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October 2017 Newsletter

Special Olympics BC speed skaters Karl and Mark

Sports Celebrities Festival one week away

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 supporting Special Olympics BC and the Canucks for Kids Fund. Set to be held on November 2 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, this exciting event brings together a sold-out crowd of more than 650 guests with top local sports celebrities including SOBC athletes and the entire Vancouver Canucks roster.

The event’s exciting silent auction bidding will take place online again this year, and the auction website is now live at scf2017.com! Bidding has just begun and will run until the evening of November 2.

Please share the auction website scf2017.com widely to encourage bidding in support of the Canucks for Kids Fund and SOBC!

>> Learn more

SOBC’s Paige Norton, Donna Bilous win 2017 Special Olympics Canada National Awards

Donna Bilous and Paige Norton

Special Olympics Canada has announced the 2017 national award winners, and we’re delighted to congratulate all the deserving recipients, including Female Athlete of the Year Paige Norton of Special Olympics BC – Abbotsford and Female Coach of the Year Donna Bilous, SOBC Region 3 Coordinator and SOBC – Abbotsford coach!

These awards recognize the athletes, coaches, and volunteers who have exemplified the spirit and essence of the Special Olympics movement throughout the year. Award winners will be honoured during SOC’s 2017 National Awards evening on November 16 at Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto.

>> Read more

SOBC Healthy Athletes Screening Day hits Nanaimo November 4

Special Olympics Healthy Athletes

We’re excited to be just over a week away from the next Special Olympics BC Healthy Athletes Screening Day in Nanaimo on November 4! This free, fun event is open to all local individuals with intellectual disabilities, offering health screenings in the areas of Fit Feet (podiatry), Special Smiles (dentistry), Healthy Hearing (audiology), Strong Minds (mental health), Opening Eyes (optometry), and Health Promotion.

The professionals who lead Healthy Athletes screenings have received specific training to help them ask the right questions, and their interactions with participants lead to referrals back into the health care system that ensure the individuals with intellectual disabilities will get the treatment they need.

Participants are asked to pre-register by contacting SOBC’s Ashten Black by email or by phone at 604-737-3081 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free. Athletes must print and fill out the consent form in the event invitation and bring it to the event.

After the event, participants will receive followup cards in the mail that can help connect them with any necessary appointments and services. So please make sure to provide your current contact information in order to receive the info!

A few volunteers are still needed to help power this valuable event, particularly in the areas of Strong Minds and Health Promotion. To enjoy the heart-expanding experience of helping with Healthy Athletes, please contact Ashten as above.

>> Event details

Functional testing fun coming to Richmond November 7

SOBC functional testing

Special Olympics BC athletes can join us for functional testing at the Richmond Olympic Oval on November 7!

Functional testing is a set of 18 tests used to assess and track an athlete’s fitness level, exercise form, flexibility, and functional movement patterns. It is used by major sport organizations to improve athletic performance and measure athlete progress. Attending the testing is a key part of an athlete’s sport training and is a useful tool that can help you improve no matter what sports you participate in. Plus, the testing day is guaranteed to be a lot of fun!

Spots are available in three sessions: 9:30 to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 to 3 p.m. Please click here for more information and to register for your free session ticket!

BC LETR and Red Robin serve up successful fundraising campaign

BC LETR Red Robin event in Abbotsford

There were lots of big smiles and high fives as Special Olympics BC athletes and BC Law Enforcement Torch Run members raised funds and awareness at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews restaurants in October.

“We had so many laughs with the staff and the athletes!” Abbotsford Police Department Community Policing Coordinator Kelly Pater said.

This was the campaign’s first year in British Columbia and it was a big success, raising more than $9,000 for SOBC. Law enforcement members and SOBC athletes had fun collecting donations and connecting with customers on October 19 at Red Robin locations in Abbotsford, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Vancouver, and Victoria, and on October 21 at the Kamloops location.

Our heartfelt thanks to Red Robin restaurants and customers for their support! We are also grateful to all the SOBC athletes and BC LETR members who gave their time and energy to this campaign!

Team BC 2018 coaches and mission staff ready to help athletes shine

Special Olympics Team BC 2018 powerlifting coaches

Excitement is building as members of the Team BC 2018 Training Squad begin their journey to the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships in Prince Edward Island May 14 to 20, and the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, from July 29 to August 5. These dedicated and deserving individuals have qualified for their spots on the provincial training squad based on their performances in the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops.

On October 21 and 22, 82 Team BC 2018 coaches and mission staff members started their countdown to the east coast by coming together in Richmond for the Team BC 2018 Coach and Mission Staff Summit. This two-day event charged up the Team BC 2018 spirit and gave coaches and mission staff an important opportunity to plan how they will help the athletes do their best in competition at the national level.

>> Read more

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

CrossFitters crush CF|24 challenge for Special Olympics

CF24 event in 2017 at Raincity Athletics

On October 21, more than 700 participants in 26 CrossFit gyms across Canada helped make a difference by conquering CrossFit 24 to support Special Olympics.

