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Special Olympics BC Athletic Achievement Award winner Tanya Norman

Special Olympics BC – Powell River athlete Tanya Norman, winner of the 2020 SOBC Athletic Achievement Award!  

Next steps in Special Olympics BC’s safe, staged Return to Sport

SOBC Return to Sport Plan basic principles

Based on the success of the first Special Olympics BC Pilot Programs, we are ready to take the next step in our slow, phased Return to Sport Plan. We are excited to announce that athletics, bocce, outdoor Club Fit, and golf can move to Level 1. All Locals around the province can now offer these four programs, once they receive approval from SOBC.

For anyone who has not yet viewed the SOBC Return to Sport Plan, the document and all related resources can be found on the SOBC website here. We encourage everyone to check this page regularly, because updates and additions of resources will be ongoing.

Special Olympics BC puts the safety and wellbeing of our athletes, volunteers, supporters, and staff first. To that end, we are being cautious now as we begin our return to sport, meetings, and fundraising. We will continue with caution while trying to provide sport opportunities for athletes.

>> Read more

Sobeys supports Special Olympics athletes with $1M donation and nutrition education

Sobeys fundraising campaign 2019 Richmond Safeway

Sobeys is a proud National Partner of Special Olympics Canada. Since 2016, Sobeys has contributed more than $5.4 million in food and funds. They are committed to helping address the need for increased nutrition education and resources for Canadians with intellectual disabilities, and to empowering Special Olympics athletes to achieve healthy bodies and healthy minds.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sobeys made the difficult decision to cancel their national checkstand fundraising campaign for Special Olympics that had been planned for June 2020. To ensure this decision would not negatively impact Special Olympics athletes across Canada, Sobeys honoured its fundraising target with a $1 million donation to Special Olympics Canada.

Special Olympics BC thanks Sobeys, Safeway, and Thrifty Foods for their astounding $1 million donation. This will help Special Olympics programs in communities across Canada return to play as soon as safely possible, renewing vital connections and opportunities for Special Olympics athletes and coaches nationwide.

>> Read more

Congratulations to our inspiring provincial award winners

Special Olympics BC 2020 Awards

Special Olympics BC is proud to recognize the exceptional contributions and achievements of SOBC athletes, volunteers, and sponsors through our five annual awards. Huge congratulations to the 2020 SOBC award winners:

  • Athletic Achievement Award: Tanya Norman, SOBC – Powell River athlete, National Games floor hockey medallist
  • Grassroots Coach Award: Rita Wares and Rod Cowie, longtime SOBC – Vancouver soccer coaches and program builders
  • Howard Carter Award: Misty Pagliaro, dedicated coach for SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook and multiple provincial and national Special Olympics teams in summer and winter sports
  • President’s Award: Anne Evans, founding SOBC – Port Alberni volunteer and champion of inclusion
  • Spirit of Sport Award: Roy Stephens, a positive, dedicated, accomplished and encouraging SOBC – Kelowna athlete

The 2020 winners and nominees of each award were announced in new virtual award ceremonies in July. Please click here to read about the winners and be inspired by all the virtual ceremonies!

Congratulations again to all the 2020 SOBC award winners and nominees for their extraordinary achievements and their life-changing contributions to Special Olympics and our province!

New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction set for September start

New Car Dealers Association of BC

The New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction is revving up to raise funds for SOBC!

Running from September 18 to 24, this online event will feature many exciting items donated by New Car Dealers members and supporters to benefit Special Olympics BC and the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC. Sought-after prizes will include a Honda Civic four-door sedan as well as items in automotive, business, food, lifestyle, media, sport, travel, and wine.

The New Car Dealers Association of BC has been driving support for Special Olympics athletes and programs throughout the province since 1984, and has raised more than $5.1 million through this impactful annual auction.

Special thanks to the BC Honda Dealers Association for donating a vehicle to this September event! We are also grateful to all the dealers and companies that made a cash donation or donated an auction item!

To donate to the auction, or for more information on how you can get involved, please contact Christina Hadley, SOBC Vice President, Fund Development & Communications, by email or by phone at 604-616-1343.

Virtual Fit Families & Friends complete Region 5 milestone

Virtual Fit Families & Friends icon

Our Virtual Fit Families & Friends program is a virtual walking club with the collective goal of walking around the province and visiting each Local along the way! This program provides great opportunities for Special Olympics BC athletes to get outside, exercise, and connect with others virtually to create engaging and supportive social networks.

