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August 2017 Newsletter

Special Olympics BC Games athletics photo by Elaine Fleury

SOBC athletes impressed at 2017 Canada Games

SOBC - Surrey athlete Malcolm Borsoi

Special Olympics BC athletes made a big impression in the pool and on the track at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg July 28 to August 13, showing their abilities as they competed alongside more than 4,000 young athletes from all across the nation.

After racing hard in the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops, four SOBC track athletes and four swimmers headed to Winnipeg to join Team BC for the 2017 Canada Games. The SOBC athletes were part of the provincial team alongside athletes who from generic and Para sport streams; in competition, the SOBC athletes went head to head with Special Olympics athletes from across the country in SO divisions, showcasing their skills in front of this big national sporting crowd.

SOBC – Campbell River’s Jesse Shade set the tempo in swimming, winning five gold medals and smashing two Canada Games records for Special Olympics athletes with his times in 50m and 100m backstroke. On the track, SOBC – Surrey’s Malcolm Borsoi earned two medals in two events, sprinting to 200m gold with a Canada Games-record time and a 100m silver.

On the athletics side, SOBC – Quesnel’s Brock Terlesky, SOBC – Surrey’s Melissa Semke, and SOBC – Burnaby’s April Armstrong also shone in their 100m and 200m sprints, each achieving at least one personal-best time in their heats or races. In the pool, Shade was joined by SOBC – Cowichan Valley’s Mikyla Carlow, Cameron Chambers of SOBC – Kamloops, and Genny Verge of SOBC – Sunshine Coast, all of whom won multiple medals and delivered strong performances.

>> Read more

Team BC 2018 Training Squad news coming soon

Special Olympics Team BC 2018

We are excited to share that the members of Special Olympics Team BC 2018 will be announced online on August 31!

The provincial team members qualify based on their performances at the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops. This year, for the first time, Team BC will compete in two separate exciting national events: the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, July 29 to August 5, and the 2018 National Bowling Championships in Prince Edward Island, May 14 to 20.

Stay tuned to SOBC’s website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all your Team BC news!

Sports Celebrities Festival to celebrate the power of sport on November 2

Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter and SOBC - Vancouver athlete Alex Pang

The Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals is an inspiring and interactive gala celebrating the power of sport and the human spirit. Now in its 19th year, this popular event has raised more than $4.4 million in support of Special Olympics BC and the Canucks for Kids Fund.

This year, the glitzy gala will be held on November 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, headlined by Special Olympics BC – Vancouver athlete Alexander Pang and Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter (pictured at right)! This exciting event offers opportunities to meet and mingle with SOBC athletes and local sports heroes including the entire Vancouver Canucks roster.

Ways to get involved:

  • Please click here to donate to the live and silent auctions;
  • Please click here to view all sponsorship opportunities;
  • If you’re interested in purchasing a table to attend the event, please contact Christina Hadley by email or by phone at 604-737-3073.

>> Learn more

Upcoming health opportunities

Special Olympics Healthy Athletes

Special Olympics is changing the game for athlete health. Our ultimate goal is to create a world where people with and without intellectual disabilities have the same opportunity to be healthy. Please click here to read more about our range of health initiatives, and check out the events below! To get involved, please contact SOBC’s Ashten Black by email or by phone at 604-737-3081 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

  • The next SOBC Family Health Forum is coming up in Kelowna in early September! Date and location details will be posted on the SOBC website calendar and Facebook page. Special Olympics Family Health Forums give families of people with IDs direct access to information and connections for health care, social services, and Special Olympics programming. The events also give health care professionals, community leaders, and social service providers opportunities to learn from families about their experiences.
  • Mark your calendars: The next SOBC Healthy Athletes Screening Day will be hosted in Nanaimo on November 4! Stay tuned for time and location details.
  • SOBC is working with health care practitioners and students to help them build understanding and familiarity with intellectual disabilities, helping enhance care. Through conversations with the University of British Columbia, SOBC athletes have been invited to be volunteer demonstration patients for the UBC Clinical Skills program. This program is for medical students to practice diagnosing volunteer patients. Volunteers will be given a role to play and will give the students practice in patient interactions and communication, so interested SOBC athletes would be of great help in giving these students opportunities to work with people with IDs.
  • SOBC members might also be interested in attending an upcoming event being hosted by the UBC MD Development Disability Initiative in partership with SOBC, a talk directed toward medical students discussing care of patients with developmental disabilities. Check it out on September 11, 6 to 8 p.m., in Hardwick Hall in UBC’s Medical Student & Alumni Centre.

Goldcorp Invitational creates significant support for Special Olympics BC

Goldcorp Invitational Chair Michael Campbell and SOBC athlete Scott Fattedad

This year’s Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament was another significant success in support of Special Olympics BC! The June 2017 event raised more than $318,000 to benefit SOBC athletes and programs.

