Today is the first day of spring. But you can forgive some folks in Bay Roberts thinking about summer.
The summer of 2020.
The Conception Bay North town was officially announced as host community for the 2020 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games Saturday in Deer Lake during the closing ceremonies for the 2018 NL Winter Games.
and recreation director Ian Flynn were in Deer Lake for the announcement.
“I see this as a town-building process,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood, who was in Deer Lake for the announcement. “It sort of pulls the community together, and we’ve always had lots of pride in the town and we’ve also had a great volunteer base.”
Bay Roberts has already invested in upgrading its recreation facilities in recent years, guided by a master plan that was adopted in 2014. The Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex is due to have a new clubhouse, beach volleyball courts and additional parking installed in 2019.
“We think, that with the timeline we’re given from when the announcement was made to when we have the Games, that we’ll be good to go for 2020,” said Bay Roberts recreation director Ian Flynn, who was also in Deer Lake over the weekend.
Flynn indicated there will be some provincial government funds to help with hosting the games, although details need to be ironed out. He needs to create a priority list of items that need addressing between now and the summer of 2020, but one that stands out for Flynn is outdoor lighting for the newly constructed ball field.
Beyond giving the town further impetus to upgrade recreation facilities, Wood views the Summer Games as creating an economic opportunity.
“We’re going to have a couple of thousand people coming through … but we’re also hoping with the attention on the town for the next number of years, that more people will come to Bay Roberts and see what it’s all about,” said Wood, who suggests the Games will not only be good for Bay Roberts, but Conception Bay North as a whole
In fact, the Games will see Bay Roberts partnering with the Carbonear, which will host track and field and swimming events.
The 2020 Games organizers are getting a bit of a continuation boost that wasn’t available to some previous host communities. Gold sponsors for the event will carry over from the just-completed Winter Games, and they won’t need to spend money on designing a logo for the event, as that is now a standardized feature. The same goes for a Games mascot and website.
2018 NL Games Medal standings
Final medal standings (by region) at the 2018 N.L. Winter Games in Deer Lake:
Region G S B Total
St. John’s/North 14 11 5 30
Western 14 7 6 27
Central 5 7 4 16
Mount Pearl/South 3 8 2 13
Avalon 6 - 5 11
Eastern - 2 7 9
Labrador - 2 3 5
Indigenous 2 1 1 4
Host 1 - 2 3
St-Pierre et Miquelon - - -