“The zone boundary and name changes reflect many months of discussion, research, and consultation with our Multi-sport Organization and Provincial Sport Organization partners,” said Kelly Mann, President and CEO of the BC Games Society. “The changes take into account the significant population growth of the lower mainland. We thank our partners for their patience as we undertook this work, and encourage them to share these changes throughout their respective organizations.”
Realignment of the zone boundaries due to shifting population is a topic that has come up over the years including in 2002 when a PSO survey was conducted. At that time, few responses were submitted, and without any pattern in the requests, so no changes were made at that time.
In 2011, the zone realignment discussion was again brought forward and consensus was reached that realignment of the lower mainland zones (3, 4, and 5) would help more evenly distribute population amongst those zones. It was also decided that the more remote zones (1-Kootenays, 7-North West, and 8-Cariboo-North East) would still face the same challenges as currently exist even with realignment.
The BC Games Society Sport Committee tasked staff to look into the realignment of zones 3, 4, and 5. Since changes could have ramifications on other agencies in the sport system, the BC Games Society consulted with our partners. The sport sector agencies (Sport Branch, 2010 Legacies Now, Sport BC, CSC-Pacific, BC Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Partners Council, BC Athlete Voice, ProMotion Plus, Coaches BC, SportMedBC, BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum) endorsed the BC Games Society to move forward with research and recommendations and to lead the process, consider the impacts, and conduct focus groups.
Staff proceeded with research using 2011 census data for the age groups 10-14 and 14-19 years, as well as past BC Games attendance data and club and membership data from ViaSport.
Four scenarios were presented to the Sport Committee and one was deemed most favourable based on several factors, including having the smallest spread of age-specific population between Zones 3 and 5. All scenarios, including the option selected by the Sport Committee, were then presented to MSOs for feedback and the final zone realignment changes were agreed upon. Subsequent discussions were also held with sports in the Games.
A summary of the changes is as follows:
Throughout the process, the BC Games Society worked diligently to ensure our partners were comfortable and informed of the findings and recommendations.
While the new zone boundaries will be in effect for the 2016 BC Winter and BC Summer Games, flexibility in out-of-zone registration will be exercised as PSOs adjust. Full compliance with the boundaries will be in place for the 2018 Games.