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TABLE OF CONTENTS

November 2015 Newsletter

Team BC 2016 making terrific strides in training

Give the gift of sport

Good luck SOBC powerlifters!

Safeway nourishes Special Olympics champions

Regional Qualifiers restart summer-sport competition cycle

JYSK campaign for champions a great success

Learning and sharing at SOBC Regional Conferences

Variety – The Children’s Charity joins with Goldcorp, the Government of B.C., and the Government of Canada to help create new opportunities for kids

Athlete Leadership opportunities upcoming

Mary Brown’s combo helps fuel champions

Lacing up for Special Olympics with GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Theriault, Special Olympics included in continent’s first official Olympic Museum

SOBC Leadership Summit participants inspire, engage

Microsoft appreciates Special Olympics athletes

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Special Olympics BC - Coquitlam athlete Rene Girard

Meet SOBC – Coquitlam athlete Rene Girard, who says he loves all sports, competing to the best of his ability, being with his friends, and having fun.

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Special Olympics BC provincial sponsors

November 2015 Newsletter

Special Olympics BC snowshoer William Thatcher in the 2015 Provincial Games

Please note: The SOBC Provincial Office will be closed for the holidays from December 19 to January 3, returning January 4.

Team BC 2016 making terrific strides in training

Special Olympics Team BC cross-country skier Justin Sigal

With under 100 days to go until the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, the 129 athletes on the Team BC 2016 Training Squad have been making terrific strides in their training with the help of their families, training coaches, and the 52 Team BC coaches and mission staff. The snow sports athletes and coaches worked hard at their training camp at Sun Peaks Resort this past weekend, and the last training camp will take place this weekend with the curlers in Quesnel.

Please click here for the team’s latest tales of tremendous gains through their training!

>> Learn more about Team BC 2016

Give the gift of sport

SOBC holiday giving 2015

December 1 is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving after the sales of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. On Giving Tuesday and throughout this holiday season, you can help make a Team BC athlete’s dream come true! Your holiday donation to Special Olympics BC will help give athletes the life-changing experience of competing at the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador.

When athletes with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to take part in Special Olympics Games, they change attitudes and inspire everyone with their pride, sportsmanship, abilities, and joy.

We are grateful to all who will consider giving the gift of sport with SOBC on Giving Tuesday and in this holiday season. Thank you for spreading the word about this opportunity to support Team BC 2016!

>> Donate now

>> Read more

Good luck SOBC powerlifters!

SOBC powerlifter Callum Maclagan

The 2015 Commonwealth Powerlifting Championships are coming to Richmond, and SOBC powerlifters from Abbotsford, Campbell River, Chilliwack, Langley, and Vancouver are set to compete on December 1! Good luck to all!

Please click here to read more about competitors Tye Cranton and Callum Maclagan (pictured at right) and the SOBC – Campbell River powerlifting program.

Safeway nourishes Special Olympics champions

Safeway and Special Olympics campaign in Castlegar

From October 16 to November 1, the 2015 Special Olympics Canada and Safeway Nourish Champions campaign raised significant funds and awareness for Special Olympics programs in communities across western Canada. This year’s campaign, which raised $520,084 nationwide, had an emphasis on nourishing champions and supporting Special Olympics athletes, coaches and parents in their pursuit of proper nutrition in order to perform their best.

SOBC – 100 Mile House Local Coordinator Denise Thiessen said the support from Safeway and their community is so appreciated.

“We had a great day, met some wonderful people, and the awesome support from the community is overwhelming!” Thiessen said. “We enjoy doing this each year as it gets my athletes mingling with the community, and it’s wonderful to see the smiles on their faces, but also on the customers’ faces!”

>> Read more

Regional Qualifiers restart summer-sport competition cycle

Athletics Regional Qualifier

We’re excited about the 2016 season of summer-sport Regional Qualifiers, where Special Olympics BC athletes all over the province will give their all while competing to qualify for the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games.

