April 2019 Newsletter

Staples Canada helping Special Olympics athletes pursue their dreams

Staples Canada will be supporting the dreams of Special Olympics Canada athletes through the 19th annual Give a Toonie Share a Dream fundraising campaign running April 27 to May 27!

Staples Canada stores across the country will be raising funds and awareness to support the more than 47,500 individuals with intellectual disabilities participating in high-quality year-round Special Olympics sport programs all over Canada. Supporters can donate at their local Staples or while shopping online at www.staples.ca/shareadream.

We are very grateful to all the Staples stores, staff, and customers in B.C. for their amazing support, and to the SOBC athletes and volunteers throughout their province who give great time and energy to help make this important campaign a success!

>> Learn more

Inspiring athletes take centre stage in 2019 SOBC Athlete Leadership Conference

The 2019 Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership Conference saw 49 amazing athletes from all over the province build their skills, express their valuable perspectives, and inspire with their stories on April 6 and 7 in Richmond. “Special Olympics is a place where no one gets left behind,” as SOBC – Coquitlam athlete Nathan McManamna said in his thoughtful Athlete Speakers Bureau 2 speech.

This year’s SOBC Athlete Leadership Conference included the Athlete Speakers Bureau 1 and 2 public speaking courses and delivered training for athletes to become Health Heroes, Health Messengers, Athlete Reporters, anti-bullying advocates, and experts in creating PowerPoint presentations. The conference also included an Athlete Input Council session that both gathered important athlete feedback on SOBC issues and offered training to participate in Athlete Input Councils, under new Special Olympics curriculum.

This year’s conference included several firsts and a fun celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics movement! We sincerely thank RBC Foundation as well as Canada Life, Great-West Life, and London Life for their generous support of Athlete Leadership programs.

>> Read more

New Car Dealers Auction makes a difference for Special Olympics BC

Start your engines! We are a week away from the New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction, which will run online May 3 to 9. New Car Dealers and supporters of SOBC are invited to visit www.newcardealers.ca during the auction period to find the link to bid online.

More than 270 items have been generously donated by New Car Dealers members and associates in order to benefit Special Olympics BC and the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC. Headline prizes include three cars donated by the Pacific Toyota Dealers, the BC Honda Dealers Association, and the Chevrolet Buick GMC Dealers of BC! The auction includes a wide range of unique and sought-after items in automotive, business, food, wine, lifestyle, media, sport, and travel.

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, and have raised more than $4.9 million through the annual auction.

Sincere thanks to B.C.’s New Car Dealers and all the auction supporters for helping SOBC make a difference through the power and joy of sport!

>> Read more

Team BC 2020 Training Squad news coming soon

At the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon, athletes from all over the province competed with pride, showing great skills and achieving many personal bests. Soon we will be able to announce the members of the Team BC 2020 Training Squad, who qualified through their 2019 Provincial Games performances!

Check out SOBC’s website and social media accounts in the week of May 6 for updates!

The members of the Team BC 2020 Training Squad will commit to working hard over the next year in order to be ready for the empowering experience of competing at the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, set to be held in Thunder Bay February 25 to 29, 2020.

Have fun and help your health at the SOBC Healthy Athletes Screening Day in Victoria

Our next Healthy Athletes Screening Day is coming up in Victoria on May 4, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Colquitz Middle School! The free, fun event is open to all athletes and local individuals with intellectual disabilities. It will offer valuable health screenings in the disciplines of Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, and Nutrition, plus plenty of free giveaways.

Volunteer positions remain available – please contact Sarah Russell by email or by phone at 604-737-3081 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free to join the fun and make a difference.

>> Learn more about Healthy Athletes

More SOBC Health news

Check out the updates that were shared leading into World Health Day (April 7):

  • Resources to help athletes enhance their health, and to help practitioners serve individuals with intellectual disabilities in more effective and supportive ways
  • The positive health changes achieved by dedicated athletes thanks to Locals running Club Fit programs and functional testing
  • The Champions for Inclusive Health Stakeholder Coalition is committed to ending the harm and unequal health conditions experienced by individuals with intellectual disabilities in B.C.

Student-athletes shine in SOBC Vancouver Island 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament

Congratulations to the student-athlete stars who took part in the April 26 Special Olympics BC Vancouver Island 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School!

This year, terrific teams from five Comox Valley, Parksville, and Nanaimo schools trained for weeks to be ready to show their skills in the tournament and be cheered on by fellow students and fans. Read more in the Comox Valley Record

After playing in the 2018 tournament, Ballenas Secondary athlete Quin Clothier said he was excited to be able to tell his fellow students he played school sports. Pulling on the school jersey and playing in front of a packed house allowed Clothier the opportunity to feel like he belonged.