Visit the Fit Families & Friends page to find weekly healthy recipes, leaderboards, and digital badges you can download to celebrate milestones. Participants have already walked more than 112 kilometres collectively, and have completed the SOBC Region 5 route! Let’s keep moving and get that heart rate up!

Any athletes and coaches who would like to be part of the program can contact Special Olympics BC Sport Coordinator Marlow de Paul by email or by phone at 604-737-3081.

Sincere thanks to the Government of British Columbia, Government of Canada and Prospera Credit Union for all their impactful support of SOBC health programming, and to the Hamber Foundation for their generous support of Fit Families & Friends!

>> Read more

Canucks for Kids Fund comes through in the clutch for SOBC

2019 Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals

A big stick tap to our friends at the Canucks for Kids Fund for setting us up with a huge assist!

The Canucks for Kids Fund has provided Special Olympics BC with a grant of $167,000. This generous total is to offset any loss in revenue the 2020 Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals may experience due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The pandemic has had a profound effect on Special Olympics BC’s fundraising initiatives. Many of SOBC’s in-person fundraisers have needed to be cancelled, postponed, or modified to meet social distancing guidelines. As a result, securing funds to support our empowering programs has become more important than ever.

A major fundraising event, the Sports Celebrities Festival has raised more than $5.5 million over the last two decades to support the critical work of the Canucks for Kids Fund and Special Olympics BC. Normally an interactive gala, this year’s event will need to be reimagined because of restrictions related to COVID-19. Please stay tuned to SOBC communications channels for news on the 2020 SCF.

We are extremely grateful to the Canucks for Kids Fund for their ongoing friendship and for helping us create life-changing opportunities for SOBC athletes throughout the province!

>> Read more

Registration for the 2020-21 sport season

Special Olympics BC logo

Last week, Special Olympics BC was able to share an update on the Return to Sport process. We also shared new provincial and national registration forms and waivers that will need to be used for the 2020-21 sport season.

Given all of this, the dedicated volunteers in Special Olympics BC Local Committees around the province are now working on each Local’s registration procedures for the 2020-21 season. We are so thankful to all the hardworking Local Committee volunteers around the province! Many have been meeting and continuing their hard work throughout these unusual times. We’re so thankful for these essential behind-the-scenes volunteers and all that they do.

Please stay tuned to your Local to learn more about upcoming opportunities! Please don’t hesitate to contact your Region’s Community Development Coordinator if you have any questions.

Newmont Invitational supporters make a difference for SOBC

Newmont Invitational Golf Tournament

Even though we had to postpone this year’s Newmont Invitational Golf Tournament, many sponsors and donors still stepped up to support Special Olympics BC!

Presenting Sponsor Newmont and Greens Sponsor Wheaton Precious Metals led the charge by immediately converting their sponsorships into donations to SOBC.

This inspired many other companies and individuals who had previously sponsored the tournament or purchased a team to also continue their support. This included Border Gold, Michael Campbell, Dueck Auto Group, Fiore Management and Advisory Corp, High Performance Communications Inc., Integrated Wealth Management Inc., Ozzie Jurock, Prospera Credit UnionReplay Destinations, Schachter Energy Research Services Inc., Stephen Roberts, StockScores, Greg Trammell, and the Windsor Plywood Foundation, held at the Vancouver Foundation.

Heartfelt thanks to these outstanding supporters for continuing to help us change lives throughout the province!

New tools available to develop essential sport-specific skills

Basketball skill demonstration

Here’s a new at-home sport training tool for all Special Olympics BC athletes! We have started to release Basic Sport Skills videos in order to help athletes practice and enhance the essential skills for their sports. Currently we have video content available for basketball, bocce, and golf. Additional videos of different skills and different sports will be rolled out over the coming months!

Please click here to find these videos, as well as PDF descriptions of the fundamental skills to train for every single SOBC sport.

By focusing on these core skills, any athlete can achieve success as they will work at their own pace to gain skills and increase their motivation, confidence, and physical abilities. Excelling at these skills mean that athletes will feel comfortable participating in their sport wherever they go, and will provide them with the tools to pursue physical activities for life.