In the 2017 Provincial Games, athletes will compete for the opportunity to advance to the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, the qualifier for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. For SOBC athletes, it all starts right here with the Regional Qualifiers.

A significant number of Locals around the province will host these exciting competitions, and 2016 will see many firsts. The first Basketball Regional Qualifiers to be held on the Island and in the North will be hosted by SOBC – Campbell River and SOBC – Prince George, respectively, and Kelowna and Fort St. John will be hosting their first-ever rhythmic gymnastics qualifiers.

Big thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who make these important opportunities possible, and best of luck to all competitors!

>> Learn more

JYSK campaign for champions a great success

Special Olympics BC - Prince George athletes Barbie and Marinka at their local JYSK.

JYSK ran another successful fundraiser this year as stores across Canada stepped up for the 2015 Champions Start at Home campaign for Special Olympics, raising $71,627 nationwide as customers showed their generous support throughout September. Thank you to our partners at JYSK who have topped up this year’s fundraising total to $100,000 for Special Olympics Canada.

B.C. customers participated in the campaign at nine JYSK stores across the province in Coquitlam, Delta, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Pitt Meadows, Prince George, Richmond, and Surrey.

The Prince George JYSK store raised the most money in the country for the third year in a row and were awarded a plaque for Highest Dollar Amount for all their hard work. SOBC – Prince George athletes Barbie Conway and Marinka VanHage baked goods and organized volunteers for bake sales, and athletes helped bag groceries and greet customers. The JYSK staff got into the action by donating baked goods and holding a fundraising barbecue with SOBC volunteers.

>> Read more

Learning and sharing at SOBC Regional Conferences

The 2015-2016 Special Olympics BC Region 5 Conference on November 14 at the Creekside Community Centre in Vancouver was a great success. More than 20 volunteers, coaches, and athlete representatives from the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver, and the North Shore participated in a day of learning, sharing, and meaningful discussion of SOBC programs and initiatives. Topics included volunteerism, organizational efficiency, youth programs, competition, and finances.

There are more Regional Conferences to come in 2016:

  • Regions 1 and 2: April 30 to May 1, Grand Forks
  • Region 6: April 1 to 3, Camp Qwanoes in Crofton
  • Regions 7 and 8: September 30 to October 2, Ness Lake Bible Camp in Prince George

Please contact your local Regional Coordinator or Manager, Community Development to learn more!

Variety – The Children’s Charity joins with Goldcorp, the Government of B.C., and the Government of Canada to help create new opportunities for kids

Variety - The Children's Charity

With the help of new funding from Variety – The Children’s Charity, Special Olympics BC is able to launch 15 new youth programs around the province this season.

Variety has granted $15,000 to SOBC to help fund the implementation of new programs for children with intellectual disabilities in the 2015-16 sport season in locations such as Burnaby, Creston, Delta, Elk Valley, Nakusp, Nelson, Mission, Penticton, Surrey, Terrace, and Vanderhoof.

In spring 2015, there were just over 800 athletes under the age of 18 registered in SOBC youth programs. SOBC is working to introduce more children with intellectual disabilities to our fun and rewarding youth programs, aiming to serve 940 children under the age of 18 by 2016.

>> Read more

Athlete Leadership opportunities upcoming

SOBC logo

Through Special Olympics BC’s Athlete Leadership program, athletes develop the skills and abilities to take leadership positions in a number of roles including public speaking, sitting on Local Committees, and assisting as fundraising and program volunteers. This program is proven to have a lasting benefit to its participants by increasing confidence and self-esteem as well as providing input and insight into athlete issues – a valuable resource to SOBC.

There are many ways that SOBC athletes can get involved with public speaking and increase their self-confidence. Our Athlete Leadership offerings include:

  • Athlete Speakers Bureau sessions
  • Athletes as Program Mentors workshops
  • Athlete Governance Congress

SOBC is planning an Athlete Leadership training event to be held in Richmond in April 2016 for participants from around the province. Athletes interested in being involved are invited to speak with their Local Coordinators to learn more.

