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Season's greetings!

The Special Olympics BC office will be closed from December 23 to January 3, returning January 4, 2021. Wishing all of you and yours a healthy and happy holiday season!

Special Olympics BC Return to Sport news

SOBC Return to Sport Plan basic principles

In line with provincial health restrictions and in discussion with viaSport British Columbia, all in-person Special Olympics BC programs and training are paused until further notice in January.

In the new year, SOBC will review the provincial health situation and advise everyone by January 7 if in-person programs can reopen starting January 9. For virtual programs, timelines are decided by individual coaches in consultation with their Local.

We hope that all the valued SOBC athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supporters are thinking of this as a slightly extended holiday break. For anyone looking for virtual ways to stay active and connected, please click here.

If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to covid@specialolympics.bc.ca.

>> Read more

Langley’s Matthew Williams wins Special Olympics Canada Athlete of the Year Award

Congratulations to Special Olympics BC – Langley athlete Matthew Williams, who has been named one of two 2020 Special Olympics Canada Athletes of the Year! Williams was announced as a national award winner in SOC’s December 3 virtual ceremony, broadcast on the TSN Facebook Page.

Williams is a determined, dedicated athlete known for his exemplary commitment to his training, his constant pursuit of self-improvement, his inspiring sportsmanship, his kind and humble nature, and his outstanding sport achievements.

>> Learn more

A look back at 2020 by the numbers

Sebastian Gylander racing for Team BC at the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games

Special Olympics BC is forever grateful to the athletes, coaches, volunteers, families, sponsors, and supporters who have been such an inspiration through this unique year. Thank you for showing so much dedication to this remarkable community, and for working so hard to stay connected and active together!

Please click here to find some of the highlights from 2020.

Help create a more connected world this holiday season

Today, Tomorrow, Forever holiday graphic

The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and especially so for people with intellectual disabilities. Many Special Olympics BC athletes knew the pain of isolation long before COVID-19. Many are missing the vital social connections created through in-person Special Olympics programs.

But, across our great province, the pandemic’s isolation has shown how important we are to each other, and how the inspiring Special Olympics community can overcome any adversity put before us.

Watch the Today, Tomorrow, Forever video

Special Olympics BC is building virtual programs to help athletes stay connected, healthy, and positive. Our in-person programs are currently paused, in line with provincial health guidelines, but we have strong safety protocols so we can resume what we can, safely, when provincial health conditions allow.

If you are looking for a way to have a lasting impact with your holiday giving, you can help change lives by donating at www.sobcforever.ca. You can also make a difference this holiday season by sharing this campaign with friends, family, and coworkers.

>> Learn more

Staying healthy at home

Special Olympics BC Super September icon

Special Olympics BC has developed tools and programs to help athletes stay active and connected through these distanced times. Please visit our Upcoming Health Opportunities page to find information on SOBC health initiatives in which you can participate. A few highlights of resources and events:

  • Use the SOBC Basic Sport Skills tools to help continue your sport-specific training at home!
  • Complete the fun daily at-home workouts and wellness challenges in the monthly SOBC calendars.
  • Check out the Sobeys Nutrition Breaks for valuable short videos on important nutrition topics, and the fun Wellness Wednesday sessions hosted by Sobeys Dietitians!

Special Olympics BC’s health initiatives are made possible by the ongoing support of our provincial partners and fundraising events, including the leading role of the Government of British Columbia and Government of Canada, and the generous support of provincial partner Prospera Credit Union.

>> Learn more

Polar Plunge for SOBC going province-wide in 2021

Polar Plunge for SOBC

The 2021 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC is coming in February – and everyone across the province can join the fun in freezin’ for a reason!

In a typical year, Plungers gather in large groups and charge into chilly waves at events in Vancouver, Victoria, and Revelstoke. While we won’t be able to have in-person group Plunge events in 2021, now everyone across the province can experience the fun and excitement of getting bold and cold for SOBC!

In the Virtual Polar Plunge for SOBC, participants will need to show their courage and creativity by taking an icy dip at home! Brave SOBC supporters can jump into tubs of ice, run through sprinklers, dive into snow, and so much more. Get your cold-loving thinking cap on and start planning how you’ll challenge yourself and others to raise funds for SOBC’s life-changing programs!

Stay tuned to www.plunge4specialolympics.com for more details in the new year!

>> Register now

Virtual SOBC initiatives increase personal-health knowledge

Example of SOBC Virtual Personal Health Series topics

Special Olympics BC works to offer health opportunities that empower athletes with intellectual disabilities. This season saw the launch of new virtual health events like the Virtual Personal Health Series and Virtual Healthy Athletes Education Sessions. These opportunities have created amazing discussions between volunteer health professionals and advocates with SOBC athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supporters.

