Considering the number of people involved and the sheer magnitude of the two-week event, the Canada Winter Games coming to Prince George in 2015 promises to blow the socks off of any other sporting event ever held in the city.
For that to happen, and for all aspects of the Games to unfold smoothly, Lisa Davison says local organizers better be prepared, with 2,700 athletes coming to compete in 23 sports.
"It's going to be a lot of work and people are going to have to get used to planning further ahead than what they're normally used to," said Davison, 43, head coach and co-ordinator of Shuttlesport North Central Badminton Academy in Prince George.
"Our town has been known to do things at the last minute and it can't happen that way. People have to take the initiative to do those planning pieces because it's a very big deal."
Davison has seen firsthand what goes into hosting the Canada Winter Games. She was in Halifax in March for the 2011 Winter Games as manager of the B.C. badminton team that won the silver medal. She served as sports chair of badminton both times Prince George hosted the B.C. Seniors Games, in 2002 and 2008, and was the B.C. team manager last week at the Western Canada Games in Kamloops, making her a solid candidate to fill the chief organizing position for badminton at the 2015 Games.
"I've been the sports chair at the Senior Games, so the logical progression would be to do that, but with the Canada Winter Games you need a lot more help," said Davison. "I had a good long talk with the guy in charge in Halifax about what he did and who he had doing what, so I'm really prepared to take on the role because I've had the contacts."
One of the 2015 CWG legacies Davison would like to see is better-trained badminton referees and officials in the region. She hopes the Games will inspire some of the Academy's junior development team players to attain high-level credentials that could eventually lead to them traveling to international tournaments as officials.
The Games will require as many as nine portable rubberized court surfaces to be placed over the gymnasium hardwood. The four-piece mat structures that make up each court are green with white lines and and they will cover existing lines painted on the gym floors, making it much easier for officials to determine boundaries.
"At that level, they do not play on anything else," Davison said.
Six courts will be required for the matches and three will be used strictly for warm-up sessions.
The courts will either be rented or, if there is enough sponsorship, purchased by the Games committee. While In Kamloops, Davison learned of a source in Victoria that will lend Prince George its badminton judging stands for the Games.
The stacked B.C. team won gold in Kamloops and Davison was not at all surprised. A few weeks before the Western Games, at the Pan-Am Championships in Jamaica, team members Duncan Yao and Clinton Wong won gold medals, and Eileen Wong brought home silver. Seven of the 10 B.C. players were on the 2011 CWG team that won the silver medal in Halifax and most of them competed against adults in the Canadian Open in Vancouver.
"I learnt a lot from those kids," said Davison, who is studying to become a Level 3 coach. "They really knew what they were doing, they were saving themselves.
"When we went into the final matches it was pretty evident they just turned it up, and they are very well-trained by their coaches as far as when to turn it on. It was pretty awesome to see how that switch turned on and they knew exactly how they had to perform."