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November 2019 Newsletter

Special Olympics BC Summer Games going to Surrey in 2021

Special Olympics BC representatives and Surrey dignitaries at the 2021 SOBC Summer Games location announcement

2021 Special Olympics BC Summer Games set to be held in Surrey

Special Olympics BC athletes and Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum

In July 2021, Special Olympics athletes from all over B.C. and the Yukon will come together in Surrey to compete and inspire in the 2021 Special Olympics BC Summer Games.

The 2021 Provincial Summer Games will feature more than 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities competing with pride in the 10 SOBC summer sports: 10-pin bowling, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball, and swimming. The participating athletes will be supported by approximately 300 volunteer coaches and mission staff.

The 2021 SOBC Games host community was announced on November 7 at Surrey City Hall, in an event with remarks from SOBC President & CEO Dan Howe, City of Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, School District No. 36 Board of Education Chair Laurie Larsen, and SOBC – Surrey athlete Ryan Canuel, followed by a rhythmic gymnastics demonstration by SOBC – Surrey athletes Krista Milne and Jennifer Utendale.

This will be the first time that Special Olympics BC Provincial Games have been hosted in Surrey!

>> Read more

CF|24 raising the bar for Special Olympics

CF|24 presented by TYDAX Fitness

CF|24 presented by TYDAX Fitness participants are flexing their fundraising muscles!

In gyms across the country, fitness enthusiasts are taking on a series of workouts to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics. Participants sweat it out alongside Special Olympics athletes as they complete 24 workouts in 24 hours, four workouts in four hours, or one 24-minute workout.

Big thanks to the B.C. gyms taking part in this awesome motionball event! CrossFit Ladysmith crushed it on November 23 and CrossFit BC and Raincity Athletics will take the challenge on December 7.

You can celebrate inclusion and make your workouts make a difference by encouraging your local gym to get involved. For more information, check out www.cf24.ca or contact Meg Ishida by email or by phone at 604-314-4535 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

>> Learn more

Healthy Athletes screenings are rewarding and impactful

Special Olympics BC Healthy Athletes Screening Day Victoria

Special Olympics BC’s Healthy Athletes screenings address the challenges that individuals with intellectual disabilities have around health care and communicating their needs.

Many individuals with IDs have trouble realizing or expressing their health concerns, and at the same time, many health professionals have not had the opportunity to receive specific training, or are not familiar enough with this population, to know the best questions to ask to draw out the issues.

Through Healthy Athletes, health care professionals receive training about the specific health care concerns of people with intellectual disabilities, learning how to ask the right questions and create a welcoming, supportive environment where they can draw out issues. The enjoyable interactions at Healthy Athletes screenings lead to referrals back into the health care system, to ensure the individuals with IDs will get the treatment they need.

The next SOBC Healthy Athletes Screening Day is coming up in Coquitlam on December 1, featuring Fit Feet, Healthy Hearing, Special Smiles, and Health Promotion screenings! Please click here for details. If you are interested, please contact SOBC Sport Coordinator Marlow de Paul by email or by phone at 604-737-3081.

>> Read more about this year’s SOBC Healthy Athletes screenings

Four Special Olympics Canada Award winners call B.C. home

2019 Special Olympics Canada award winners

Each year, Special Olympics Canada recognizes its incredible athletes, coaches, and volunteers from across the country who exemplify the spirit and essence of the movement at the Special Olympics Canada National Awards Night in Toronto.

On November 14, four volunteers from B.C. were recognized for their outstanding efforts to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through the power and joy of sports.

  • Angela Behn – 2019 Special Olympics Canada Female Coach of the Year
  • Peter De Marchi – 2019 Special Olympics Canada Male Coach of the Year
  • Michael Blondé and Mike McClenahan – 2019 Frank Selke Jr. Fundraising Volunteer of the Year

>> Read more

Staples campaign helps Special Olympics athletes achieve their dreams

Give a Toonie Share a Dream campaign in Coquitlam

Special Olympics BC – Vernon athlete Katelyn Oliver has been involved with the Staples Canada Give a Toonie Share a Dream campaign for many years. She says the campaign is important because it raises funds that help make Special Olympics programs possible, and it spreads awareness in communities throughout the province.

“It helps us know that the community is behind us,” she says.

The 19th annual Give a Toonie Share a Dream fundraising campaign ran from April 27 to May 27 and from October 21 to November 3. During this national campaign, Special Olympics athletes and volunteers joined Staples staff in stores to invite customers to donate at the till or online. The 2019 fundraiser raised more than $550,000 across Canada.

>> Read more

Team BC 2020 Training Squad is in top form

Team BC 2020 Training Squad cross country skiers

The Special Olympics Team BC 2020 Training Squad is pumped to be 92 days away from the opening of the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay! This month included the team’s last two Sport Summits, with the alpine skiers together November 16-17 and cross country skiers getting on snow (!) this past weekend at Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre.