Goldcorp Invitational Chair and co-emcee Michael Campbell (pictured at right with athlete Scott Fattedad) reminded attendees of the important impact of their support. “It’s rare that you get an opportunity to change someone’s life, and that’s exactly what you do with Special Olympics,” Campbell said.

We are very grateful to Goldcorp and all the sponsors, volunteers, teams, and supporters who participate in this event to help change lives with SOBC!

>> Read more

Step into September with fun BC LETR events

Golden Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC

Whether at the fair or on the fairways, we can’t wait for the exciting BC Law Enforcement Torch Run events coming in September.

Golden Torch Run

Enjoy an amazing day of fun and festivities with the Golden Torch Run on September 9. This five-kilometre run/walk with Golden-Field RCMP members will start and end at the Golden Museum Fall Fair. This will give participants an opportunity to enjoy everything the fair has to offer, including a barbecue, live music, and a farmers market.

New Westminster Police Charity Golf Tournament

Get ready for a great day of golf at the New Westminster Police Charity Golf Tournament on September 25. This best ball tournament supports Honour House and SOBC. Registration includes 18 holes of golf, a power cart, and a banquet dinner.

>> Learn more

Functional testing results now available through new database

SOBC functional testing

Special Olympics BC – Castlegar athlete Liam Donnelly said seeing what he could accomplish at a functional testing session inspired him to train harder and take pride in his health. “I learned so much in one day,” Donnelly said. “It was so much fun – I had a blast!”

In functional testing, athletes take part in exercises that measure fitness and test their foundational movements, generating data to help track and motivate progress. Coaches can now access their athletes’ results from 2016-17 sessions through a new SOBC functional testing database. They will also be able to see how these results compare to averages for athletes in their Local, in a specific sport, or throughout the province.

This will help coaches track an athlete’s progress and evaluate the effectiveness of their training programs. The functional testing database will include results from all future sessions.

If you are a coach who is interested in accessing functional testing results, please contact SOBC’s James Marchand by email or by phone at 604-616-1342 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Stay tuned for information on functional testing sessions coming this fall!

Coaches Week opportunities coming soon

National Coaches Week logo

National Coaches Week is one month away, coming up September 23 to 30! Can’t wait to celebrate the dedicated coaches who make SOBC’s year-round programs and empowering experiences possible! #ThanksCoach

Coaches can check out viaSport British Columbia’s website to find a great range of NCCP courses on offer for just $10, including Make Ethical Decisions workshops and Fundamental Movement Skills courses (a great module for youth program leaders). Courses fill up quickly, so coaches are encouraged to register at your earliest convenience.

Also during Coaches Week, SOBC coaches will have the chance to win prizes in a new contest involving the mental training tools in our Coach Diary created with Dr. Laura Farres. Watch the videos and stay tuned for the contest question to be announced in Coaches Week!

motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna returns in September

motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna

The exciting and inspiring motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna will be back this fall! On September 23, SOBC athletes will join teams of young professionals in Kelowna’s City Park for a day full of sport, inclusion, laughter, and fun.

Kelowna’s motionball Marathon of Sport presented by Interior Savings Credit Union is a high-energy event with teams competing in a variety of sports, such as basketball, soccer, and beach volleyball. Teams have a lot of fun, create meaningful friendships, and raise funds to support the Special Olympics Canada Foundation and Special Olympics programs across the country.

Past participant Darrell Manderson recently told the Kelowna Capital News about the event’s important impact on everyone involved.

“First and foremost it is for the athletes,” Manderson said. “motionball raises awareness for an organization that betters the lives of those with intellectual disabilities. And we all get to experience, firsthand, the impact it is having on athletes’ lives.”

>> Learn more and support participants

Susan Wang honoured with Spirit of Canada 150 Award

Special Olympics BC - Surrey athlete Susan Wang

A cheerful, humble athlete who is passionate about alpine skiing, Special Olympics BC – Surrey’s Susan Wang is a winner of a Spirit of Canada 150 Award!

Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie honoured Wang’s achievements in competition and through her dedicated training by selecting her for the award. Wang received her Spirit of Canada 150 Award with fellow local recipients in a ceremony with MP Hardie on June 24, where they were all celebrated for making a difference in their community.

An accomplished alpine skier, Wang was a member of Special Olympics Team Canada 2017 and won a bronze medal and a fourth-place finish at the Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria.

>> Read more

Celebrating a spring and summer of successful fundraising with the BC LETR

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC

In her 19 years of involvement with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC, Delta Police Department Inspector Debra McLeod has found it very rewarding to be part of LETR events and inspiring to spend time with SOBC athletes.

