career. Both competed at the B.C. Games as youths while living in Maple Ridge.

LeBlanc said having a field named after her means a lot.

“That field was just a field I went to when I was a kid who had a dream. I had this dream that I wanted to be an Olympic athlete. We used to go into that field – and just play – just play because I just wanted to be better every single day.”

Once, she got cut from a provincial team and as a result just increased her training time by 15 minutes a day. LeBlanc won a bronze medal with the Canadian women’s soccer team in the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

“I went from being cut to eventually winning an Olympic medal.”

Coun. Kiersten Duncan is confident Maple Ridge will have the needed facilities. Renovations to the two pools in the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre will take about 13 months, starting this September and are supposed to be done by 2019, in time for the Games.

A brand new pool costing $70 million is also part of the city’s rec infrastructure program, if approved by taxpayers, but likely won’t be built by then.

“We would not have received the bid if we were not prepared,” Duncan said.

“We have challenges like any community, but we’re definitely ready to host the Games. If we get one (a new pool) up and running in time, awesome, we’ll definitely have something.”

Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read said the city is proud to be a host, again. Maple Ridge hosted the B.C. Summer Games in 1983 and 1998 along with Pitt Meadows.

“A number of young men and women from Maple Ridge have used the B.C. Summer Games as a stepping stone in their journey from our local sports facilities onto the international stage,” she added. “Our local volunteers, our best community ambassadors, will ensure that the athletes who compete in Maple Ridge return home with fond memories of their time at the 2020 BC Summer Games.”

The Games create a legacy for each city, she added, either through new facilities or developing new athletes.

“We will be investing money to upgrade existing facilities and adding some new ones.”

Fort St. John, Greater Vernon and Prince George were also selected as summer or winter games hosts.

Local MLAs joined community leaders, volunteers and athletes in the host cities for the announcements this morning. In Maple Ridge, the announcement was made at the Leisure Centre, which is to be closed for 13 months for renovations, starting in the fall.

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows MLA Doug Bing announced the decision on behalf of the Ministry, Sport and Cultural Development.

He  said the economic impact to Maple Ridge will be about $2 million, which wouldn’t be possible without the 3,000 volunteers who will help make it happen.

“The B.C. Games provide a great opportunity for host communities to showcase their event-hosting expertise and community pride,” Peter Fassbender, minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development said in a release. “At the same time, the games bring social and economic benefit to a community and can help launch the sporting careers of B.C. athletes and coaches into the national and international arena. Congratulations to each of the host communities.”

The upcoming games will be held:

• Kamloops – 2018 B.C. Winter Games, Feb. 22-25;

• Cowichan – 2018 B.C. Summer Games, July 19-25;

• Fort St. John – 2020 B.C. Winter Games, Feb. 20-23, 2020;

• Maple Ridge – 2020 B.C. Summer Games, July 23-26, 2020

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chelsey Moore’s character Chloe in the upcoming virtual reality game Altdeus: Beyond Chronos. Screengrab
Vancouver Island actress finds success in a virtual world

Black Creek’s Chelsey Moore lends her voice to a new video game set for release in December

Ceramic artist Darrel Hancock working on a clay jug in his home studio in Qualicum Beach. (Submitted photo)
Qualicum Beach potter Darrel Hancock celebrates 40 years in business

‘It’s wonderful to do what you love and make a living at it’

Artist Daniel Cline discusses his sculpture, Harmony Humpbacks, during the June 20 walking tour of Oak Bay’s 2019 ArtsAlive sculptures. Harmony Humpbacks was purchased by Oak Bay as the 2019 people’s choice winner and is permanently installed at the Beach Drive entrance to Willows Park. (Kevin Murdoch Photo)
Influx of donated art a ‘fantastic problem to have,’ says Oak Bay mayor

Oak Bay goes from zero to 10 permanent art pieces since 2015

Dover Bay Secondary School student Victoria Hathfield’s poem <em>Dear Santa</em> appears in<em> Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas is in the Air</em>. (Photo courtesy Darren Lee)
Nanaimo high schooler has first poem published in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’

Victoria Hathfield’s ‘Dear Santa’ appears in new Christmas-themed edition of anthology series

Nanaimo graphic designer Amy Pye has written and illustrated her first children’s book, <em>G is for Grizzly Bear: A Canadian Alphabet</em>. (Photo courtesy Amy Pye)
Nanaimo graphic designer releases first children’s book

Amy Pye teaches the Canadian alphabet in ‘G is for Grizzly Bear’

The Vancouver Island Symphony’s Back Row Brass Quintet – including trumpeter Mark D’Angelo, tuba player Nick Atkinson and French horn player Karen Hough (from left) – were scheduled to tour the Nanaimo area with Christmas Under the Big Tent, but the concert series has now been cancelled. (Photo courtesy HA Photography)
Symphony brass quintet’s Christmas concert series cancelled

Performances were to happen at venues in Parksville and Lantzville next month

The Sheringham Point Lighthouse, near Shirley. (Contributed - Lee-Ann Ruttan)
New book shines a light on Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Publication examines history, lightkeepers, and volunteer society

Victoria-based guitarist Eric Harper performs at the Port Theatre on Nov. 27. (Photo credit Tatum Duryba)
Classical guitarist to play at the Port Theatre

Eric Harper to play new songs composed during the pandemic

A sample of some of Lou-ann Neel’s jewelry.
Lou-ann Neel wins the Fulmer Award in First Nations Art

Originally from Alert Bay, Neel’s family is steeped in renowned Kwakwaka’wakw artists

I-Hos Gallery manager Ramona Johnson shows some of the paddles available at the retail outlet. Photo by Terry Farrell
I-Hos Gallery celebrates 25 years of promoting First Nation artwork

K’ómoks First Nation-based outlet has art from all over the country

Most Read