>> Read more

Provincial sponsors go above and beyond for SOBC

motionball Vancouver’s Sarah Kapur

Even during this unique time, our fantastic provincial partners are finding new ways to show their support for Special Olympics BC athletes!

Haney Home Hardware held a inspiring fundraiser for SOBC on July 11. The Maple Ridge store generously donated 25 per cent of all sales from the day to Special Olympics BC, raising a terrific total of more than $3,000. We are grateful for this fundraising event and all of Home Hardware’s wonderful year-round support!

Ever since our programs went on pause in March, motionball volunteers have made it their mission to ensure Special Olympics athletes feel supported and connected. motionballers went online to lead workout sessions, share cooking tips, host dance parties, and participate in meaningful conversations with SOBC athletes. Also, motionball social media accounts have regularly posted messages of support and encouragement for athletes.

A special shoutout to motionball Vancouver’s Sarah Kapur (pictured), a registered kinesiologist who created motionball Monday workouts for the Special Olympics BC community every single Monday from April through July!

>> See all of SOBC’s valued provincial partners

Safe Sport Anti-Bullying Virtual Workshops support positivity and inclusion

Special Olympics BC safe sport icon

Special Olympics BC wants to make sure our programs are safe and happy places for all participants. We have developed a Safe Sport Anti-Bullying Virtual Workshop in order to continue to promote safe sport culture. These workshops bring together athletes and coaches to talk about bullying and share solutions to encourage inclusion.

Participants can expect an environment of open and honest communication, where they will receive the tools to help identify and address harmful scenarios. Due to the increasing number of online conversations, participants will also discuss how to stay safe while participating in online activities.

These workshops have been very well received and reached full capacity since going virtual. The next workshop is on Wednesday, August 26, at 6 p.m. PT. Since these workshops have limited capacity, please contact SOBC Community Development Coordinator Melainie Hatt ASAP by email to reserve your spot!

Making a difference Today, Tomorrow, Forever

Today, Tomorrow, Forever

During these uncertain times, it is hard not to feel isolated and disconnected from the world. But the connections within the Special Olympics BC community across the province can strengthen and support us today, tomorrow, and forever.

Together, we can overcome any adversity put before us.

To provide essential support as we all work to restart the empowering programs where athletes gain essential friendships and pride, SOBC will soon be launching a new digital fundraising campaign.

Please stay tuned to the SOBC website and social media channels for the kickoff. Please help spread the word that everyone can make a difference by helping Special Olympics BC create essential connections Today, Tomorrow, Forever.

Staying healthy and connected at home

Special Olympics BC Summer Sweat icon

Through the rest of August, Special Olympics BC will continue sharing weekly calendars with daily at-home workouts and nutrition challenges. Everyone is invited to participate in the #SOBCSummerSweat challenge to help you stay sport-ready while training at home! Please click here to find the calendars and lots more athlete health resources.

We also want to stay connected and hear how you’re doing. We will host Facebook Live conversations on August 19 at 2 p.m. (What’s On Your Mind Wednesday) and August 24 at noon (health info and challenge calendar kickoffs). Please come chat with us and share your advice for staying active at home!

In September, we will start hosting monthly Facebook Live conversations on the first Wednesday of the month, and we will share monthly calendars with health tips and at-home activities. We will share all the details on social media, on the SOBC website, and in upcoming newsletters!

>> Please click here for more tools to stay healthy at home

Registration open for motionball’s star-studded virtual event

2020 Marathon of Sport

Five-time Olympic medallist Tessa Virtue is teaming up with motionball for the 2020 Marathon of Sport on September 26! Join Virtue and other Canadian celebrities for an hour-long, action-packed broadcast that will feature a series of fun sport and fitness challenges. This interactive event will be available online – so you can follow along from anywhere!

“Thanks to the passionate and creative efforts of those in motionball and in the Special Olympics movement, we have found a way – we believe – to actually engage with even more athletes than we would have in the past!” motionball Vancouver’s Mike McClenahan said on SOBC’s What’s On Your Mind Wednesday.

You can register for the event if you would like to fundraise, or you can participate by simply tuning in to the broadcast on event day. This is your chance to have tons of fun, work out with world-class athletes, and support Special Olympics programs across Canada!

