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July 2016 Newsletter

Special Olympics BC - Victoria bocce team

Photo courtesy of Jean Tetarenko, SOBC Region 6 Coordinator

Fun and inclusive season of Regional Qualifiers a big success

SOBC athletes showed their skills at the Aquatics Regional Qualifier for Region 1 hosted by SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook.

Special Olympics BC – Invermere athlete Andrew Galligan said participating in a Regional Qualifier for the first time was a “fun and satisfying” experience.

Galligan said he was “surprised and honoured” when his coach asked him to compete at the Aquatics Regional Qualifier for Region 1 hosted by SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook. While Galligan said he was a little nervous at first, he set many personal bests at the event and said it was a great feeling to swim while the crowd cheered him on.

July’s golf and bocce competitions wrapped up the 2016 season of summer-sport Regional Qualifiers, where SOBC athletes competed in 50 events across the province – the most in SOBC history! Locals around the province hosted exciting competitions in 5- and 10-pin bowling, powerlifting, soccer, rhythmic gymnastics, basketball, athletics, softball, and swimming.

With the support of dedicated volunteers and coaches, SOBC athletes gave their all as they thrilled spectators, created friendships, and competed to qualify for the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games.

>> Read more

Read our February, April, and June Regional Qualifier recap stories.

Goldcorp Invitational reaches new heights

Goldcorp Invitational golfers congratulate Special Olympics putter Malcolm Borsoi

By raising almost $320,000 for Special Olympics BC, the 2016 Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament broke the event’s fundraising records and provides significant support for life-changing SOBC programs and opportunities.

Special Olympics is “such an important cause, and it makes such an impact on the lives of the people we try to help,” Goldcorp Chairman Ian Telfer said at the 2016 tournament.

We are truly grateful to Goldcorp and all of the generous tournament sponsors who make a difference with their support!

>> Read more

BC Games bring opportunities for athletes to shine

Special Olympics swim team at BC Games

The 2016 BC Summer Games have kicked off in Abbotsford, and Special Olympics BC athletics and swimming athletes are set to shine! The 39 athletes from around the province are competing Friday through Sunday, June 22 to 24, participating in Special Olympics divisions alongside more than 3,600 participants from all over the province. The swim team is pictured above right enjoying a great practice day at the pool on Thursday before the evening’s Opening Ceremony!

>> Details and links to photos and coverage

Proud moments with Staples campaign

SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook athlete Erin Thom and Cranbrook Staples General Manager Mickey McGuire celebrate the store surpassing its fundraising goals.

Special Olympics BC – Prince George athlete Barbie Conway thinks this year’s Staples Canada Give a Toonie Share a Dream campaign was the best one yet.

The Give a Toonie Share a Dream campaign raises funds and awareness to help make dreams come true for Special Olympics athletes. During this important campaign, Special Olympics athletes and volunteers join Staples staff in stores to invite customers to donate at the till or online. The 2016 campaign, which took place from May 7 to June 5, raised more than $550,000 across Canada.

Our heartfelt thanks to Staples Canada staff and customers, and to all the athletes and volunteers across the province who gave their time and energy to this important campaign!

>> Read more

Marvellous progress with SOBC Performance Program

Performance Program swimming camp

“Truly marvellous” growth and gains were observed in Special Olympics BC coaches and athletes through the Performance Program in the 2015-16 sport season, which was the fourth year of operation for this groundbreaking initiative.

SOBC’s Performance Program is a long-term plan for enhancing the skills and performance of coaches and through them, all SOBC athletes. The program is not just for elite athletes – it’s for coaches who are open to new training techniques and athletes who are committed to training. Participating coaches and athletes take the skills that they learn back to their local programs to benefit all athletes, not just a few.

In this fourth season of operation, new coaches have been introduced into the program in a wide range of sports, and the coaches with previous Performance Program experience have done a fabulous job of mentoring the newcomers to continue expanding the impact and reach of the program’s tools and vision.