The SOBC Virtual Personal Health Series offered six educational and interactive sessions about relationships, puberty, sexual health, and women’s health. Presentations were followed by discussion sessions, where athletes asked interesting and helpful questions.

>> Read more

SOBC yoga and dance training created physical and social well-being

To help us stay active in these unique times, Special Olympics BC has been offering virtual initiatives for athletes that combine physical health with the ability to connect with others from around the province. Athletes have been moving to the beat in weekly dance workout sessions, and strengthening their mind and body in the SOBC Yoga Club.

The dance training involved athletes meeting weekly with instructors on Zoom throughout October and November. They engaged in meaningful movement that got their hearts rates up. Together they choreographed a routine that they performed in the SOBC Anniversary Ceremony.

>> Read more

Spread the Word>>Inclusion will create strength through connection in 2021

Spread the Word>>Inclusion 2021 theme is connection

There’s just under three months to go until the annual Spread the Word >> Inclusion global awareness day, coming up on March 3, 2021. The campaign announced their theme for 2021: connection!

Everyone can use Spread the Word>>Inclusion tools to help build a more inclusive world. Join the movement by making connections that create strength between individuals, where they feel seen, heard, and valued.

Please click here to listen to Pavneet Kalsi’s thoughts on the importance of connection and making everyone feel seen, heard, and valued! Kalsi is an inspiring member of the SOBC Youth Engagement Project, as well as an inclusion advocate and Best Buddies volunteer.

Please click here to learn more and join champions creating inclusion throughout B.C.

High fives for recent Athlete Leadership program participants

Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership promotion

We’d like to send a shoutout to the passionate and keen athletes who completed Special Olympics BC Athlete Reporter and Health Messenger training this fall!

In October and November, seven SOBC athletes joined a cohort of Manitoba athletes to complete Special Olympics Health Messenger training through virtual sessions with SOBC Sport Coordinator Marlow de Paul and SOM staff. This training helps athletes learn to serve as health and wellness leaders, educators, advocates, and role models within Special Olympics programs and communities.

In December, 15 dedicated athletes from around the province completed the new SOBC Virtual Athlete Reporter training. This course helps athletes build skills in storytelling, technology, and social media. The athletes who participated all showed great skill in storytelling, interviewing, filming, and writing. They also created great discussions about social media and how to help share the stories of Special Olympics, while staying safe online.

>> Read more

Campbell River athlete Ashley Adie joins SOBC Board of Directors and Leadership Council

Ashley Adie advocating inclusion

Special Olympics BC’s Board of Directors and Leadership Council provide vital guidance for our organization and movement, and SOBC benefits significantly from the efforts of these valued volunteers.

At the December 2020 Board of Directors meeting, Special Olympics BC – Campbell River athlete Ashley Adie was elected as a new Director. Adie will serve a two-year term as a Director and on the SOBC Leadership Council.

Adie is an accomplished athlete who has been involved with SOBC – Campbell River for 17 years. She competed in athletics in the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, and in snowshoeing at the 2020 SOC Winter Games, earning multiple personal bests as well as multiple medals.

>> Read more

Spread the word for featured volunteer opportunities

Special Olympics BC athlete Dave and coach George in 2014

Local Committee volunteers are the vital organizers who make Special Olympics BC programs and events possible. SOBC has created a website page to help advertise Local Committee volunteer opportunities around the province, hoping to support Locals in filling these roles.

Please click here to find the page that is being kept up to date with current openings.

It would be much appreciated if you can spread the word in your networks about any opportunities that appear on this page. Please encourage others to get involved in Special Olympics and change lives through the power and joy of sport, the same way you do!

Coaches Corner

Coaches Corner icon

Return to Sport training

Special Olympics BC is running required Return to Sport training webinars for all coaches in the sports that are reopening. More webinars will be added as the need arises. The next upcoming webinar will be January 7 (snow sports). The registration deadline is 9 a.m. on the day of the webinar.

Additional events and resources

If you have any questions, please contact SOBC Sport Manager Helen Cheung by email or by phone at 604-737-3055.

Stay connected

Special Olympics BC logo

Do you want more people to be aware of Special Olympics BC and inspired by our incredible community? Please forward SOBC’s e-newsletters to anyone and everyone who might be interested!

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3701 Hastings St., Unit 210
Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2H6
Toll-free: 1-888-854-2276
info@specialolympics.bc.ca
www.specialolympics.bc.ca
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