TO 2015: United we play!
By Danielle Marinho
Photo: Pachi, the mascot of TO 2015 Games
In Canada, the excitement is building. The country is making preparations to host one of the world’s largest international multi-sport events, held every four years, with athletes from 41 nations: the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games. Toronto will receive around 10,000 athletes, coaches and officials, as well as more than 17,000 volunteers, for 51 sports and over 40 venues. The Pan American Games will take place from July 10th to 26th and the Parapan American Games, from August 7th to 15th, 2015.
Hosting the Games in Ontario will strengthen community-based job markets, and has the potential for significant financial growth. According to Fulvio Martinez, a coordinator of Communications & Media Relations at TO2015, an estimated 26,000 jobs will have been created in Ontario, which will grow the province’s real GDP by $3.7 billion from 2009 to 2017.
Martinez added: “We’re building 10 new sport venues and upgrading 15 existing facilities. The majority will be open by this fall — almost a year ahead of the Games. They’re a dream come true for Canada’s best athletes who will finally have access to world-class venues that operate year-round on home soil.”
TO2015 will be the largest sporting event ever held in Canada, and the Games will use more than 30 competition venues in 16 municipalities in southern Ontario. The majority are located in the Greater Toronto Area.
According to Martinez, the venues will also be accessible to people of all ages and abilities and the events will be affordable — 75% of the tickets will cost $45 or less. Also, the project includes free entertainment around Toronto, with music and artists from all over the world.
“The social legacy from the Games will also be huge: 20,000 trained volunteers who are engaged in making their communities better places to live and work; youth who have amazing leadership opportunities,” explains Fulvio.