Facebook icon Twitter icon Forward icon

April 2015 Newsletter

2015 SOBC Winter Games cross-country skiing athletes and coaches

Announcing the Team BC 2016 Training Squad!

SO Team BC 2016 Training Squad

We are very pleased to announce the athletes, coaches, and mission staff who have qualified for the Special Olympics Team BC 2016 Training Squad!

These dedicated and deserving individuals have been named to the Team BC 2016 Training Squad based on their performances in the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Kamloops. They will train hard over the next year to be ready to give their all in seven sports in the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador.

>> Read more

>> Watch the 2015 SOBC Winter Games video recap

Staples makes dreams happen with Special Olympics

Staples staff and Special Olympics BC - Abbotsford athletes

From May 2 to 24, Staples Canada will raise vital awareness and funds for Special Olympics athletes and programs with their 16th Give a Toonie. Share a Dream. campaign. Staples customers can help Special Olympics athletes realize their dreams by donating in stores and online during the three-week campaign.

Longtime Special Olympics BC – Vancouver athlete Peter Gilpin is an enthusiastic representative of Special Olympics at the Vancouver Staples store on Seymour Street. Each year Gilpin volunteers to help in store by raising awareness with a Special Olympics table and collecting toonie donations from customers. He also likes to help out at Staples’ Back to School campaign, greeting customers at the checkout and bagging purchases.

>> Read more

Outstanding athletes, coaches, and volunteers earn SOBC award nominations

SOBC logo globe

Congratulations to the 2015 nominees for Special Olympics BC’s five annual awards! These accomplished and inspiring athletes, coaches, and volunteers have been nominated by their peers in recognition of their outstanding achievements, spirit, and contributions to Special Olympics.

Please join us in congratulating all 61 of these deserving nominees!

>> Read more

In National Volunteer Week (April 12 to 18), we shared our sincere gratitude to 3,300+ Special Olympics BC volunteers who give so generously of their time, skills, and heart, and make such an amazing difference in the lives of others and in their communities. In National Volunteer Week and all year round, we appreciate and thank you!

Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament supports ‘very special people’

Goldcorp's Chuck Jeannes with SOBC athlete Oliver Sutherland and father James.

The Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament is one of Vancouver’s premier golf events. The tournament will return to the magnificent Northview Golf & Country Club on June 16, 2015, for a great day of golf and inspiration in support of Special Olympics BC.

All of the tournament’s teams and major sponsorships are sold out, but you can still help make a difference for SOBC through this valuable event by donating auction items or tee sponsorships. Please contact Christina Hadley by e-mail or by phone at 604-737-3073 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Chuck Jeannes, Goldcorp President & CEO and Vice Chair of the SOBC Board of Directors, says Special Olympics brings important opportunities into the lives of children, youth, and adults with intellectual disabilities. “It’s a great cause. I know, because I sit on the Board, that your support is going to do very good things for very special people,” Jeannes said at the 2014 tournament. He is pictured above right with SOBC athlete Oliver Sutherland and father James at last year’s event.

We are truly grateful to the generous sponsors who support Special Olympics through the Goldcorp Invitational:

Supportive environment, successful screenings at Vancouver Healthy Athletes event

Special Olympics BC Healthy Athletes Screening Day Vancouver 2015

Due to discomfort and unfamiliarity, past dental and medical appointments had not always been positive experiences for Special Olympics BC – Vancouver athlete Corey Yee and his family. When his friends and fellow athletes wanted to attend the SOBC Healthy Athletes Screening Day in Vancouver on April 11, Yee was uncertain and initially resisted the idea of taking part in the screenings himself.

But surrounded by supportive and friendly volunteer health professionals and students, as well as his encouraging family and friends, Yee started to open up to the idea of having Healthy Athletes volunteers check him out in the five different types of screenings available. In Health Promotion, the gentle and engaging volunteer and the support of Yee’s aunt Judy helped Yee become willing to have his blood pressure taken, even though that was an experience that had been uncomfortable and unpleasant for him in past. Yee became happy to have his blood pressure taken on both arms!

>> Read more

BC Law Enforcement Torch Run May events

May is jam-packed with fun Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraising events in support of Special Olympics BC!

Come out and donate to Free the Fuzz as law enforcement officers from the Victoria area camp out on scaffolding from May 1 to 3 to raise money and awareness for SOBC.

Don’t miss the CN Ball Hockey Tournament on May 9 at the Squamish Walmart, with fun family activities and a barbecue hosted by the Squamish Lions club.

Break out your clubs for a day of golf, great food, and prizes at the second annual Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament May 14 at Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club in Coquitlam.

>> Full details

Big thanks to the Saanich Police Department Watchdogs and Victoria Police Department Capitals who faced off in the friendly Battle of the Badges hockey fundraiser on March 24. The annual match raised $2,686 for SOBC.