“I felt like I was finally doing something for my school,” Clothier said. “I was so determined to play my best game that I just blocked the crowd out.”

>> Read more about SOBC’s empowering school sport programs

Step into spring fundraising with the BC LETR

Get ready to lace up your running shoes, break out your golf clubs, and bust out your ninja skills for fun Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC events this spring!

Victoria Free the Fuzz

From May 3 to 5, law enforcement members will camp out on scaffolding at Uptown shopping centre to raise funds and awareness for SOBC. This fundraiser will include live music, police demonstrations, and fun activities for the whole family.

AppyPD Heroes Ninja Challenge

Put your skills and agility to the test with this family-friendly event on June 1. The course starts at Bradner Elementary School and includes approximately four kilometres of running and five fitness challenges in a beautiful setting.

Victoria Torch Run

Join BC LETR members and SOBC – Victoria athletes for this fun run/walk on June 1. Participants will meet at Windsor Park, and the event will take place ahead of the Oak Bay Tea Party Parade.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament

Enjoy a great day on the greens on June 3 at the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club. Registration for the tournament is $125 and includes use of a power cart, a barbecue lunch courtesy of Mr. MIKES SteakhouseCasual Coquitlam, and a buffet dinner.

>> Register and learn more about BC LETR events

SOBC Lower Mainland Youth Sports Day presented by Methanex coming May 11

We’re so excited to host the Special Olympics BC Youth Sports Day presented by Methanex in Burnaby on May 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., offering a day full of smiles for children with intellectual disabilities and families!

Registered and new athletes ages two to 12 and their families are welcome to take part in this free, fun-filled event. Snacks, water, and juice will be provided.

For more information or to receive a registration form, please contact SOBC’s Chelsea Rogers by email or by phone at 604-802-4226.

To reserve your spot, please register by May 6. Registration will also be available at the event, but children who register by May 6 will be guaranteed to receive a participant T-shirt.

Special Olympics Team Canada 2019 inspired in Abu Dhabi and Dubai

The 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games delivered a week of remarkable competition where more than 7,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities from 200 countries showed the world their amazing abilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Special Olympics Team Canada 2019 had a highly successful Games, including incredible performances by British Columbia’s 11 athletes and inspiring dedication from our province’s six coaches and three mission staff.

“Our province should be very proud of our members of Special Olympics Team Canada 2019. They worked very hard to be at their best on the world stage, and they showed inspiring determination, sportsmanship, and skills,” said Lois McNary, Special Olympics BC Vice President, Sport.

Swimmer Genny Verge of SOBC – Sunshine Coast, winner of three 2019 World Games gold medals, said the best parts of the experience were “getting to know my friends and my teammates – getting to race other people – and getting to see everyone come together as one and celebrate the love of sport.”

B.C.’s highlights were the many personal bests, firsts, and goals achieved by all the athletes. Please click below for results, comments, and media coverage!

>> Read more

Gearing up for the game-changing Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament

The Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament is regarded as one of the Lower Mainland’s must-attend golf events, and it has raised nearly $3.2 million to support Special Olympics BC’s empowering year-round programs and opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities throughout the province. This year’s tournament returns to Northview Golf and Country Club on June 20!

We are very grateful to Goldcorp and all the sponsors, volunteers, teams, and supporters who participate in this event to help SOBC change lives through the power and joy of sport.

At the 2018 Goldcorp Invitational, SOBC – Abbotsford athlete Paige Norton shared the impact of Special Olympics on her life and health. Born with Down syndrome and a number of health issues, she had her first heart surgery at just five months old, and open-heart surgery at three years old. Norton and her family were told that she would need additional surgery as she grew older.

“Imagine how happy and surprised my parents where when, at 13 years old, my cardiologist told us he didn’t feel I would need any further surgery. He said my healthy lifestyle, sports, and my training have given me a strong heart.”

But for Norton, “The most important thing that Special Olympics brings to my life is friends and the feeling of belonging. A place for people to accept me, and for me to be the best that I can be.”

Supporters can be part of this highly regarded golf experience by becoming a sponsor or donating an auction item. To get involved and make a difference, please contact Christina Hadley by email or by phone at 604-737-3073 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Fun with Fit Families & Friends

Special Olympics BC Locals looking for additional ways to help athletes be active are encouraged to offer Fit Families & Friends programs! These popular summertime programs allow SOBC athletes to get together with their families, friends, and social supports to exercise in fun ways. Participants also learn nutrition tips and create an engaging environment to encourage each other and meet health goals together.

To learn how your community can have fun offering Fit Families & Friends, please contact SOBC’s Sarah Russell by email or by phone at 604-737-3081 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Fun fact: You don’t need to be a coach to lead a Fit Families & Friends program – this is a great opportunity for parents, caregivers, or community members who want to be involved but can’t commit to a full season or are interested in trying out Special Olympics!