“It makes me happy to compete. I work and train hard,” says Team BC cross country skier Sebastian Gylander of SOBC – Golden. “It would make me proud to bring home the gold [from National Games]. I am looking forward also to meeting new athletes from across Canada to form new friendships.”

All athletes are training at least three times a week in their hometowns, supported by dedicated team coaches, training coaches, and mission staff.

>> Read more in their latest team newsletter

Team BC Families & Fans have two fast-approaching deadlines: November 28 is the deadline to register for the National Games Family and Friends program, and November 29 is the deadline to order Team BC supporters apparel. Please click here for links and details.

Fans can follow the journey on Special Olympics BC’s social media accounts and website www.soteambc2020.ca!

Draft an Athlete helps Team BC members achieve their goals

SOBC – Campbell River athlete Ashley Adie

Ashley Adie says being a Special Olympics BC athlete has helped her grow as a person.

“It’s given me purpose. It’s given me a reason to look forward to the day, something to commit myself to,” she says. “It’s not just the competitive aspect – it’s the atmosphere. It doesn’t matter what your differences are, what your background is, or how disabled you are – everyone is inclusive of one another and encourages each other. It is so welcoming!”

Ashley is one of 143 Special Olympics Team BC 2020 Training Squad athletes preparing to compete at the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay from February 25 to 29. Here, athletes from across the country will develop skills, build confidence, and show their abilities.

Read Ashley’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 2020 athlete.

>> Donate now
>> Follow Team BC

Road to 2023 World Games set to start with 2020 Regional Qualifiers

Regional Qualifiers promo

The second half of the 2019-20 sport season will feature amazing action around the province in Regional Qualifier competitions in Special Olympics BC’s 10 summer sports.

In the 2020 Regional Qualifiers, athletes will give their all seeking to earn spots in the 2021 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Surrey. Those Provincial Games will be the qualifier for the 2022 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Medicine Hat, Alberta, which are the national qualifier for the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin, Germany.

For SOBC athletes, it all starts right here with Regional Qualifiers. A significant number of Locals around the province will host these exciting competitions, and we sincerely thank all the volunteers, coaches, and supporters who put in so much time to make these important opportunities possible. Best of luck to all competitors!

Regional Qualifier dates are expected to be finalized soon, so stay tuned for lots more details in the coming weeks! If you are planning a competition and need sanctioning documents or any other resources, please contact SOBC Sport Coordinator Jean Tetarenko by email or by phone at 250-883-2452 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Fun and inclusion thrive at motionball Marathon of Sport events

motionball Marathon of Sport Vancouver

The 2019 motionball Marathon of Sport events in B.C were full of big smiles, high-fives, and successful fundraising.

“Marathon of Sport is a good opportunity to meet new friends, athletes, and volunteers,” says Special Olympics BC – Vancouver athlete Richard Louis. “At Marathon of Sport, having fun and showing good sportsmanship makes me feel good and happy!”

At Marathon of Sport events, young professionals compete alongside Special Olympics athletes in a variety of sports, such as basketball, bocce, volleyball, and Ultimate. At these events, you’ll find a remarkable spirit of inclusion, meaningful interactions between participants, and significant funds and awareness raised for Special Olympics programs across the country.

>> Read more

Special Olympics BC youth programs: starting off on the right foot

Special Olympics BC is committed to providing children and youth with intellectual disabilities opportunities to develop vital sport and motor skills. These programs are meant to get participants moving and introduce a love of sport and exercise in a positive and supportive manner.

There are three core SOBC youth programs:

Currently there are 75 SOBC Active Start, FUNdamentals, and Sport Start programs running in communities around the province, where children from two to 18 are able to gain vital motor skills, develop healthy habits, and work on their social relationships with other participants and volunteers.

Cora Siytangco is the mother of two terrific Special Olympics BC athletes and says, “It is important for us to find activities and organizations that are supportive and inclusive. Physical activities are not just for physical health, they continue to help our sons’ social and emotional development.”

>> Read more

Fantastic first splash for the Revelstoke Polar Plunge

Revelstoke Polar Plunge for SOBC

Revelstoke RCMP members and other brave Special Olympics BC supporters made a big splash on October 20!

The inaugural Revelstoke Polar Plunge for SOBC raised more than $6,000, with more than 20 people taking the icy dip into Williamson Lake. This was the first Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC in Region 2, and the first time SOBC supporters took the Plunge into freshwater.

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to everyone who helped promote and ensure our inaugural event was a huge success,” Revelstoke RCMP Constable Josh McCann said to Global News.

