Special Olympics BC November Newsletter 2023

November 2023

Sport & Programs Spotlight

Congratulations to SOBC winners and finalists for the 2023 Special Olympics Canada Awards

We are so proud of SOBC – Smithers coach Gale Jones, deserving winner of Special Olympics Canada’s 2023 Coach of the Year award! Jones was celebrated along with fellow award winners during the 2023 Special Olympics Canada National Awards Night on November 2.

We also send a big shoutout to other SOBC winners and finalists for this year’s awards:
🎉 Mark Heartt, current Special Olympics Alberta member, former SOBC coach: fellow Coach of the Year winner
🎉 Torben Schuffert, SOBC – Smithers: Athlete of the Year finalist

📺 Rewatch the ceremony
📰 Read more about Gale and the other deserving winners and nominees

Special Olympics Canada’s annual National Awards are an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the outstanding Special Olympics members across the country who exemplify the spirit and passion of the movement.

➡️ Learn more

More stories and resources

Fundraising Spotlight

The 2023 Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals auction launches November 20!

From November 20 to 23, the Sports Celebrities Festival auction will feature the finest in sport experiences and memorabilia, luxury and lifestyle items, travel, food and wine, and so much more! Funds raised will support SOBC’s passionate athletes and life-changing sport programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

Please get ready to tell everyone about the opportunity to bid – it’s a great chance to benefit SOBC and win premium items in sport, travel, lifestyle, and more!

⭐ Learn more about the 2023 Sports Celebrities Festival

More events and opportunities

Competition Spotlight

#SOTeamBC2024 Training Squad setting their sights on Calgary

The countdown continues for the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, with members of the Special Olympics Team BC 2024 Training Squad holding training camps throughout this month!

From November 10 to 12, athletes, coaches, and mission staff of the cross country skiing and snowshoeing teams came together for a fun training camp in West Kelowna! It was a wonderful weekend full of practices, teamwork, and friendship!

#SOTeamBC2024’s figure skating team also laced up for a training session this weekend, sharpening their routines and refining their skills for National Games!

❄️ Find photos

So excited for our upcoming training camps happening around the province this month:
⛷️ Alpine skiing: November 18 to 19
🏒 Comox Valley Vipers floor hockey: November 26

➡️ Learn more about #SOTeamBC2024

More stories

  • Get ready for 2024 Summer Regional Qualifiers! As part of the Special Olympics Games cycle, SOBC Locals and Regions around the province host Regional Qualifiers, where athletes compete for the chance to advance to the next Provincial Games. In 2024, summer-sport Regional Qualifiers will be hosted around the province, for athletes trying to qualify for the 2025 Special Olympics BC Winter Games. Learn more
  • Coach and athlete application deadlines have been extended to November 20 for the Lhtako Quesnel 2024 BC Winter Games!BC Games are different and separate from Special Olympics BC Games, and they are a valuable external competition opportunity. They bring together British Columbia’s best young high-performance athletes for four days of competition.❄️ For the 2024 BC Winter Games, Special Olympics BC will send athletes and coaches in figure skating, speed skating, and – for the first time – cross country skiing! This is a great opportunity to gain Games experience outside of SOBC competitions, and showcase our amazing athlete talent alongside high-performance athletes, coaches, and officials from across the province. Learn more📋 For more information about BC Games, please contact

Athlete Leadership Spotlight

Athlete Leaders share the joy of sport, community and friendship with SOBC

With Special Olympics BC’s 43rd season of year-round programs underway, athletes are sharing what it’s like to be a part of such an inclusive and empowering community.

Our newest cohort of Athlete Reporters (along with some familiar voices!) interviewed athletes in their communities to find out what they are most looking forward to in the year ahead. They shared their favourite Special Olympics moments, memories, and achievements.

“I plan to keep on going for many years to come. It is truly a blessing in my life, and everybody means the world to me.”

-SOBC – Oceanside athlete Brandy Knight

📰 Read more

More events and opportunities

  • Athlete Leadership for this year has concluded, but there are more courses being planned in the new year! Athletes and volunteer mentors who want to build their skills are invited to sign up for the Athlete Leadership Academy so you can be contacted about future courses and opportunities!

Story Spotlight

“I have been bowling since I was a teenager and I feel that I am getting better every year. Going to National Games is proof that I am getting better.”

Special Olympics BC – Chilliwack’s Corey Bennett is a multi-sport athlete who enjoys the camaraderie and empowerment of Special Olympics. Bennett is currently a member of the Special Olympics Team BC 2024 Training Squad, where he is working hard to compete at the 2024 Special Olympics Canada National Winter Games for 5-pin bowling!

➡️ Read more about Corey
➡️ Suggest people for future profiles


More Resources

  • After three decades of game-changing work as a Special Olympics BC staff member, Lois McNary is retiring from her role as Vice President, Sport, at the end of 2023. Over the years, Lois has been known and celebrated for her passion, commitment, and vision for this life-changing movement! Read more


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We always welcome feedback on Special Olympics BC’s E-newsletter! Please contact SOBC Communications Coordinator Jacob Lee at with your ideas.


Special Olympics BC
210-3701 Hastings St.
Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2H6

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