Young Nova Scotians are getting a unique opportunity to help spark the spirit of the Canada Games. The Halifax 2011 Canada Games Host Society and The Chronicle Herald are giving youth age 12 to 21 a chance to be official Canada Games torchbearers. The online contest was launched today, April 23, at http://TheChronicleHerald.ca/2011torch. The Chronicle Herald is the official sponsor of the 2011 Games torch program. “The Chronicle Herald is thrilled to sponsor the 2011 torch program as it travels across the province, igniting the spirit of communities and youth along the way,” said Sarah Dennis, president and CEO of The Chronicle Herald. Community sporting events and festivals, such as the Apple Blossom Festival’s Grand Street Parade and the Bluenose Marathon’s Doctors Nova Scotia Youth Run, will host the torch until fall. Ten torchbearers will be chosen for each participating event. TheChronicleHerald.ca/2011torch website will be updated as more events are added. Entrants will submit a short written description of how they live a healthy, active lifestyle, volunteer in the community, or have done their part to keep the Earth healthy and green. Torchbearers will be chosen by the Host Society. Nova Scotia communities can contact the Host Society at [email protected] for more information on how to host a torch event. The online contest is one element of the 2011 Games Torch Program. The program, along with the official torches, will be unveiled May 3 at a torch-lighting ceremony in Ottawa. Building on the Canada Games tradition, the 2011 Games torch program celebrates the unique culture of Nova Scotia in the communities that help shape and define it, generating awareness and excitement in each region leading up to the Games. The 2011 Canada Winter Games will be the largest multi-sport event held in Nova Scotia and Halifax’s first Canada Winter Games. From Feb. 11 to 27, 2011, more than 2,700 athletes will compete in more than 20 sports, attracting thousands of visitors, VIPs, officials and media. Held every two years, alternating between summer and winter, the Canada Games are a key event in the development of Canada’s young athletes, producing the next generation of national, international and Olympic champions.