>> Learn more

motionball Marathon of Sport events feature inclusion, fundraising, fun

Founded by the Etherington family, motionball is a charitable organization that introduces a new generation of supporters, sponsors, and volunteers to the Special Olympics movement through sporting and social events that integrate Special Olympics athletes and young professionals. Since its inception in 2002, motionball has donated more than $10 million net to the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

At motionball’s Marathon of Sport events, teams of young professionals fundraise to participate in a fun day of competition alongside local Special Olympics athletes in a variety of sports. In every motionball Marathon of Sport, you’ll find a remarkable spirit of inclusion, meaningful friendships between participants, significant funds and awareness raised for Special Olympics, and tons of fun!

The Marathon of Sport Vancouver presented by Hootsuite is set to return to the EA Sports complex on June 1, and the Marathon of Sport Kelowna presented by Kelowna Toyota is scheduled to be back in City Park on September 21. We can’t wait for the return of these super-successful and super-fun days of sport and inclusion!

>> Learn more and support participants

Volunteer committee gives their time to SOBC awards

Special Olympics BC is thrilled to announce there are 45 nominations for this year’s provincial awards! Sincere congratulations to all the deserving nominees, who will be announced next month, and many thanks to the volunteers and athletes who took the time to nominate inspiring community members for their outstanding contributions and performances.

Did you know the SOBC award winners are chosen each year by a selection committee comprised of volunteers from around the province? These dedicated individuals carefully review all the nominations in order to choose the winners – a tough task with so many inspiring people and compelling nominations to consider!

Our sincere thanks go out to this year’s committee members: SOBC Regional Coordinators Tina Giesbrecht (Region 7) and Karen Theriault (Region 4), SOBC Directors Brent Bergeron and Eamonn Percy, SOBC – Abbotsford Local Coordinator Cindy Suffel-Marchbank, and SOBC – Langley athlete Matthew Williams.

Please click here to learn more about SOBC’s awards and stay tuned for upcoming announcements of the nominees and winners!

SOBC Leadership Council update

At their April 2019 meeting, Special Olympics BC’s Leadership Council marked a number of changes, beginning with a salute to longtime Leadership Chair Patty Wheeldon, who stepped down after many years of dedicated and effective service, and a warm welcome to Region 3 Coordinator Donna Bilous who is taking on the role.

The council also celebrated the addition of Jason Yan as Region 6 Coordinator, and thanked departing Coordinators Sheila Paynter (Region 2) and Marie-Helene Labonte (Region 1) for their years of commitment and leadership to help athletes and programs.

Sincere thanks to these valued leaders and all of the volunteer council members for generously giving so much time, energy, and insights to improve Special Olympics BC!

>> Read more

Coaches Corner: Check out upcoming NCCP courses in Invermere and Surrey

National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Special Olympics Competition Sport Workshop courses are hosted by Special Olympics BC to provide customized training for coaches of athletes with intellectual disabilities.

All coaches (except for Active Start and FUNdamentals leaders) are required to complete this course within their first year of coaching Special Olympics athletes.

The next courses are coming up in Invermere and Surrey on the weekend of May 25 and 26!

To register, please contact SOBC’s Leslie Thornley by email or by phone at 250-317-1272 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Registration will be on a first-come first-served basis. Once class capacity has been reached, interested participants will be placed on a wait list.

Special Olympics International seeking feedback on strategic plan

Memo from Mary Davis, CEO, Special Olympics International:

I’m excited to announce the start of developing the next five-year Strategic Plan for 2021-2025.

How can we build on the progress that we’ve made and become even more impactful and relevant? How can we bring even more people into our movement for inclusion? How can we secure ample funding for our vitally important work? How can we deliver, as quickly as possible, together? All of these questions will be addressed in our new plan – and we need your input.

How will the new plan be developed? The following principles will guide the process:

  • Transparency: We will be open about process, share content, and communicate decision-making.
  • Diversity: We will seek opinions from a wide range stakeholders and audiences.
  • Feedback: We will consider all feedback.
  • Technology: We will fully utilize the latest technology to engage everyone.
  • Focus: We will clarify and focus on priorities.

What’s the first step? We need to know how we are doing with the current strategic plan.

Please complete this SURVEY by May 13. Tell us how you really feel, please.

Thank you for your feedback to help take our organization to the next level of success!

Celebrating #50moments of Special Olympics

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the global Special Olympics movement, we are taking a look back at the #50moments that have defined Special Olympics here in B.C. and throughout the world.

Check out the latest moments:

Make sure to check our social media channels and website every Tuesday for the latest instalment and share the joy and inspiration that helped define the last 50 years of Special Olympics.

> Click here for more stories

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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