BasketballRQ_NShore_5014 February 2014
SOBC – Campbell River athlete Beau Wryghte (right) will take to the court with Region 6 teammates at the BC Winter Games.

On February 20 to 23, Special Olympics BC basketball players from all over the province will take to the court at the BC Games for the first time ever.

The Mission 2014 BC Winter Games will include a Special Olympics Basketball division for the first time at this event, featuring seven teams of SOBC athletes ages 14 to 45 going for gold representing their home zones.

“Special Olympics athletes have been part of the BC Summer Games for many years competing in athletics and swimming,” said Kelly Mann, President and CEO of the BC Games Society.  “We are lucky to work with great organizations like Special Olympics British Columbia who proposed including basketball for the first time at the 2014 BC Winter Games, and we agreed that it would be a great addition to the sport line up.

“These athletes have trained and practiced their skills for the opportunity to represent their zone at the Games and we look forward to seeing the competition.”

We hope fans will come out to cheer on the teams taking to the courts in the University of the Fraser Valley North Gym! Click here for the full schedule

The seven teams will be composite squads comprised of athletes from different Locals in the Region.

Meet the teams

Region 2: This young and committed team includes athletes from the SOBC – Kelowna and SOBC – Vernon Sport Start programs, and from SOBC – Penticton’s basketball squad. They showed their dedication by practicing together in advance of the BC Games and will be exciting to watch.

Timothy Lord, SOBC – Penticton: “I want to do the best that I can and develop new friends.”

Timothy and Greg Ovenden featured in the Penticton Western News

Erika Wamsteeker, SOBC – Vernon: Erika’s goals for the Games are “to have fun and meet new friends and maybe bring home a medal.”

Region 3: Two teams will represent this big region, one comprised of SOBC – Langley and SOBC – Surrey athletes and the other of athletes from SOBC – Abbotsford, SOBC – Coquitlam, and SOBC – Ridge Meadows; both will be strong and the games will be great.

Christian Burton, SOBC – Langley: Christian’s BC Games goal is “to try and win and help others.”

Inderpal Gill, SOBC – Abbotsford: “I want to score and I want to run more!”

Melissa Stander, SOBC – Coquitlam: “Sport has kept me fit in body and mind and healthy as well as being a great social part of my life.”

Region 4: It’s exciting to have talented athletes from all three Region 4 Locals – Burnaby, Delta, and Richmond – taking part in the BC Games with this composite squad.

Mary Armstrong, SOBC – Burnaby (tweet pictured below): “This is my first time going to BC Winter Games for basketball. I am excited to play and meet new friends.”

Kris Cohen, SOBC – Richmond: Because of his participation in sports, Kris says, “I feel very good in my life.”

Region 5: Super hoopsters from SOBC – North Shore and SOBC – Vancouver make up this team that is sure to produce great on-court action.

Casey Cochrane, SOBC – Vancouver: Participating in sports “has helped with coordination, strength, and social and communications skills. I have made lots of friends because of sport, and also I am more focused and have better skills.”

Tyrone Liebenberg, SOBC – North Shore: “My life has changed completely since joining SOBC – I enjoy the teamwork, camaraderie, and especially the aim to do better, both as a team and individually.”

Region 6: This team of terrific Island athletes will be another one to watch with players from the new and growing SOBC – Victoria basketball program taking the court with SOBC – Campbell River all-stars.

Meliah Motchman, SOBC – Victoria: “Sport keeps me healthy and strong. I have made friends doing sports.”

Beau Wryghte, SOBC – Campbell River: Beau’s BC Games goals are “to support my team members, to support and listen to the coaches, and to have lots of fun.”

Region 7: It’s a big thrill to have terrific athletes from the new SOBC – Prince Rupert and Terrace basketball programs journeying to the Lower Mainland to represent their Region.

Joel Larsen, SOBC – Prince Rupert: “This is my first trip away from home without my mom, I am so excited for freedom, fun, and hanging out with my teammates.”

Check out the Terrace Standard’s preview of the Region 7 squad

Meet all the SOBC participants and check out results (when available) by clicking here and selecting “Basketball – Special Olympics” under Sport.

Many of the SOBC athletes participating competed in the 2013 SOBC Summer Games in Langley, and some will also take the court in the Special Olympics Canada 2014 Summer Games, where basketball will be included at the National Games level for the first time. An exciting year for Special Olympics hoops!

About the 2014 BC Winter Games:

At the Mission 2014 BC Winter Games, the SOBC teams will be among more than 1,300 athletes supported by 346 coaches and 156 officials. The participants will represent their zones competing in 18 different sports, all staged with the support of up to 2,000 volunteers in the host community of Mission and venues in Abbotsford, the Township of Langley, Pitt Meadows, Hemlock, and Whistler. More 2014 BC Winter Games details

Follow the BC Games:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcgames/sets/72157635304927040/

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Looking forward to join the games. Go V