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Latest Newsletter

Special Olympics athlete Scott aced the first SOBC Virtual Competition!

Congratulations to Special Olympics BC – Quesnel’s Scott Jonasson and all the athletes and coaches involved the first SOBC Fall 2020 Virtual Competition! Read more

Special Olympics BC Return to Sport news

SOBC Return to Sport Plan basic principles

Based on consultations with community members and provincial experts, Special Olympics BC has invited in-person programs in Regions 3, 4, and 5 to resume if they want to do so at this time. In all other Regions, in-person programs can continue as they have.

The only in-person programs that must pause until further notice are powerlifting and indoor Club Fit, throughout the province. This is based on the current provincial restrictions that have temporarily suspended indoor strength and conditioning programs, while new guidance is being developed.

During in-person programs, everyone must continue to follow the Provincial Health Officer’s order requiring mask wearing in all indoor public spaces. And it’s vital that everyone continue to diligently follow all the current SOBC Return to Sport safety protocols.

Programs must pause no later than December 18, giving everyone a break for the holiday season. In the new year, SOBC will review the current situation at that time, and will advise everyone by January 7 if in-person programs can reopen starting January 11. If you have any specific considerations to raise for your program, please reach out to covid@specialolympics.bc.ca. For virtual programs, the timelines can be decided by individual coaches in consultation with their Local.

>> Read the full update from November 25

>> Find the full Return to Sport Plan and resources

Standing ovation for supporters of the first Virtual Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals

Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter and Special Olympics athlete Michael Langridge

Special Olympics BC and the Canucks for Kids Fund are so grateful to everyone who chose to support the 2020 Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals and help change lives through the power and joy of sport!

With multiple online fundraising events from November 3 to 10, culminating in a live virtual show on November 10, the first virtual Sports Celebrities Festival raised more than $440,000 to support SOBC and the Canucks for Kids Fund.

We are so grateful to all the 2020 Sports Celebrities Festival organizing committee members, and all the sponsors who did not hesitate to continue supporting us, even though the event and the broader context are so very different than past years. Sincere thanks to:

>> Read more and rewatch the show

Staying healthy at home

Special Olympics BC Super September icon

Special Olympics BC has developed tools and programs to help athletes stay active and connected through these distanced times. Please visit our Upcoming Health Opportunities page to find up-to-date information on SOBC health initiatives in which you can participate. A few highlights of resources and events:

Special Olympics BC’s health initiatives are made possible by the ongoing support of our provincial partners and fundraising events, including the leading role of the Government of British Columbia and Government of Canada, and the generous support of provincial partner Prospera Credit Union.

>> Learn more

Excitement of competing returns with SOBC 2020 Fall Virtual Competition

SOBC – Coquitlam bocce players Lori, Ariel, and Lauren celebrate their achievements

Around the province, Special Olympics BC members are discussing and testing ways to run meaningful virtual competitions in these unique times. This fall saw the first-ever SOBC Fall 2020 Virtual Competition, hosted for athletes participating in current in-person athletics, bocce, and golf programs.

On competition night in their home community, each athlete challenged themselves to complete the set events to the best of their abilities. Coaches ran the events and created wonderful competition experiences. Then they submitted results to the SOBC provincial office. SOBC Sport Coordinator Jean Tetarenko brought together all the athletes’ results from around the province, ran them through divisioning, and released results that all the participants could celebrate.

Congratulations to the 58 competitors from SOBC – Coquitlam, Kimberley/Cranbrook, Nanaimo, Prince George, Quesnel, Smithers, and Surrey, who delivered terrific performances and overcame some less-than-ideal fall weather conditions!

>> Read more

News from SOBC Athlete Leadership

Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership promotion

There are exciting things happening in the world of Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership. We are revamping traditional SOBC Athlete Leadership courses to start offering them virtually! And planning is in process to launch the SOBC Athlete Input Council, which will bring together trained athlete leaders from around the province to share vital input on Special Olympics sport, programs, and planning.

As part of our 2020-21 series of virtual Athlete Leadership programs, SOBC will offer the two-part Virtual Athlete Reporter Training on December 5 and 12 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. PT! (Athletes must participate in both sessions to complete the course.)

This course helps athletes build skills in storytelling, technology, and social media. It is a great fit for athletes who like to use their smartphones and understand social media!

>> Read more and find registration details

Changing lives today, tomorrow, and forever

Today, Tomorrow, Forever holiday graphic

During these uncertain times, it can be difficult to imagine a brighter tomorrow – a day when things will get better. But across our great province, our isolation has shown how important our connections really are, how important we are to one another, and that we can overcome any adversity put before us!

