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March 2018 Newsletter

SOBC basketball at the Kamloops 2018 BC Winter Games

SOBC athletes shine at the Kamloops 2018 BC Winter Games

SOBC - figure skaters at the Kamloops 2018 BC Winter Games in Kamloops

Tess van Straaten served as Special Olympics BC Zone 6 figure skating Head Coach for the Kamloops 2018 BC Winter Games, her second opportunity after being part of the SOBC team that went to Penticton in 2016. She said she is impressed with the SOBC athletes’ commitment to their sport as well as their overall attitude.

“The energy and excitement from all the athletes is infectious,” van Straaten said. “It’s so wonderful to watch our Special Olympics athletes skate their hearts out and have everyone in the arena cheering for them. We’ve had people tell us they have tears in their eyes watching our athletes skate and everyone is always impressed with what they can do.”

>> Read more

New Car Dealers drive support for SOBC

Vancouver International Auto Show logo

The members of the New Car Dealers Association of BC have been strong supporters of Special Olympics athletes and programs throughout the province since 1984.

They will continue their outstanding support at Unveiled, the Vancouver International Auto Show kickoff event on March 28, giving SOBC the opportunity to raise awareness and funds at this highly anticipated event.

The Vancouver International Auto Show, which this year will run from March 28 to April 1, is Western Canada’s best-attended consumer automotive event. The five-day event features more than 40 different brands and 400-plus vehicles from the top automotive manufacturers.

>> Click here for ticket information

Marilyn McLean to be inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame

Special Olympics BC – Kamloops founder Marilyn McLean will be permanently honoured for her impact in the world of sport at the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame Banquet in April.

“Special Olympics has been a part of my life for many years,” McLean said. “I was thrilled with the news because it raises the profile of Special Olympics in Kamloops. It is a nod to all of the amazing volunteers, coaches, and athletes that put in countless hours to make the programs a success. This award is really about all of those incredible people.”

>> Read more

SOBC supporters make big waves at Polar Plunge events

The Westminster Savings team getting bold and cold at the Vancouver Polar Plunge

Law enforcement champions and other fearless Plungers charged into chilly waters at two Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC events in March. Staged in partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOBC, these frigid fundraisers saw participants laugh, splash, and show off their colourful costumes as they raised funds and awareness for SOBC.

More than 200 people got bold and cold at the third annual Vancouver Polar Plunge for SOBC presented by Westminster Savings Credit Union on March 3. This year’s fundraiser at Kitsilano Beach was the most successful yet, raising more than $95,000.

The following week, more than 90 people crashed into the waters off Willows Beach at the first-ever Vancouver Island Polar Plunge for SOBC on March 11. The event in Oak Bay brought in more than $20,000, far exceeding its original fundraising goal of $5,000.

We are grateful to Vancouver Polar Plunge Presenting Sponsor Westminster Savings; Media Sponsors City Television, JACK 96.9, OMNI Television, Sportsnet650; and Event Sponsors Dueck Auto Group, Safeway, and Tim Hortons. Sincere thanks to Vancouver Island Polar Plunge Event Sponsors Thrifty Foods, Serious Coffee Millstream Village and Oak Bay, and The Neal Estate Team.

>> Read more

R-word campaign continues to inspire for more than a decade

Vancouver Canucks Brendan Sutter

On March 7, people across North America demonstrated their commitment to the 10th annual international Spread the Word to End the Word awareness day campaign. The event encourages everyone to take the pledge to end the hurtful use of the R-word and choose respect for people with intellectual disabilities. Since its inception a decade ago, more than 763,900 people have signed to take the pledge. While progress has been made, there’s still work to be done. It’s more than just a one-day event. Every day is an opportunity to change attitudes and make a difference.

At r-word.org, thousands of people have shared their experiences of how the R-word negatively affects their lives and what they’re doing to end its use.

Champions like Brandon Sutter of the Vancouver Canuck and Jake Nerwinski of the Vancouver Whitecaps have taken the pledge to end the hurtful use of the R-word. We’re asking you to invite all your friends and all their friends to take the pledge at r-word.org.

>> Read more

BC LETR set for spring fundraising success

Victoria Free the Fuzz

We are looking forward to some great opportunities to raise funds and awareness with Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC events in April and May.

