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December 2016 Newsletter

Season's greetings from SOBC

Please note: The SOBC Provincial Office will be closed for the holidays from December 17 to January 2, returning January 3. We wish you all joy in the holiday season and a wonderful 2017!

SOBC year-end newsletter available now

SOBC 2016 newsletter cover

The 2016 Special Olympics BC year-end newsletter is here! Read about some of the great stories and inspiring moments that happened around the province this year. Check it out and share with your family and friends!

>> Find newsletter

SOBC holiday gift guide

SOBC holiday gift ideas

This year, give a gift that gives back! Here are some ideas to help supporters of Special Olympics find the perfect present this holiday season:

Give the gift of #YesICan
“It’s a place where I know I am accepted just as myself. It feels like family to me. I can be something great in Special Olympics.” – Carson Buzdegan, SOBC – Langley

Athletes discover their greatness every day with Special Olympics. Give the gift of #YesICan with a donation to SOBC this holiday season and help more athletes with intellectual disabilities show the world what they can do.

If you donate as a gift before December 16 at 3 p.m., we will send a Special Olympics BC card directly to the recipient on your behalf.

There’s a Norseman in the Classroom! by Delta Police Constable Grayson Smith
“Maybe the classroom is JUST THE PLACE for a Norseman!” There’s a Norseman in the Classroom! is a fun, beautifully illustrated children’s book with an inclusive message.

Two dollars from the sale of every book will go to benefit Special Olympics BC.

Order your copy on Peppermint Toast Publishing’s website or Amazon.ca.

Alex and Ani Power of Unity bangle
The beautiful Power of Unity bangle features the Special Olympics symbol on one side and the Athlete’s Oath on the other, and is available in both silver and gold. Alex and Ani will donate 20 per cent of the purchase price of every bangle sold to Special Olympics.

You can purchase your bangle online or at the retail outlets across Canada that currently sell Alex and Ani jewelry.

Hockey night with the BC LETR

SOBC – Delta athletes at a Vancouver Giants game

Add some thrilling hockey action to your holiday season and support Special Olympics BC with the Delta Police Department. Be there cheering in the stands as the Vancouver Giants take on the Everett Silvertips on December 27 at the Langley Events Centre. Tickets are $18, with $5 from every ticket sold benefiting SOBC. Delta Police Department members will also be teaming up with SOBC athletes to sell 50-50 tickets at this Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraiser.

To purchase tickets, please contact Debra McLeod at dmcleod@deltapolice.ca

Venues set for 2017 SOBC Summer Games

Special Olympics BC Summer Games medallist

With the clock soon to tick over into the new year, the countdown is truly on toward the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games. January 6 marks six months to go, and excitement is building among the more than 1,600 athletes and coaches who will come together in Canada’s Tournament Capital for SOBC’s largest Provincial Games to date. The 2017 SOBC Summer Games venues will be:

  • Bowlertime and Falcon Lanes – 5- and 10-Pin Bowling
  • Brocklehurst Pool – Swimming
  • Kamloops Golf & Country Club – Golf
  • McArthur Island Park – Bocce, Soccer
  • Sandman Centre – Opening Ceremony, Powerlifting, Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • School District #73 schools – Basketball
  • Tournament Capital Centre Hillside Stadium – Athletics
  • Tournament Capital Ranch – Softball

Supporters planning a trip to Kamloops to catch the SOBC Summer Games action can check out the Families & Fans page on the Games site to find suggested accommodation options.

Please click here to find out more about the Games venues and meet the latest sponsors who have signed on to help make this empowering event possible!

Get freezin’ for a reason with the 2017 Polar Plunge

Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC

Get ready to laugh, splash, and support a great cause at the 2017 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC presented by Westminster Savings on March 4!

Registration is now open for this fun-filled Law Enforcement Torch Run event that will see participants dive into the icy waters of Kitsilano Beach to raise funds for SOBC. Plungers can sign up as a team or an individual. Encourage your friends, family, colleagues, and classmates to take part and join the fun!

Too chicken to get chilly? Send your contact information to plunge@specialolympics.bc.ca to get involved as a volunteer. Supporters can also help by making a donation to the Polar Plunge.

>> Register now

Team Canada 2017 training hard

Team Canada speed skaters

The 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games are three months away, coming to Austria March 14 to 24! Team Canada 2017 members are hard at work in their home communities and team training, including the super training camps this past weekend for alpine and cross country skiing and speed skating. Please click here and here to find a few photos.

The skiers headed to Vernon to train at Silver Star Mountain Resort and Sovereign Lake. “It was a great training camp,” wrote cross country skiing coach Ray Huson of SOBC – Penticton. “I think we are going to have an amazing national team!”

The speed skaters (pictured above right with Team Canada Honorary Coach Jamie Salé) hopped on the fast ice at the Calgary Olympic Oval and rubbed shoulders with Olympians Salé, Catriona Le May Doan, and Gilmore Junio.

Please click here to check out the great photos from the figure skating training camp by Team Canada mission staff and SOBC Region 5 Coordinator Darren Inouye.

The Team Canada snowshoers will head to their training camp January 12 to 15 in Saskatoon. Good luck to all, we are rooting for you all the way!

>> Team Canada 2017 site

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

Congrats to Summerland Sport Hero T.J. Fleming

T.J. Fleming and 5-pin bowling coaches

A hardworking volunteer, an inspiring coach, and a founding member of Special Olympics BC – Summerland, Local Coordinator T.J. Fleming has received a Sport BC Community Sport Hero Award for her outstanding contributions to amateur sport in her community.

