Former BC Games and Olympics athlete Kirsten Sweetland was the featured speaker at Wednesday’s BC Games 40th anniversary kick-off event in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Former BC Games and Olympics athlete Kirsten Sweetland was the featured speaker at Wednesday’s BC Games 40th anniversary kick-off event in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

VIDEO: BC Games 40th anniversary

Games launch milestone year in Abbotsford

This year marks 40 years of competition for the BC Games, and Abbotsford hosted the first event to kick off the milestone year.

Athletes, volunteers and BC Games officials gathered at the Legacy Building at Abbotsford Exhibition Park on Wednesday evening to launch the year of celebration.

Abbotsford 2016 BC Summer Games president Steve Carlton served as MC of the event, and Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun, BC Games president Kelly Mann and former BC Games and Olympic athlete Kirsten Sweetland all spoke about the impact the event has had on their lives.

Thea Culley from KidSportBC then presented Community Sport Hero Awards to locals Dylan Kular (basketball), Tom Hall (golf and rugby), Michael Ross (triathlon) and Tokoe Suda (judo).

The 40th anniversary celebrations continue later this year with events in Penticton (March 15), Prince George (April), Nanaimo (May 2), Trail (Sept. 6) and Terrace (October).