Preparations continue for the city of Peterborough to host the Ontario 55+ Summer Games this August — an event that has been postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In February 2019, the city was initially scheduled to host the Games in August 2020. However, the pandemic forced a postponement until 2021. But then in June 2021, Lisa MacLeod, minister of heritage, sport and tourism and culture industries, said the August 2021 Games would not proceed and the city was given the option to attempt to host in 2022.
The city in July 2021 said it was committed to hosting the Games when possible.
On Thursday, Peterborough—Kawartha MPP Dave Smith reaffirmed the province’s previously announced $235,000 commitment to support the Games, which will run from Aug. 9 to 11. The event is expected to attract up to 1,400 participants to city and Peterborough County venues to compete in diverse events such as bid euchre, contract bridge and cribbage, cycling, lawn bowling, golf, pickleball, slo-pitch, swimming and tennis.
“We are excited to support the 2022 Ontario 55+ Summer Games in Peterborough with a $235,000 investment. This event will bring people, their families, and fans from across Ontario to Peterborough, supporting local businesses and aiding in the economic recovery of our community,” MPP Dave Smith said. “I am looking forward to continuing the work to ensure this event is a major success for Peterborough region.”
MacLeod in a statement said she was pleased to once again work with Games organizers to bring the event to the region.
“The Games is an important contributor to the well-being of the Peterborough community and the province, and as Ontario deals with the impacts of COVID-19,” she said. “It’s important that we invest in, and support our local communities in the short- and long-term.”
The city has committed $175,000 to help host the Games, which Mayor Diane Therrien says will be a chance for people to reconnect and to showcase the region.
“We’ll be showcasing our region, our facilities, and our people,” Therrien said. “There’s a lot of work to plan and prepare for this exciting opportunity. We’re looking forward to working with our community partners to bring this all together.”
City Coun. Lesley Parnell, portfolio chair of arenas, parks and recreation, said the Games will promote physical and mental well-being.
“Never before has social interaction and fun been more important for our citizens,” she said. “The Ontario +55 Summer Games will, not only be fun, but are essential for our mental and emotional health following COVID. Come on safely out and play.”
Peterborough County Warden J. Murray Jones says the region has a history of hosting successful sporting events.
“Peterborough County is absolutely delighted to hear that this wonderful event is coming to the Peterborough area,” he said. “We have proven, on more than one occasion, that we have the people and the attitudes to make these events a huge success. It reminds me of the 1980 and 1986 Ontario Summer Games that included the involvement of the whole region. So let’s show Ontario that the Peterborough region has got what it takes.”
Additional funding will be raised through fundraising, sponsorship and fees, the province said.
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