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NEWS RELEASE · 14th January 2011
M. of Comunication, Sport & CD
B.C. athletes travelling to compete at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Nova Scotia will bring more than their equipment to the host community of Halifax.

"The spirit of British Columbians is reflected in how B.C. athletes are marking the first anniversary of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It's about more than giving their utmost performance in athletics for Team BC when they compete," said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Stephanie Cadieux. "Team members are also donating, collecting and bringing warm winter clothing to a homeless shelter in Halifax during their stay, as well as reaching out to those in need in B.C."

Dubbed "Hands Across the Country", this first ever event mobilizes the goodwill that Team BC members feel as participants in a national event, and recognizes the legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games held in the province last year. It also provides an opportunity to help the homeless in B.C. Many items, including larger items such as blankets, will go to homeless shelters in B.C., based on where the more than 350 athletes and coaches reside.

Drop-off boxes are located in four Canadian Sport Centre Pacific locations: Kelowna, Prince George, Vancouver and Victoria. Clothing is currently being accepted. Drop-box addresses can be found at: http://www.cscpacific.ca

"The Games were about sharing the spirit of competition and community, and this is a way for us to promote a sense of social consciousness within the Team BC family," said Ajay Patel, chef de mission for Team BC. "Our athletes are ambassadors on and off the slopes, ice rinks and courts. They believe in giving back to their communities."

"I'm inviting MLAs and the public to contribute to this worthy cause if they are able," said Cadieux. "If you have warm winter clothing you don't use, please consider donating it at one of the four locations."

The Canada Winter Games will bring together approximately 2,700 athletes, coaches managers and officials from every province and territory in Canada from Feb.11 to 27, 2011. British Columbian will send a team of 260 athletes, 75 coaches and 22 mission staff to Halifax to compete in 20 sports. B.C. athletes will be en route to Halifax early in February.