Counting down to the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Special Olympics Team Canada bowler Annabelle and coach Nel

April 16 marked 100 days to go until the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles! We can’t wait to cheer on Special Olympics Team Canada and celebrate the abilities of the participating athletes from 170 countries around the globe. SO Team Canada members have been working hard in training and team camps, including the bowling training camp in March, bocce this weekend, and more to come next weekend!

As part of the 100 Days Away celebrations, Special Olympics Team Canada announced Tim Hortons as a team sponsor and golfer Tess Trojan and Honorary Coach Mark Tewksbury appeared on TSN’s Off The Record. And Avril Lavigne launched her new song “Fly” supporting Special Olympics, with a video starring SO athletes!

Pictured at right: SO Team Canada bowler Annabelle Davis and training coach Nel Kurta of SOBC – Vancouver with the LA2015 Circle of Inclusion!

>> Read more about SO Team Canada members from B.C.

>> SO Team Canada website

Make a difference with your Aeroplan Miles

Aeroplan Beyond Miles

Special Olympics BC is fortunate to be part of the Aeroplan Beyond Miles donation program. We hope our frequent-flyer friends will consider donating your Aeroplan Miles to help Special Olympics.

>> Click here

Performance Program expands on ice and snow

Special Olympics BC Figure Skating Performance Camp

It’s been a busy winter for the Special Olympics BC Performance Program! A successful first foray into figure skating, great development in the training camps for snow sports athletes and coaches, and strong work by powerlifting coaches.

We are grateful for the Government of Canada’s significant support of the Performance Program!

>> Read more

SOBC Youth Sports Day returning to EA

Special Olympics BC is looking forward to hosting the 2015 Youth Sports Day at the amazing EA Sports complex in Burnaby. Set for May 23, the event will be tons of fun for children with intellectual disabilities ages two to 12. Please click here for further details. For registration forms and more info, please contact SOBC’s Rachel Borer by e-mail or by phone at 604-737-3125.

Parent Colin Featherstonhaugh has said his young son Sam’s “most favourite activity is Special Olympics,” and he’s not alone in finding the program to be so much fun.

“The children I see at the Active Start program are really happy. They like to be there. They’re eager participants, for the most part, in all the activities. Sometimes Sam is not that interested in the stretching part of it, but we’re working on that. He loves Special Olympics, and enjoys seeing his friends.”

>> Read more from last year’s Youth Sports Day

Long-standing support from big backers of SOBC

Tiger Williams with Special Olympics BC athletes.

Special Olympics BC has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1980, thanks to the support of some big personalities and dedicated organizations.

This month, in the latest part of our series for SOBC’s 35th anniversary, we celebrate the SOBC Hall of Fame sponsors and fundraising events that have backed SOBC, in one form or another, since the early years.

One of SOBC’s most successful fundraisers today, the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament, has its roots in the Tiger Williams Golf Classic, which then-Vancouver Canucks player Dave “Tiger” Williams started in 1982 and hosted for 20 years.

>> Read more

Runners raising funds for Special Olympics

Special Olympics BC supporters after completing the Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon & 5k

Runners are getting ready for the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon & 5k on Sunday, June 28, and we’re so grateful to those who are lacing up in support of Special Olympics BC! Many runners are already raising significant funds for SOBC and their Locals. To get involved and/or run in support of Special Olympics BC using one of our limited number of free race entries, please contact Charlotte Taylor by e-mail or by phone at 604-737-3059 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Learn more about the Scotiabank Charity Challenge

This year, for the first time, SOBC has joined the Charity Pledge Program in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, coming October 11, 2015. We’re looking forward to seeing runners on the Island support Special Olympics! Please contact Charlotte Taylor as above to raise funds in this exciting new opportunity.

Region 1 & 2 Conference participants inspire

Region 1 & 2 Conference

On April 17 to 19, just over 50 Special Olympics BC coaches and volunteers from Regions 1 and 2 came together in beautiful West Kelowna for a weekend of inspiring conversations and valuable presentations at their Regional Conference. The participants did a fantastic job of engaging with each other and sparking new ideas through discussions together and with the experts at hand.

Sincere thanks to everyone who took the time to be part of the conference and make it so valuable for all!

Spread the Word to End the Word success in Abbotsford

Special Olympics athletes and volunteers advocating Spread the Word to End the Word in Abbotsford

Inspired by Special Olympics BC – Abbotsford volunteers and athletes, nearly 2,000 people took the pledge to show respect to everyone and end the use of the R-word in Abbotsford high schools. Organizer Roshan Gosal, member of the SOBC Youth Activation Council and SOBC – Abbotsford coach, planned Spread the Word to End the Word tables in local high schools throughout the week of April 13 to 18, manned by local athletes and volunteers who inspired everyone with their passion and stories.

“There were many profound moments during the week, more than 1,871,” Gosal wrote.

>> Read more