Watch the Today, Tomorrow, Forever video

Special Olympics BC is a community, a family, and a source of emotional stability for more than 5,200 athletes across the province. This digital fundraising campaign will provide SOBC with vital support as we work to restart the empowering programs where athletes gain essential friendships and pride.

If you are looking for a way to have a lasting impact with your holiday giving, you can help us change lives by donating at www.sobcforever.ca. You can also make a difference this holiday season by sharing this campaign with friends, family, and coworkers.

>> Learn more

Celebrating four decades of Special Olympics in B.C.

Special Olympics BC 40th anniversary poster

On November 26, 1980, Special Olympics BC officially incorporated! This launched four decades of this life-changing movement in our province. We are beyond grateful to all of the dedicated athletes, coaches, volunteers, and supporters who have made Special Olympics BC possible.

SOBC – Campbell River Local Coordinator Maureen Hunter is a member of the SOBC Hall of Fame for her nearly 40 years of life-changing volunteer leadership, mentorship, coaching, and more. To help celebrate SOBC’s anniversary, she took a walk down memory lane with accomplished SOBC – Campbell River athlete Ashley Adie. Please click here to watch their inspiring conversation.

“As someone who’s coached for almost 40 years, and who’s been involved in the field of working with people and helping them find jobs in the community, I think one of the things I’m very proud of is how Special Olympics has led the way with the inclusion movement, through training and community training and raising the awareness,” Hunter said. “One of the things I really, really notice is now it’s the athletes are given more opportunity for choice, and we help support the athletes finding their voices and speaking up as to what they want and what their hopes and dreams are, not what we think is best for you as coaches or caregivers. It’s about what do you want, and how do you feel. That’s a huge change in society, but I think what I’m most proud of is Special Olympics has led that. We’ve taken the charge and run with it. That’s pretty amazing, and that’s something as a coach I’m very proud to say I am part of.”

>> Watch the anniversary ceremony

Honoring inspiring individuals at the Special Olympics Canada National Awards Night

Special Olympics Canada Awards Night promotion

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

Due to COVID-19, this year’s ceremony will take place online, which means everyone can attend!

The 32nd Special Olympics Canada National Awards Night will be hosted online by TSN on Thursday, December 3, at 4 p.m. PT. Register and learn more here!

Tributes to celebrity champions

Howie Meeker and Special Olympics athlete Joshua Brearley

Special Olympics BC mourns the passing of Howie Meeker, an unforgettable sport icon and an influential and inspiring friend to our movement for more than four decades, who died this month at the age of 97. Meeker was a Canadian hockey legend, as a player, coach, and iconic broadcaster. For more than 40 years, he was also a powerful champion of Special Olympics athletes and programs, both nationwide and right here in B.C. Please click here to learn more about his life and legacy

SOBC congratulates three inspiring champions of Special Olympics who have just been deservingly appointed to the Order of Canada: Companion Mark Tewksbury, and Members Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. We are grateful for all that they do for Special Olympics and inclusion! Please click here for their induction announcement

Spread the word for featured volunteer opportunities

Special Olympics BC athlete Dave and coach George in 2014

Local Committee volunteers are the vital organizers who make Special Olympics BC programs and events possible. SOBC has created a website page to help advertise Local Committee volunteer opportunities around the province, hoping to support Locals in filling these roles.

Please click here to find the page that is being kept up to date with current openings.

It would be much appreciated if you can spread the word in your networks about any opportunities that appear on this page. Please encourage others to get involved in Special Olympics and change lives through the power and joy of sport, the same way you do!

Coaches Corner: Upcoming webinars

Coaches Corner icon

Return to Sport training

Special Olympics BC is running required Return to Sport training webinars for all coaches in the sports that are reopening. More webinars will be added as the need arises. Upcoming webinar dates:

The registration deadline for each is 9 a.m. on the day of the webinar.

Coach Development Webinars 

These Zoom sessions bring together SOBC coaches and sport-specific experts to share expertise and tactics.

Upcoming Coach Development Webinars include:

Additional events and resources

If you have any questions, please contact SOBC Sport Manager Helen Cheung by email or by phone at 604-737-3055.

Stay connected

Special Olympics BC logo

Do you want more people to be aware of Special Olympics BC and inspired by our incredible community? Please forward SOBC’s e-newsletters to anyone and everyone who might be interested!

Did you receive this e-newsletter as a forward from a friend? Please join our mailing list to receive future monthly bulletins full of news and inspiration! Please click here to sign up.

Are you interested in daily updates on Special Olympics BC’s people, programs, and events? Please join the community on our social media accounts!

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Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2H6
Toll-free: 1-888-854-2276
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