“It is about more than running; people’s lives are affected and we are making a difference for so many people, for so many athletes locally, nationally, and internationally,” McLeod said.

This spring and summer, law enforcement champions teamed up with Special Olympics athletes to raise funds and awareness for SOBC through fun and inclusive LETR events across the province.

>> Read more

Joyful experience for SOBC members with MLS ESPN Special Olympics All-Star Match

Special Olympics BC athlete Bradly Barnett and Whitecaps FC player Jonas Hakkinen

Thanks to our friends at Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Major League Soccer (MLS), Special Olympics BC was invited to be part of the 2017 MLS WORKS ESPN Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star Soccer Match! SOBC – Abbotsford soccer player Bradly Barnett and coach Roshan Gosal were part of the exciting experiences in Chicago July 31 to August 2.

MLS WORKS and ESPN host this program and invited 44 delegates this year representing all 22 MLS clubs. SOBC – Abbotsford midfielder Barnett hit the field alongside Whitecaps FC Residency midfielder Jonas Hakkinen in the East vs. West matchup – please click here to watch the recording of the match, a tight-fought 2-2 draw! On the final day, the delegation gave back to the community cleaning up a Chicago park during MLS Day of Service and were honoured at halftime of the MLS All-Star Game to wrap up the experience.

“This experience was truly one of a kind. I was able to watch wonderful athletes from around Canada and the U.S. show their skills and soccer ability in front of an adoring audience. The joy and happiness I witnessed from all the players will forever be in my memories,” Gosal reported. “Meeting Jonas was another highlight. … Both Bradly and I truly enjoyed spending the time with Jonas. Bradly had an amazing time playing with all the athletes and learned many skills from the training and All-Star Game.”

Column: Training three times per week too much for SOBC athletes and coaches?

By Jacques Thibault, Special Olympics BC Sport Consultant

Jacques Thibault, an internationally recognized training and speed skating expert with a Master’s degree in science, works with Special Olympics BC athletes and coaches to help empower them to be their very best.

During my five years with Special Olympics BC, I have been asked many times about training program recommendations. Should Special Olympics athletes train more often, or is that something only elite SO athletes are required to do? Should an athlete with an intellectual disability be expected to do more than one sport activity per week? And how much time is necessary to acquire basic skating skills, for example?

There are three main reasons why Special Olympics athletes train:

  1. Training is necessary to acquire basic sport skills such as skating, swimming and skiing
  2. Physical activity is necessary for healthy living
  3. Training is necessary to improve personal performances

What is interesting about the above three reasons is that they all share the same basic mould. Government agencies such as Health Canada recommend 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activities every week divided mainly in aerobic (cardio) and muscle-strengthening activities three or more times per week. Training requirements for aerobic capacity (endurance) improvement also need a minimum of three trainings per week to a total of 150 minutes and more; sports such as snowshoeing, swimming, running and cross country skiing will have little improvement unless athletes train as such. Finally, basic skill acquisition like learning to dribble in basketball, learning to cross over and skate backward in figure skating, and learning proper bowling technique require a minimum of 20 hours of focused training for acquisition. Training three times per week will accelerate learning of all these skills.

>> Read more

Special Olympics youth programs to be featured on Tims TV

SOBC youth program participants

Special Olympics Canada Platinum Partner Tim Hortons will turn the spotlight on youth programs by featuring them on Tims TV screens across the country from September 11 to 30!

Please click here to learn more about Special Olympics BC’s fun and welcoming youth programs.

Later this year, Tims TV screens across Canada will include a call to experience the joy of volunteering with Special Olympics. Thanks to Tim Hortons for these exciting nationwide awareness opportunities!

Coaches Corner: Core and Flexibility Booklet

Core and Flexibility Booklet cover

Special Olympics BC’s Core and Flexibility Booklet is a great tool for athletes in any sport. The booklet features multiple core-strengthening exercises with different degrees of difficulty to accommodate everyone from novice-level athletes to more experienced athletes. The booklet also includes a series of flexibility movements to help athletes stretch and lengthen their muscles, which will help them recover after exercise and reduce their risk of injury.

You can access the Core and Flexibility Booklet here. If you have any questions, please contact Ashten Black by email or by phone at 604-737-3081 direct / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Registration events ongoing

SOBC logo

Special Olympics BC community programs are continuing to hold registration events throughout the 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!

SOBC staff update

Be inspired, and inspire others! Special Olympics BC is now hiring three positions: Coordinator – Performance Program and Regional Field Managers for the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan. Please click here for details.

We bid a fond farewell to Sarah Wall, outgoing field staff for the Lower Mainland, as she has departed to achieve her dream of completing a Master’s degree in occupational therapy at the University of Alberta.