B.C. Special Olympics Newsletter September 2017

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September 2017 Newsletter

National Coaches Week

Announcing the Team BC 2018 Training Squad!

Special Olympics Team BC 2018

We are pleased to announce the members of the Special Olympics Team BC 2018 Training Squad!

These dedicated and deserving individuals have qualified for their spots on the Team BC 2018 Training Squad based on their performances in the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games in Kamloops.

Roster by sport

This year, for the first time, Team BC will compete in two separate exciting national events: the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, July 29 to August 5, and the 2018 National Bowling Championships in Prince Edward Island, May 14 to 20.

Team BC 2018 members have been receiving their contracts and committing to training hard over the next year to be at their best competing at the national level.

Out east next year, the athletes in 10-pin bowling, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, softball, and swimming will compete for the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi. (5-pin bowling is not offered at the World Games level.) The World Games will be held March 14 to 21, 2019, and will mark the first time the Special Olympics World Games have been hosted in the Middle East-North Africa region.

Coaches and mission staff will come together for their summit October 21 and 22 to charge up the Team BC 2018 spirit and plan how they will help the athletes shine in competition at the national level.

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

Big thanks to SOBC coaches in National Coaches Week!

National Coaches Week icon

“I’ve been in Special Olympics since I was eight years old, and I’ve met some great people and some great coaches. We need coaches. They help you, they help you reach goals, they help you advance.” -SOBC – Prince George athlete Leif

In National Coaches Week September 23 to 30, we recognize and thank Special Olympics BC coaches for the integral role they play in our movement, and the incredible positive impact they have on the lives of so many!

This week we are hosting a contest for coaches involving the mental training tools in our Coach Diary created with Dr. Laura Farres. Please click here to find the trivia question for your chance to win!

Coaches can also check out viaSport British Columbia’s website to see if spots remain in the NCCP courses on offer for just $10, including Make Ethical Decisions workshops and Fundamental Movement Skills courses (a great module for youth program leaders).

Making a difference with the Sports Celebrities Festival

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 gives more than 650 guests close encounters with top local sports celebrities including SOBC athletes and the entire Vancouver Canucks roster.

The live and silent auctions are among the event’s highlights, featuring a wide range of unique and sought-after items. Any generous supporters interested in contributing to the event and making a difference for the charities are invited to please click here to donate an auction item.

This year, auction bidding will once again take place online! The auction site link will be shared in SOBC’s channels in late October, so please watch for that to bid and/or share widely.

>> Learn more

SOBC Healthy Athletes Screening Day coming to Nanaimo November 4

Special Olympics Healthy Athletes

The next Special Olympics BC Healthy Athletes Screening Day will be hosted in Nanaimo on November 4! This free, fun event will be 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.

>> Event details

SOBC introduces 2017-2020 strategic plan

Special Olympics BC logo

Special Olympics BC is proud to be an accredited Chapter of the growing global Special Olympics movement, now including more than 4.9 million athletes in 172 countries. In 2016, Special Olympics International launched the organization’s new 2016-2020 Global Strategic Plan built around clear, important goals:

  • Goal 1: Improve opportunities for athletes to perform at their best
  • Goal 2: Build positive attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities
  • Support goal: Build capacity by generating more resources and leadership

The Global Strategic Plan was developed with a vision of having strong shared goals, with flexibility for local customization of strategies and tactics to achieve those goals. Special Olympics Canada and Special Olympics BC have developed strategic plans for 2017-2020 built around the same goals as the global plan, but employing shared strategies that will be the best fit for our country and our province.

Special Olympics BC’s new 2017-2020 strategic plan includes tactics and targets specific to our province, all geared toward achieving the goals shared by Special Olympics programs throughout the globe, using strategies shared by Special Olympics programs across Canada.

At its core, Special Olympics is a sports organization that uses the power of sport as a catalyst for social change. Through sport, we challenge society. By drawing attention to the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, we break down misperceptions and tackle negative attitudes. By highlighting how the needs of people with intellectual disabilities are not being met, we expose inequity and exclusion. The focus for Special Olympics BC therefore needs to be bringing more athletes to the movement and providing high-quality sport experiences that help create positive attitudes and bring about permanent change towards inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

Across British Columbia, Special Olympics has an incredible number of hardworking athletes, volunteers, and staff who are the engine of our movement. Together we achieved success in many aspects of the last strategic cycle, and we look forward to continued growth and development together in 2017-2020.

>> SOBC Strategic Plan 2017-2020

Dine and donate at Red Robin restaurants

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC

Law enforcement champions and Special Olympics BC athletes will be meeting, greeting, and serving guests at Red Robin restaurants this October.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run has been teaming up with Red Robin to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics for many years, and we are thrilled this exciting tradition is coming to B.C.! SOBC athletes and BC LETR members will be collecting donations and talking to customers about Special Olympics at participating Red Robin restaurants. You can join them at Red Robin’s Robson (Vancouver) and Abbotsford locations on October 19 and Kamloops location on October 21.

More locations may be added, stay tuned for details!

>> Learn more

CrossFit challenge pumps up support for Special Olympics

CF24 event in 2016 at Raincity Athletics

On October 21, CrossFitters nationwide will take on CF|24 for Special Olympics! Participants in CrossFit gyms throughout Canada will complete 24 workouts in 24 hours, celebrating the strength of their communities and raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics.