Big thanks to Revelstoke RCMP members for organizing this freezing and fun Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOBC event. We are also grateful to all the volunteers, sponsors, and Plungers who helped make the Revelstoke Polar Plunge so successful.

Club Fit helping enhance health and fitness

Special Olympics BC Club Fit Summit 2019

This month’s Special Olympics BC Club Fit Summit featured a great gathering of about 20 Club Fit instructors from all over the province, who came together to collaborate on ideas and best practices. Their valuable Club Fit programs help athletes enhance their overall fitness and health through fun workouts, benefitting them in sports and in life.

Working in a very collaborative atmosphere, the instructors talked about new ways to continue the progress of their programs, and new ways to engage athletes. They learned about available resources such as the Special Olympics International Fit 5 tools, which are workout demonstration videos, cards, and guides that feature Special Olympics athletes performing the movements. The Fit 5 links were well received and can be found on the SOBC Club Fit resources page.

The coaches also participated in sessions to add more tools to offer athletes, such as the yoga for health session led by Erin Moon of the World Spine Care Yoga Project. Moon trains yoga teachers to support individuals who experience low mobility using chair/wall poses, mindfulness, and breath for back care and pain management.

>> Read more

Well-earned recognition for Smallwood, Walsh, and Special Olympics Team Canada 2019 coaches

Randy Smallwood with Special Olympics Team BC 2016

We are so pleased to congratulate deserving Special Olympics BC volunteers who have been recently recognized with significant awards in their communities.

  • SOBC Board of Directors Vice Chair Randy Smallwood, the President & CEO of Wheaton Precious Metals, won the 2019 Business in Vancouver BC CEO Award in the Enterprise Company Category!
  • The dedicated Special Olympics Team Canada 2019 coaches were honoured with Coaching Association of Canada Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Awards, which recognize coaches whose athletes have excelled at world championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Special Olympics World Games!
  • SOBC – Dawson Creek and Team BC coach Jack Walsh is the Dawson Creek Athletic Association’s Coach of the Year!

>> Read more

SOBC athletes and coaches announced for Fort St. John 2020 BC Winter Games

BC Winter Games 2018 figure skaters

We are excited to announce the Special Olympics BC figure skating and speed skating athletes and coaches who will be participating in the 2020 BC Winter Games, which will take place in Fort St. John next February!

A review of sports by the BC Games has resulted in changes to which Special Olympics events will be offered at the 2020 BC Winter Games. At these Games, SOBC athletes will have the opportunity to compete in speed skating (for the first time) as well as figure skating. Basketball, which was offered in the 2016 and 2018 Winter Games, is not being offered in 2020.

These BC Games are distinct from Special Olympics BC Games, which are our Provincial Games hosted by SOBC solely for SOBC athletes. SOBC athletes have been showcasing their skills in the generic BC Games for 17 years, competing in Special Olympics divisions.

>> Read more

Athlete and caregiver feedback wanted

Special Olympics BC athlete leader Jake Hooper

Athletes, there are opportunities right now to share your input to help Special Olympics plan and grow across the country and planet!

  • Jake Hooper, B.C.’s representative on the Canadian Athlete Leadership Council (pictured at right), is seeking feedback on four questions to help national planning – please click here to find the questions and share your thoughts by November 27.
  • Special Olympics North America athlete leaders created a survey for athletes to put in feedback for the next global Special Olympics strategic plan – please click here to find the survey and share your thoughts by December 1.

In addition, the Champions for Inclusive Health Stakeholder Coalition has launched surveys to seek insights from athletes and caregivers about their health experiences. Feedback will help tackle the systemic changes needed to improve health care and overall health for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Thank you for your time and valuable insights!

Coaches Corner: Tools for building basic sport skills

Special Olympics BC bocce

✅ Through his work with Special Olympics BC and the Coach Development Workshops (formerly Performance Program), sport performance expert Jacques Thibault has created a skill package for every SOBC sport. These packages outline the basic skills that each athlete should be able to do as a foundation for their sport. The packages are valuable for coaches because they contain tips for coaching skill progression, assessment checklists, and lesson planning tools.

The Basic Skill Acquisition packages for all 18 SOBC sports can be found on each sport page in the Sport Rules, Resources, and Videos hub.

These packages identify the fundamental skills that an athlete should have to participate with confidence and ability in their chosen sport. Having these skills will allow athletes not only to succeed in Special Olympics programs and competitions, but also feel confident that they can go into generic sport settings and be active and successful there too.

Thanks to Jacques for creating and sharing these valuable resources, and thanks to all coaches for making use of these tools to help elevate performance province-wide!

✅ The next NCCP Special Olympics Competition Sport Workshops are coming up in Qualicum Beach January 18-19 and Vernon February 1-2!

✅ Make sure to take advantage of all resources Special Olympics BC has to offer by checking out the resources page here.

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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