Comox Torch Run

Take a trip down the Rotary Trail with Comox Valley RCMP members at the Comox Torch Run on April 22. The event will begin at Simms Park and participants will have the option of taking part in a one-, two-, or five-kilometre walk/run.

Victoria Free the Fuzz and Torch Run

SOBC athletes and LETR members are set for an exciting weekend of fundraising in Victoria! Starting on Friday, May 4 and running through Sunday, May 6, law enforcement champions will camp out on scaffolding to raise funds and awareness for SOBC at Free the Fuzz. This event will take place at Uptown shopping centre and include live music, police demonstrations, and fun activities for the whole family. Also on Sunday, SOBC supporters will hit the Galloping Goose Trail for the Victoria Torch Run. This run/walk will be followed by a delicious pancake breakfast by donation.

Mission Cycle for a Cause

Cheer on Mission RCMP members as they sweat it out on stationary bikes to raise funds and awareness for SOBC. This fun event will take place on May 26 at the Save-On-Foods in Mission.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament

Get ready for fun on the fairways at the Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament on May 31! This great day of golf will be held at the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club in Coquitlam.

>> Learn more about BC LETR events

Nominations sought for SOBC annual awards

It’s that time of the year again. You can feel it in the air. Worthy award recipients are popping up all across the province as Special Olympics BC opens our nominations for the five competitive and prestigious annual awards.

We are always amazed by all the submissions we receive for our awards, each providing a remarkable account of the inspiring achievements and contributions of athletes and volunteers across B.C. Locals can nominate the incredible people in their community for one of the following awards:

• Athletic Achievement Award
• Grassroots Coach Award
• Howard Carter Award
• President’s Award
• Spirit of Sport Award

Click here to find the nomination forms and more information about each award.

Please send all nominations to sobcawards@gmail.com.

The nomination process closes April 4, 2018.

Regional Conference set for this spring

SOBC Regional Conference participants

The Special Olympics BC Regional Conference for Regions 7 and 8 will be held from April 27 to 29 in Prince George.

The conference creates opportunities for volunteers to come together to share empowering connections and best practices as well as learning about available tools.

This spring’s conference will cover nutrition for our athletes, concussion tips, bullying, what it takes to have an effective Local, grant writing, communications, and Club Fit.

Interested participants are asked to contact their Local Coordinators.

For more information contact SOBC Region 7 and 8 Community Development Coordinator Charlene Flood at cflood@specialolympics.bc.ca or call 250-570-1455 or 1-888-854-2276.

Functional testing coming to Kelowna and Richmond

Functional testing in Kelowna

A new round of functional testing for Special Olympics BC athletes is coming to Kelowna and Richmond.

Functional testing involves exercises that measure fitness and foundational movements. These sessions are used to test an athlete’s fitness level, and to motivate and guide his or her training. Functional testing is important as it provides feedback to coaches regarding the program’s effectiveness and shows the personal progress of each athlete.

Special Olympics BC will be hosting functional testing sessions in Kelowna’s main gymnasium at Mount Boucherie Secondary School on Sunday, March 25. There will be three sessions available, and each can accommodate 25 people.

The first session runs from 3 to 4:15 p.m. The second session goes from 4:15 to 5:30 p.m. The Kelowna event wraps up with its final session from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m.

Function testing sessions will take place in Richmond on April 28 at the Richmond Olympic Oval – Court 12. This event will have three sessions and can accommodate 30 athletes per session.

The first session runs from 9:30 to 11 a.m. The second session goes from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and the final session runs from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

To get involved in this rewarding day as a volunteer, please contact SOBC’s Helen Cheung at hcheung@specialolympics.bc.ca or by phone at 604-737-3055 direct / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Countdown on to the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi

The countdown is on to the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates!

It is just under one year to go before more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries and 20,000 volunteers are expected at the Games in Abu Dhabi, running March 14 to 21, 2019.

Team Canada will be competing in nine disciplines: 10-pin bowling, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, and swimming.

Team BC athletes will look to punch their ticket to the World Summer Games when they take part in the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships in P.E.I. in May and the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Nova Scotia this July.

SOBC will also be represented at the World Summer Games by five members of the mission and coaching staff.