If you are a CrossFitter or know CrossFitters, encourage your local gym to get involved! Check out www.cf24.ca or contact Meg Ishida by email or by phone at 604-314-4535 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free for more details.

We thank all of the athletes and volunteers who will be coming out on the day to support and inspire the CF|24 participants. Our thanks to Raincity Athletics who have already signed up to take on this challenge for Special Olympics!

SOBC Board of Directors update

Special Olympics icon

Special Olympics BC is very grateful to have outstanding leadership and support from our Board of Directors. We strongly appreciate their contributions and dedication to ensuring the ongoing quality and value of the organization.

At SOBC’s September 2017 AGM, all of our Directors were re-elected for the 2017-18 term.

Randy Smallwood of Wheaton Precious Metals has been re-elected as Board Chair, and Ted Hirst of Canaccord Genuity as Vice Chair. Pamela Keith of Dueck Auto Group is Past Chair, and Money Talks host Michael Campbell and Colin Yakashiro of Grant Thornton serve as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

Special Olympics BC welcomes back Directors Brent Bergeron, Michael Coyle, Grenville Finch-Noyes, Peter C. Kalbfleisch, Vincent Li, Richard J. Lucy, Colin MacKinnon, Eamonn Percy, Murray Shapiro and Patty Wheeldon.

Our sincere thanks to all of the members of the Board of Directors who so generously share their time and expertise to strengthen our movement!

Breaking barriers and records with motionball Marathon of Sport

motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna 2017

The 2017 motionball Marathon of Sport events in B.C. were full of fun, friendship, and successful fundraising for Special Olympics programs across Canada. In Vancouver and Kelowna, teams of young professionals joined forces with SOBC athletes for an inclusive and inspiring day of sport and sportsmanship that broke fundraising records and raised awareness for Special Olympics.

On June 10, the 11th motionball Marathon of Sport Vancouver saw 24 teams of young professionals joined by 33 local SOBC athletes at EA Sports for an amazing day of sport and inclusion that raised $126,098 net in support of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

On September 23, the 2017 motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna presented by Interior Savings Credit Union brought together 28 teams and 40 Special Olympics athletes at City Park, raising $103,094 net for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

Participants warmly welcomed the Special Olympics athletes, cheering them on and making sure they felt included and part of the team.

>> Read more

SOBC’s Performance Program helps power athletes to ‘awesome’ results

SOBC – Vernon athlete Kyle Borden (centre) on the podium at the 2017 SOBC Summer Games

Special Olympics BC – Vernon’s Kyle Borden says exercises he learned through SOBC’s Performance Program have helped him improve his fitness – and this has made him a better athlete.

Borden says he was thrilled to see proof that his training had paid off in a functional testing session in Kelowna in March. In functional testing sessions, athletes participate in exercises that measure fitness and test their foundational movements, generating data to help track and motivate progress. At the March session, Borden improved upon many of his 2016 functional testing results, including in many tests that involve core strength.

“It felt really good!” he said.

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. In addition to helping athletes and coaches develop sport-specific skills, one of SOBC’s main goals during the 2016-17 Performance Program season was to improve athlete fitness, especially in terms of core strength.

>> Read more

SOBC athlete set to share passion for health as a Special Olympics Health Messenger

Special Olympics Health Messenger Jennifer Ferrier

Special Olympics BC – Victoria athlete Jennifer Ferrier is passionate about health, and about sharing the benefits of fitness, nutrition, and good health with others. After completing Special Olympics BC Health Heroes training in spring 2017, Ferrier applied and was selected to become a Special Olympics Health Messenger.

In September 2017, Ferrier travelled with her mentor Kendal Alston, SOBC – Victoria Local Coordinator, to Washington D.C. to join Special Olympics athletes and mentors from all over North America for the Health Messenger training. Ferrier returned home enthusiastic and equipped with an inspiring speech that she can deliver to all SOBC – Victoria sport programs in hopes of helping and encouraging fellow athletes.

>> Read more

Column: Five reasons to attend Club Fit every week

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.

This is the start of a new sport season, with programs beginning once again and Special Olympics athletes getting back on the fields, pools, alleys, and gymnasiums. This year many athletes are registered for Club Fit, and in fact Club Fit is mandatory for all Team BC athletes getting ready for the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games and National Bowling Championships.

Club Fit is designed to give athletes what they can’t get from their sport programs. Some athletes and coaches are asking questions such as, “Why should I do extra exercises when all I want to do is play basketball or bowl?” and “Why do my athletes need Club Fit?”

Here are the top five reasons why every Special Olympics athlete should be in Club Fit.

>> Read more

Coaches Corner: NCCP Coaching Athletes with a Disability

In advance of Coaches Week, the Coaching Association of Canada, with support from Special Olympics Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee, launched a new National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) eLearning module for coaches throughout all branches of sport: Coaching Athletes with a Disability!

This eLearning course is not a replacement for the NCCP Special Olympics Competition Sport Workshop that all Special Olympics coaches in Canada are required to complete, but it is a most welcome addition to NCCP programming available to coaches throughout all areas of sport.

To celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Coaching Athletes with a Disability training is available free of charge throughout 2017!

>> More in the module press release

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