>> Read more

Big Mary Day benefitting Special Olympics

Mary Brown's logo

We’re excited for Mary Brown’s Big Mary Day on July 27! Along with providing customers with prizes, games, and special offers, this fun-filled event will see Mary Brown’s donate $2 from the sale of every Big Mary Signature Chicken Sandwich and Big Mary Combo nationwide to benefit the Mary Brown’s Fund in support of Special Olympics Canada.

Throughout July, Mary Brown’s will be inviting customers to support Special Olympics through donation boxes at its restaurants, including locations in Chilliwack, Dawson Creek, Kelowna, and Merritt. Guests can also purchase a $1 paper heart that will be prominently displayed in-store.

Big thanks to Mary Brown’s and its customers for their generous support!

Continued expansion for SOBC health initiatives

SOBC - Prince George Fit Families & Friends

With the support of a Special Olympics Healthy Community grant, the Golisano Foundation, and our ongoing Provincial Partners, Special Olympics BC is continuing to expand our health programming. One component of this is launching Fit Families & Friends programming with the help of the Golisano Foundation Healthy Community grant! Prince George, Sunshine Coast, and Kelowna have programs in summer 2016 – please click here for details!

We’re also looking forward to our next Healthy Athletes Screening Days this fall – stay tuned for details! At the Soccer Regional Qualifier in Abbotsford, 75 athletes had Fit Feet screenings, helping them on the playing field and throughout their lives.

Law enforcement take to the trails for inspiring Island Torch Runs

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC

Vancouver Island law enforcement titans teamed up with local Special Olympics athletes in June for inspiring Law Enforcement Torch Run events supporting Special Olympics BC.

On June 18, members of the Saanich Police Department, Central Saanich Police Service, Victoria Police Department, Oak Bay Police Department, and Canadian Armed Forces came together with SOBC – Victoria athletes at the Saanich PD for their annual five-kilometre walk/run along the Galloping Goose Trail. The event ended back at the police station with a yummy pancake breakfast by donation.

On June 25, LETR champions at the Nanaimo RCMP staged the sixth annual Nanaimo Torch Run with SOBC – Nanaimo athletes and other community members, including the Military Police. Runners and walkers gathered at Maffeo Sutton Park and took off on a five-kilometre route along the city’s waterfront.

>> Read more

Coach development opportunities to come

NCCP logo

This fall’s slate of opportunities for Special Olympics BC coaches will include NCCP courses in locations around the province – watch for dates and details to be posted on SOBC’s website calendar, Facebook, and Twitter! The current tentative dates are:

  • September 24-25: Revelstoke and Vancouver
  • October 1-2: Prince George
  • October 15-16: Victoria and Coquitlam
  • November 5-6: Delta

National Coaches Week is set to return September 17 to 25, and will include many free courses for coach development. Once details are released, we encourage interested coaches to register as soon as possible, because spots will fill up fast – please stay tuned to the Coaching Association of Canada and viaSport British Columbia for news as well as SOBC channels.

Microsoft helping Special Olympics elevate performance

Microsoft, Special Olympics International Official Technology Partner, has generously reached out to British Columbia to help our coaches and athletes pursue personal bests. We are grateful to Microsoft for donating 15 Surface tablets for use by Performance Program coaches to improve training techniques.

Microsoft became a Special Olympics Global Sponsor in 2014, committing to a three-year multi-million dollar global partnership. Microsoft provided over 2,000 hardware devices, GMS updates, software, and financial support to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee to operate the Games, and has deployed in-kind software suites to all 220 accredited Special Olympics Programs globally. Additionally, Microsoft provides digital promotion to increase inclusion and awareness of Special Olympics’ mission and will be the Premier Sponsor and Official Technology Partner of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games.

>> Learn more about the global partnership

Hooray! Registration time!

SOBC logo

Special Olympics BC community programs are holding registration events throughout the summer and early fall! All current athletes, coaches, and volunteers are reminded it is important to attend registration events each season to reconnect with your Local – check out the SOBC website calendar. If you aren’t able to attend a registration event, you must follow up with your Local. Thank you all!