TORONTO—Officials from the city together with representatives from the provincial government held a “One Year To Go” celebration this week announcing Toronto’s hosting of the 2012 Ontario Summer Games (OSG).
“We welcome to Toronto the thousands of young athletes who will participate, as well as volunteers, spectators, and tourists. The 2012 Ontario Summer Games provide the City of Toronto with an opportunity to promote the positive development of youth through sport,” said Deputy City Manager Brenda Patterson.
The multi-sport event, funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health Promotion and Sport, the City of Toronto, and other sources, is to be held in 2012 from Aug. 16 to 19.
“This is the largest multi-sport games in the province, the first multi-sport experience for many athletes. Most parental sport organizations will hold a provincial championship at this event,” said OSG spokesperson Cathy Vincelli.
The OSG will be bringing together some 2,500 athletes aged 13-22 years old, and another 500 coaches, managers, and officials. There will be 28 sports involving 21 sport organizations.
Vincelli says the games usually attract between 7,000 and 10,000 spectators each year.
The event also draws about 1,000 volunteers. Vincelli says OSG hopes to leave a “large legacy” of volunteers.
“The Toronto region is going through an incredible transformation in its support of amateur sport,” said Rahul Bhardwaj, Chair of the Organizing Committee for the Games.
“The Ontario Summer Games represent an opportunity to engage the city in a time of support and celebration for young athletes, particularly through volunteerism,” Bhardwaj added.
OSG helps athletes develop in a competitive surrounding and prepares them for international competitions like the Olympics.
“This is sort of the first stepping stone to look to qualify for the Canada games (Team Ontario), Pan American games, national and international teams.”
The games, which started back in the 1970s, take place every two years.
Visit www.2012ontariosummergames.ca for more information.