Working in teams of three to six, CrossFitters completed one high-intensity workout every hour for six, 12, or 24 hours to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics programs throughout the country. In B.C., Raincity Athletics stepped up to the challenge, completing 12 workouts in 12 hours and raising over $5,900 for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

To date, this year’s event has raised over $110,000 for Special Olympics across Canada. Thank you to all the CrossFit gyms, teams, and supporters who worked so hard to make the day a success!

>> Read more

Season of exciting Regional Qualifier action ahead

Figure Skating Regional Qualifiers to come

We’re pumped for the 2017-18 season of Special Olympics BC Regional Qualifiers in all eight winter sports! Athletes throughout the province will experience the excitement of competing to qualify for the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games.

In the 2019 Provincial Games, athletes will compete for the opportunity to advance to the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which will be the qualifier for the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

For SOBC athletes, it all starts right here with the Regional Qualifiers. This season it will be exciting to see 5-pin bowling make its debut in the winter sport competition cycle. Stay tuned for details to come on all the qualifiers for 5-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating.

Best of luck to all the athletes, and big thanks to all the volunteers, coaches, and supporters making these important competitions possible!

Competitions will be added on this page and on the SOBC calendar once they are confirmed and sanctioned. Check back often!

SOBC members celebrated for their outstanding efforts

Dee and Ron Neukomm

We’re delighted to congratulate Special Olympics BC – Prince George coach Dee Neukomm and 10 SOBC – Quesnel athletes who were recently recognized in their communities for their remarkable contributions to community and amazing accomplishments!

A founding member of SOBC – Prince George and the Local’s inspiring rhythmic gymnastics coach, Neukomm and her husband Ron were honoured by the Prince George Community Foundation as 2017 Citizens of the Year in a gala held on October 12.

The SOBC – Quesnel athletes were inducted into the Quesnel Sports Hall of Fame for their impressive achievements at Provincial and National Games in a ceremony on September 17.

>> Read more

Performance Program action on ice and snow

SOBC Speed Skating Performance Camp October 2017

Special Olympics BC speed skating coaches and athletes spent Thanksgiving weekend working hard to elevate performance in a Speed Skating Performance Camp jointly hosted with Special Olympics Alberta! The participants hit the ice at the Olympic Oval, finding themselves training alongside Olympians, and gave their all in dryland training indoors and even outside despite near-freezing temperatures.

Next up in Performance Program action will be November’s SOBC Curling Performance Camp and December’s SOBC Snow Sports Performance Camp at Sun Peaks!

SOBC’s Performance Program is a long-term plan with the goal of enhancing the skills and performance of all coaches and through them, all SOBC athletes.

>> Latest Performance Program update

Column: Your weight and your sport

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.

It is well known that sport activities are necessary for healthy living and weight control. It is also well known that sport activities have different effects on healthy lifestyle. Do you know how your sport activities influence your health and weight?

The answer can be complicated as what athletes do during a session and how much they weigh play a large role on calorie demands. However, for the purpose of this article, we are assuming athletes are 150 pounds (68 kg) and doing a sport session with normal effort and speed for one hour. For example, a swimmer who can barely swim and float each length would burn far fewer calories than one swimming normal speed length.

One pound (.45 kg) of fat is equal to 3,500 calories, so in order to lose a pound, a Special Olympics athlete will need to burn 3,500 calories and eat the same amount of food (and drinks) as usual. Sport can provide the activities to burn calories.

>> Read more

Epic cross-Canada journey comes to SOBC – Campbell River

Canada C3 is a signature project for Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. The centrepiece is an epic 150-day sailing journey from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage, celebrating our environment, sharing the stories of coastal communities, and connecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast. On October 18 the expedition participants visited Campbell River and they chose to join Special Olympics BC – Campbell River for a spirited basketball game! Too cool.

>> Check out photos

>> Campbell River Mirror story and video

Coaches Corner: Social media 101 for coaches

Coaches, are you looking for ways to use social media to help your coaching and become another tool in your arsenal? Check out this viaSport British Columbia article discussing how to avoid social media pitfalls and harness social media’s power to help you improve team chemistry, interact with other coaches and athletes, and more.

SOBC staff update

Special Olympics BC logo

This month we have been so pleased to welcome three new staff members!

Helen Cheung has joined the team as Performance Program Coordinator. Helen is a recent graduate of UBC with a degree in kinesiology, and she has volunteered with SOBC – Richmond in the swimming program for three years.

Chelsea Rogers stepped into the role of Community Development Coordinator for Regions 3, 4, and 5 (Lower Mainland). Chelsea recently earned her bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management, and she is a synchronized swimming coach who has been working with the City of Maple Ridge as a Recreation Children’s Youth Worker setting up programs for youth.

Morgan Parker has taken on the position of Community Development Coordinator for Region 2 (the Okanagan). Morgan has been a basketball coach for SOBC – Penticton for the past two years and previously worked for TD Bank Group.