Abbotsford 2016 BC Summer Games kick off today

Opening ceremony takes place Thursday, Games start on Friday

The wait is finally over for athletes, officials and volunteers.

The Abbotsford 2016 BC Summer Games are set to officially kick off on Thursday, with the opening ceremony welcoming over 3,000 athletes to the Abbotsford Centre to celebrate the occasion.

The athletes are from every corner of the province and have trained to earn a place to represent their zone at the Games.

Competing in 18 different sports, the athletes are an average of 14 years old and, for most, this will be their first experience at a multi-sport Games.

These athletes will be supported by 473 coaches and 289 officials, who have completed their certification in order to provide the best knowledge and expertise to the athletes and the competition.

More than 3,000 volunteers have been assigned to help out with duties that include food services, security, reporting on the Games and many more.

Doors for the opening ceremony open at 6 p.m., and there is very limited seating available.

Athletes have been arriving all week, with all sports hitting the practice field early on Thursday.

Competition begins on Friday in all sports. The action continues on Saturday with some medals being handed out, and the event wraps up on Sunday with the remaining medals handed out.

The sports included at the Games include: athletics, baseball, basketball, three on three basketball, canoe/kayak, equestrian, golf, lacrosse-box, lacrosse-field, rowing, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, swimming, synchronized swimming, towed water sports, triathlon, volleyball beach, volleyball and wrestling.

The closing ceremony occurs on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at Rotary Stadium.

Grandstand seating is limited, but those interested are welcome to bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating in designated areas.

Visit abbynews.com/sports for ongoing coverage of everything associated with the Games.