In her more than nine years as a volunteer with SOBC, Fleming has shown she is eager to step up in any way she can to provide athletes in her Local with the best possible experience. Along with supporting all aspects of SOBC – Summerland’s programming as Local Coordinator and serving as Head Coach of the 5-pin bowling program, Fleming still finds time to help with her Local’s events and fundraising efforts.

>> Read more

Government of Canada supports and celebrates Special Olympics

Government of Canada logo

The Government of Canada has been a crucial supporter of Special Olympics Canada and Special Olympics BC, providing funds to develop new and existing sport programs and competitive opportunities. Without this significant support, we could not offer the full range of opportunities that make such a difference in the lives of Special Olympics athletes and their families.

>> Read more

SOBC coaches and athletes build skills at Performance Program camps

Athletes work to elevate their performance at September’s Speed Skating Performance Camp

Special Olympics BC – Nelson’s Bruce Walgren says the expert instruction he received at a Performance Program camp in September has helped him develop as a coach and strengthen his Local’s speed skating program.

In fall 2016, SOBC athletes and coaches from across the province participated in Performance Program camps in 11 sports. Along with sport-specific training, many of these camps included presentations on nutrition and fitness and a functional testing session, which provides feedback on where athletes are in their fitness and how they can improve, helping motivate and guide training.

Walgren said he learned a lot from working with the world-class experts and sharing techniques and strategies with other coaches at the camp. He has since taken what he has learned and used it to further improve SOBC – Nelson’s speed skating program.

>> Read more

St. Thomas More Collegiate helping end the R-word

Spreading the Word to End the R-word

Enthusiastic students at St. Thomas More Collegiate took up the Spread the Word to End the Word campaign this fall, and elicited positive reactions throughout their community with this campaign for respectful and inclusive language.

The campaign asks everyone to end use of the R-word and pledge respect toward all individuals, making the world a more accepting and inclusive place for all, especially those with intellectual disabilities.

>> Read more

Government of B.C. providing vital support to SOBC

SOBC - Golden athlete Sebastian Gylander and MLA Norm MacDonald

Support from the Government of B.C. helps Special Olympics BC offer life-changing experiences and programs to athletes across the province. Financially, between the government’s funding of sport and funds received through Community Gaming Grants from the Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch, SOBC received more than $367,000 in 2016. SOBC Locals also received gaming grants to support their year-round programs.

This significant level of funding is much appreciated and put to good use in expanding opportunities. Funds received help reduce costs of programs and competitions, host sport camps and events, transport athletes and coaches, create new opportunities, and expand Healthy Athletes screenings.

>> Read more

Pictured at right: SOBC – Golden athlete Sebastian Gylander recently visited MLA Norm MacDonald to share his story and our gratitude for the Government of B.C.’s support of Special Olympics.

Health info & opportunities shared in fun fall events

SOBC Healthy Athletes event Cranbrook

Thanks to the dedication of volunteers, enthusiastic participation of athletes, and generous support of sponsors, this fall’s Healthy Athletes Screening Days in Cranbrook and Burnaby were able to provide important health information and resources in a fun and welcoming environment.

SOBC’s Healthy Athletes program seeks to help address the critical health challenges facing individuals with intellectual disabilities. Globally, millions of people with intellectual disabilities lack access to quality health care and experience dramatically higher rates of preventable disease, chronic pain and suffering, and premature death in every country around the world. In developing and developed countries alike, people with intellectual disabilities are consistently one of the most marginalized population subsets – a status that comes with horrific health outcomes.

>> Read more

Floor hockey on the grow

Floor hockey Prince George Quesnel

It’s been a fantastic fall for floor hockey growth, with new programs and opportunities developing around the province. Special Olympics BC – Prince George and Quesnel have launched floor hockey programs – with Quesnel offering the sport for the very first time – and the two teams came together for games last weekend in Prince George that showed the great possibilities with the growth of this sport in the north.

The players and coaches were pumped, and showed awesome improvements through the day. For several of the athletes, this was their first competition and a fantastic first foray into Special Olympics events!

A shoutout also to SOBC – Castlegar for hosting their first floor hockey tournament this year! In November they held the West Kootenay Invitational Floor Hockey Tournament, creating a great new opportunity for regional teams to experience the joy of competition without having to travel.

Dueck Auto Group puts support in high gear

SOBC - Vancouver athletes at Dueck Auto Group.

Each summer, Dueck Auto Group hosts a series of Classic and Custom Car Shows to benefit Special Olympics BC, and 2016 was their most successful year yet.

The events were supported by SOBC athletes, who did a great job presenting awards to car owners and selling raffle tickets.

The 2016 shows kicked off in June with the Dueck Richmond Father’s Day Pancake Breakfast Show and Shine, which partnered with Riverside Corvette Club to host 100 classic cars of all makes and models. On July 10, Dueck Downtown had nearly 60 vehicles register for their fourth annual car show, and Dueck on Marine saw an amazing 200 cars take part in August.

The shows raised nearly $5,000 for Special Olympics BC and were fun-filled days out with great cars, music, and a barbecue for attendees. We are so grateful to Dueck Auto Group for organizing these events and supporting SOBC!

NCCP coaching course dates for 2017

National Coaching Certification Program

Coaches, get set for the National Coaching Certification Program courses coming your way in 2017! The new year will bring new opportunities to take the NCCP Special Olympics Competition Sport Workshop in Fort St. John on February 18-19, Kelowna March 25-26, Cranbrook April 8-9, and Campbell River May 5-6. Coaches going to the 2017 SOBC Summer Games must have completed this course. Lower Mainland course info will be coming soon in 2017.

Details on these events and more will be posted on the SOBC calendar.