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December 2014 Newsletter

SOBC holiday message

The SOBC Provincial Office will be closed for the holidays from December 20 to January 4, returning January 5. We look forward to a wonderful new year when everyone is back in 2015!

2014 Bulletin available now

SOBC 2014 year-end newsletter

Relive this year’s inspiring achievements, exciting events, and generous support with Special Olympics BC’s 2014 newsletter, available now!

>> Read more

2015 SOBC Winter Games two months away

2015 SOBC Winter Games logo

The 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Kamloops are just over two months away! We can’t wait to watch more than 600 athletes from around the province compete and shine in Canada’s Tournament Capital.

Latest 2015 Games news

More information

The Games need approximately 1,000 volunteers to help bring the events to life, contributing in a wide variety of roles to help provide an outstanding and empowering experience for all involved. Online volunteer registration and printable registration forms are available at www.sobcgameskamloops.ca. Sincere thanks to everyone who has signed on to help and to all those spreading the word about this inspiring opportunity.

Give the gift of sport this holiday season

SOBC holiday giving

With your holiday or year-end donations, you can help give athletes like Derek the empowering experience of competing in the 2015 Special Olympics BC Winter Games.

Watch Derek share his excitement

Giving the gift of sport with SOBC will help give athletes the chance to feel the joy of competing in Provincial Games, achieving their goals, meeting new friends, and taking centre stage to show what they can do.

Donations made by noon on Friday, December 19, are eligible to have a customized holiday card sent to the gift recipient. The giving website will be open through December 31.

We are grateful to everyone who has already donated and helped spread the word, and to all who might be considering this opportunity to support the 2015 SOBC Winter Games experience!

>> Donate

>> Read more

Big year for BC Law Enforcement Torch Run

Delta athlete Courtenay Rekis and Delta PD Deputy Chief Lyle Beaudoin

2014 has been a special year for the BC Law Enforcement Torch Run, with numerous successes including the LETR Final Leg for the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games and significant events and fundraising achievements by departments and detachments around the province. Our sincere thanks to these valued champions of Special Olympics!

>> Year in review story

Don’t forget that on December 28 you can check out Vancouver Giants hockey and help the Delta Police Department support Special Olympics! Purchase game tickets through the LETR for $16 each and $5 per ticket goes to SOBC. Please contact Carolyn McCarthy by phone at 604-737-3056 or by e-mail by Friday, December 19. Tickets can also be purchased from representatives with SOBC – Delta, SOBC – Vancouver, SOBC – Burnaby, and SOBC – Coquitlam.

This month SOBC athletes and staff had the opportunity to visit the Metro Vancouver Transit Police and the Vancouver Police Foundation to share our appreciation for all their support this year. Click the links to check out the photos.

We’re also thankful to the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police for featuring the LETR and Special Olympics in their fall magazine. Please click here to check out the great photo and recognition of the LETR for raising nearly $3 million for Special Olympics in 2013!

2015 SOBC Healthy Athletes events kicking off at Provincial Games

Athletes Katie and Katie at a Healthy Athletes screening

Special Olympics BC is committed to empowering our athletes to be as healthy as possible, helping them in their sports and throughout their lives. Our first Healthy Athletes screenings of 2015 will be held at the SOBC Winter Games in Kamloops. We’re looking forward to welcoming Regional team athletes in the screenings throughout the Games, and the screenings on Saturday, February 20, will be open to all individuals with intellectual disabilities throughout Kamloops and the surrounding area.

Stay tuned to SOBC’s website and social media channels for details on these and more SOBC Healthy Athletes events in the new year, including screening events in the Lower Mainland in the spring and around the province!

In 2014, SOBC held popular Healthy Athletes screening events in Vancouver and Kelowna, and worked year-round to empower athletes to be as healthy as possible to help them in their sports and throughout their lives. Team BC 2014 athletes also had the opportunity to participate in Healthy Athletes screenings at the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games in Vancouver.