Mary Brown’s combo helps fuel champions

Mary Brown's poster

Between November 2 and January 3, proceeds from the Mary Brown’s Cran Mary Combo support the Mary Brown’s Fund and Special Olympics! Visit the Kelowna location for a festive feast.

For more than a decade, across Canada, the Mary Brown’s Fund has raised over a quarter of a million dollars in support of worthy charities. The Mary Brown’s Fund proudly supports Special Olympics Canada.

 

Lacing up for Special Olympics with GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

SOBC logo

This year, for the first time, Special Olympics BC joined the Charity Pledge Program in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon on October 11. The five runners who laced up in support of Special Olympics were very successful on the course and off, raising more than $13,700 for SOBC and Locals.

Runner Milton Carrasco is a longtime friend and client of the late John Sims, who was a distinguished Chartered Accountant, partner at Manning Elliott Chartered Accountants, and 10-year member of SOBC’s Board of Directors. Carrasco co-founded an SOBC endowment fund in Sims’ honour to recognize his friend and mentor’s dedicated and thoughtful service to SOBC. Running his first-ever half-marathon in the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, Carrasco raised more than $6,000 for the John M. Sims Fund. Carrasco was the top fundraiser in the whole race, and his company Transoft Solutions Inc. generously matched his impressive fundraising.

SOBC – Victoria Local Coordinator Joy Croll, Victoria coach Anne-Marie Sutherland, SOBC Region 6 Coordinator Jean Tetarenko, and SOBC volunteer Rachel Maxcy all joined Carrasco in running and raising funds through the great Victoria event.

Big thanks to all the runners and donors who supported Special Olympics, as well as the volunteers and athletes who helped out at the Victoria event!

Theriault, Special Olympics included in continent’s first official Olympic Museum

Special Olympics BC athlete Marc Theriault at the ROX

North America’s first Olympic Museum opened in Richmond this month, and Special Olympics BC – Surrey athlete Marc Theriault and the Special Olympics movement are included among the exciting displays.

The Richmond Olympic Experience (ROX) at the Richmond Olympic Oval is the first member of the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Museums Network to be located in North America.

Among the ROX’s displays are a tribute to the achievements of SOBC – Surrey athlete Theriault, as well as memorabilia from the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games held in Vancouver and Richmond, and background on the Special Olympics movement changing lives through the power of sport.

>> Read more

SOBC Leadership Summit participants inspire, engage

Cheryl of Special Olympics BC - Vernon and Heather of SOBC – Comox Valley

On October 2 and 3, more than 100 Special Olympics BC volunteers, athlete and youth leaders, and staff from across the province gathered in the Lower Mainland for a weekend of inspiring speakers and networking opportunities at the 2015 SOBC Leadership Summit.

The summit, the first of its kind in five years, gave community leaders from 50 Locals and Leadership Council members the chance to learn from expert speakers and each other, and bring new tools and ideas back to their communities or Regions.

“I thought the summit was very empowering not only to me as a volunteer but to the athletes as well,” SOBC – Prince George Local Coordinator Alexandra Orser said. “It was great to hear from all the speakers who had such a diverse background speak to what Special Olympics is really about. As someone who has just started out as a volunteer, it was really encouraging to meet different volunteers from all over the province who are very passionate about what they do. I loved hearing testimonials that Special Olympics isn’t just about sports but a community and a way of life for our athletes.”

>> Read more

Microsoft appreciates Special Olympics athletes

Special Olympics athletes at Microsoft

On November 28, Microsoft Canada hosted Appreciate the Athlete events in several stores across the country, welcoming Special Olympics athletes, coaches, volunteers, and family members to share their stories and mingle with Microsoft customers, products, and games. SOBC members enjoyed Microsoft’s athlete appreciation events at the stores in CF Pacfic Centre (pictured at right) and Metropolis at Metrotown!

We are grateful to Microsoft for these fun events and for their ongoing and growing global support of Special Olympics.