Premier Officially Opens 19th Ontario Summer Games
Close To 2,500 Athletes To Compete In Province's Largest Multi-Sport Event
Premier Dalton McGuinty today officially opened the 19th Ontario Summer Games and welcomed 2,500 athletes, coaches, officials, parents and volunteers at Lynx Stadium.
"This is a great event for Ottawa and Ontario, but more importantly, it's a great achievement for every athlete here," said Premier McGuinty. "We're proud to do our part to help support them as they pursue excellence here in Ontario -- and around the world."
The Ontario Summer Games is the province's largest multi-sport event. Athletes age 11 to 22 compete in 19 events. The games provide junior athletes with a competitive opportunity to prepare for national and international events.
The government provides the Sport Alliance of Ontario with $790,000 to support the Ontario Games Program. From this amount, the City of Ottawa received $400,000 to host the games.
"Our support of these Games demonstrates that this government is on the side of Ontario athletes who want to achieve their full potential through sport participation and competition," said Jim Watson, Minister of Health Promotion. "Our athletes are role models who, through their dedication to their sport, help inspire Ontarians to live healthy and active lives."
"It is so pleasing to see the 2006 Ontario Summer Games unfold in Ottawa," said Pat Reid, Co-Chair of the Games Organizing Committee.
"Our Organizing Committee and close to 800 volunteers have been working for months to ensure we stage a first-class athletic event," said Lorraine Lafrenière, Co-Chair of the Games Organizing Committee.
Supporting sport and recreation programs in Ontario is one of the ways the McGuinty government is working on the side of families concerned about their health. Other initiatives include:
- Investing in ACTIVE2010 -- a program that promotes healthy, active living across the province
- Opening up schools for community use so that community groups have access to school gyms and fields at reduced rates
- Working to prevent illness, by banning smoking in public places and workplaces.
"When Ontario's athletes succeed, it makes every Ontarian feel like a champion," said Premier McGuinty. "Their hard work and commitment to excellence reminds us that when Ontarians unleash their full potential, there is nothing they cannot do."