The demographic of Oceanside could see a sharp spike in the senior set if a study by the Regional District of Nanamio turns out positive.
Dean Banman, the RDN’s manager of recreation services said the district is currently looking into the possibility of hosting the 2015-2016 BC Senior Games.
“The Senior Games don’t put out an official request until January of next year and we wanted to be ready,” Banman said. “I met with the Town of Qualicum Beach and with the Seniors Games Society and I will meet with the City of Parksville before the end of the month.”
The meetings, he said, will be a precursor to a RDN Recreation Commission report to be presented to the board some time in October.
“We are looking for direction about whether the RDN, city and town would be able to or if there is any direction to submit a bid to the Seniors Games,” Banman said. “We are hearing lots of enthusiasm and it sounds like there is lots of energy building up, but we determine what are some of the benefits of doing it and what are the areas we need to focus on.”
One challenge, he said, would be to determine which community would serve as the village centre, as well as what additional facilities would be needed.
“An athletics facility is something which we don’t have,” he said. “However, we are close enough to Port Alberni or or Nanaimo that it would be acceptable, so we do have two options for track. “
He stressed that, even if Parksville, Qualicum Beach and the Regional District of Nanaimo opted to put in a bid to host the games, there’s no guarantee they would be successful.
“It is competitive,” he said. “It is not by default. They traditionally get between six and eight applicants per year.”
However, he said this region has some natural advantages that could help a bid.
“It hasn’t been here for a while and what a lot of people speak to is our natural beauty, plus the facilities we have and the natural demographic,” he said.