SOBC athletics Head Coach Tom Norton of SOBC – Abbotsford and bocce Head Coach David Wilkinson of SOBC – Kelowna will join Mission Staff Donna Bilous (SOBC Region 3 Coordinator), Darren Inouye (SOBC Region 5 Coordinator), and Jean Tetarenko (SOBC Region 6 Coordinator).

Draft an Athlete helps lead the way as Team BC prepares for 2018 SO Canada Summer Games

When Kristina Tammark started participating in Special Olympics BC programs, she couldn’t walk up eight steps without losing her breath. Now, she is getting ready to travel across the country to compete in three long-distance running events at the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Nova Scotia.

Read Kristina’s story and learn more about how supporters can help dedicated, inspiring athletes compete on the national stage by drafting a Special Olympics Team BC 2018 athlete to the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships and National Games.

We are grateful to all who will consider donating to help draft an athlete, and thank you for spreading the word about this opportunity to support Team BC 2018!

>> Donate now
>> Follow Team BC

Make a difference with your Aeroplan Miles

Aeroplan Miles logo

Did you know you can donate your Aeroplan Miles to Special Olympics BC?

We are fortunate to be part of the Beyond Miles donation program, which allows frequent fliers to donate their Aeroplan Miles to SOBC and help bring our community together to share the joy of sport.

>> Click here to donate your Aeroplan Miles.

Athlete input sought in satisfaction survey

Athletes, now is your chance to share your thoughts on Special Olympics with global leaders! Special Olympics International has created an Athlete Satisfaction Survey, and the Canadian Athlete Leadership Council members are asking our country’s athletes to respond and make their voices heard. Special Olympics BC – Comox Valley athlete Jake Hooper is our province’s representative on the CALC, and he would like to see many responses from B.C.

“I would like to get as many as possible completed so that Special Olympics Canada has a strong voice in the results of the survey,” Hooper says.

Surveys must be completed by April 30.

>> Click here to take the survey.

National Volunteer Week is our chance to say thank you

Special Olympics volunteers

National Volunteer Week runs April 15 to 21 and is a great opportunity to thank those who generously donate their time and efforts to make their communities a better place to live.

Special Olympics BC would not exist today – and could not have been created – without the energy, commitment, and enthusiasm of people just like you, the thousands of individuals who choose to take time from busy schedules to make the world a better place.

More than 3,900 Special Olympics BC volunteers and coaches across the province make our programs possible and make a difference.

“I have learned so much because of my involvement,” said Maureen Hunter, SOBC – Campbell River Local Coordinator. “What really matters and what really keeps me motivated are the athletes and parents who can’t imagine their lives without Special Olympics.”

From everybody at SOBC, we would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for everything you do to create a culture of inclusion, dignity, and respect for everyone in your communities.

>> Click here for more volunteer information.

Mud Hero to make its debut in B.C.

Special Olympics Mud Hero

For the first time ever, the muddiest challenge in Canada is coming to B.C!

On July 28, Special Olympics Canada partner Mud Hero will bring six kilometres of adrenaline-filled obstacles and plenty of opportunities to get muddy to SilverStar Mountain Resort outside Vernon.

Visit mudhero.com for more info, or get involved as a volunteer by contacting Meg Ishida at mishida@specialolympics.bc.ca or call 604-314-4535 or 1-888-854-2276.

>> Click here to find out more about Mud Hero.

Column: Important paths to producing energy

Jacques Thibault (centre) with SOBC athletes Paige and Matthew

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.

Through specific training, your test values can be improved. Initial gains in these tests are usually from improved ability to perform the tests, and not from increased ATP-CP power. After you have adapted to the test technique (after three to four times), the changes in the ATP-CP energy system will be detected with these tests.

>> Read more

SOBC staff update

SOBC logo

Special Olympics BC is excited to introduce Sarah Russell, who will be joining the provincial team as our new Health and Engagement Coordinator.

Sarah has a degree in Sport and Fitness Leadership, has worked extensively with the Canucks Autism Network, and worked as an Adapted Physical Literacy Programmer PISE in Victoria.

Sarah starts her position on April 3.

We are very excited to have someone with Sarah’s passion and commitment to health on our team.

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