>> Read more

SOBC volunteers honoured in their communities

Wulf and Joan Gerhardt of SOBC - Kelowna

Several outstanding Special Olympics BC volunteers have recently been recognized by their communities for their achievements and contributions in sport and changing lives.

SOBC – Kelowna coaches Wulf and Joan Gerhardt (pictured at right) were honoured in West Kelowna on September 12 with Sport BC’s Community Sport Hero Award for their outstanding work in cross-country skiing. Jordynn Denness, an inspirational 17-year-old SOBC – Surrey basketball coach, won the Overcoming Adversity Award at Surrey’s SASSY Awards recognizing local youth on November 21. SOBC – Nelson volunteers Bill and Joan Woikin received the Nelson Regional Sports Council Community Sport Hero Awardin their community on November 28 for their long-term efforts on behalf of Special Olympics.

>> Read more

Goldcorp Invitational tees off for a great cause

Goldcorp Invitational 2014

A long-standing source of outstanding support for Special Olympics BC, the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament is set to return to the Northview Golf & Country Club on June 16, 2015.

This fully stocked golf experience includes two simultaneous tournaments followed by an evening of inspiration where participants enjoy a full dinner, entertainment, live and silent auctions, and powerful messages from SOBC athletes and supporters.

The Goldcorp Invitational attracts Vancouver’s business elite and has quickly become one of the Lower Mainland’s must-attend golf events. To get involved with the Goldcorp Invitational, please contact Christina Hadley by e-mail or by phone at 604-737-3073 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

>> Read the 2014 event recap in the SOBC Bulletin newsletter (page 10)

>> More event information

Fun and increased involvement at intro events

Basketball BC and SOBC try-it day

Try-it days offer Special Olympics BC the opportunity to raise awareness about the many benefits of being involved with our fun and valuable programs, and several of these introductory events recently held around Sports Day in Canada (November 29) inspired great engagement and interest.

SOBC and Basketball BC staged a basketball try-it day at the Langley Events Centre (pictured at right) that thrilled the athletes and families who attended, thanks in large part to the current SOBC – Langley basketball players who participated to share their experiences and encourage the new participants. One young athlete joined the local basketball program the week after the event! SOBC also joined fellow provincial sport organizations at the Come & Try Sports Event at Fortius Sport & Health, which offered great opportunities to raise awareness and encourage involvement in sports.

Lots more chances to give Special Olympics a try are coming in the new year! SOBC is teaming up with School District #68 in Nanaimo to host try-it days for their students with intellectual disabilities starting in March. And children with intellectual disabilities and families can check out SOBC’s fun and welcoming youth programs at the annual SOBC Youth Day at the EA Sports complex in Burnaby when it returns on May 23. Stay tuned to the SOBC calendar of events for more opportunities coming throughout 2015!

Athlete Leadership & Youth Activation Council participants inspire

SOBC Athlete Leadership & Youth Activation Council Conference

“Before I joined Special Olympics, I didn’t really know about myself, and I only had a few friends. But now, since I joined Special Olympics, I not only know about myself, but I have lots of friends.” -SOBC – Vancouver athlete Alex Pang

“I love Special Olympics because I get to compete, and win medals, and have fun.” -SOBC – Dawson Creek athlete David Johnston

The above comments are a selection of the powerful sentiments shared by participants in SOBC’s recent Athlete Leadership & Youth Activation Council Conference as they made inspiring videos that are now live on SOBC’s YouTube channel!

>> Watch videos

>> Read the event recap

SOBC staff update

SOBC logo

Special Olympics BC is excited to welcome Emma Woo, who will join the Provincial Office staff first thing in the new year in the Manager, Sport, position funded by Special Olympics Canada. Emma just completed her bachelor’s degree in Human Kinetics at UBC Okanagan, and has a background in sport as a varsity basketball player, swim instructor, and senior lifeguard. While at UBCO she volunteered to administer SOBC’s functional testing in the Okanagan so she has an understanding of the program and our athletes. Emma takes over from Lauren van Oosten, who has moved on to pursue other exciting opportunities but still plans to volunteer with Special Olympics. Welcome Emma!