>> Learn more

Champions and Global Week of Inclusion open hearts and minds

Special Olympics Global Week of Inclusion photo collage

In the annual Special Olympics Global Week of Inclusion, held from July 20 to 26, many supporters stepped forward to show how they #ChooseToInclude. It was so inspiring to see the example set by Special Olympics BC athletes, coaches, and volunteers, and by many supporters including Chris Higgins and the Vancouver Canucks, members of provincial and federal parliament, Law Enforcement Torch Run champions, Youth Engagement Project advocates, Sobeys staff, the UNBC Timberwolves, and provincial sport organizations.

It was a joy to celebrate the abilities of Special Olympics athletes, and the champions of inclusion who create respect for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

But the work is far from done. Together, we have the power to change the world. Please click below to read inspiring remarks from SOBC volunteer and youth inclusion advocate Megan Owens of Chilliwack!

>> Read more

SOBC Youth Engagement Project 2020-21 champions will lead inclusive initiatives

Special Olympics BC Youth Engagement Project 2020-21 participants

With the support of the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps program, Special Olympics BC is fortunate to be working with an inspiring group of young volunteers on the second SOBC Youth Engagement Project.

As part of this program, youth ages 16 to 29 applied for the opportunity to run an inclusion initiative in their community. They will make a real difference by creating respect and opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

We’re delighted to welcome young leaders from Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Nanaimo, North Vancouver, Penticton, Richmond, Surrey, and Vancouver into this year’s Youth Engagement Project!

There are still a few openings available for youth who want to change the world by increasing inclusion in their communities. To find out more, please contact SOBC Youth Engagement Project Coordinator Scott Howe by email.

>> Read more

Kazan selected to host 2022 Special Olympics World Winter Games

Special Olympics Team Canada 2017 snowshoer Peter Snider

Special Olympics International has announced a location for the Special Olympics World Winter Games in January 2022: Congratulations to Kazan, Russia! Please click here to learn more.

As was previously communicated by Special Olympics Canada, the new January 2022 dates fall within a different fiscal year than the original 2021 World Games dates. Coupled with the financial impact of COVID-19, there are a number of financial implications to be reviewed. Additionally, there remain many uncertainties regarding mass gatherings and the safety of travel outside of Canada.

With the location now announced, Special Olympics Canada requires time to consult with funders, chapters, and other stakeholders to address a variety of elements related to Canada’s participation. Time to address factors specific to team safety and the financial stability of the organization is critical.

Special Olympics Canada is currently working on the necessary conversations and on national team selection, and will provide an update on their process soon.

SOBC volunteers win community awards for inspiring service

Special Olympics BC logo

We are delighted to congratulate five Special Olympics BC volunteers who have been recognized with local community awards this month, celebrating their selfless contributions, uplifting spirit, and dedication to the Special Olympics movement. These inspiring champions have helped individuals with intellectual disabilities discover the transformative powers of sport!

Congratulations to June Lum, Jessica Chapelski Souza, and Wilson Wong from Special Olympics BC – Vancouver, who are three of the five 2020 Vancouver Community Sport Champions, and to SOBC Youth Engagement Project volunteers Bremiella De Guzman and Pavneet Kalsi, who are 2020 winners of Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 Awards!

>> Read more

SOBC staff update

Special Olympics BC staff have been working remotely throughout the pause of programs. In August, the Lower Mainland staff started a return to office with a safety plan in place that includes physical distancing and hygiene measures.

SOBC is now hiring a full-time Office Administrator to provide a range of database support and administrative, clerical, technical, and business services based out of the Burnaby office. Please click here for the complete job posting.

Former staff Kate Atkinson, Tara Chapman, and Christopher Delahunty departed in recent months for new opportunities. We thank them and wish them well!

Coaches Corner

Coaches Corner icon

Special Olympics BC is a place where people come to participate in life-changing opportunities, learn new skills, and develop through sport. In order to facilitate that growth, SOBC has developed numerous resources posted on the website to help athletes, coaches, and volunteers get the most out of their programs.

We have also moved a number of coach education opportunities online! In the past few months, coaches have been meeting virtually for sport-specific Coach Development Webinars, and they have been a resounding success thanks to the participants.

SOBC coaches can now access sport-specific Coach Development Webinars and more virtual resources on the Online Coach Education page.

If you have any questions, please contact Helen Cheung, SOBC Sport Manager, by email or by phone at 604-7373055.

Stay connected

Special Olympics BC logo

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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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