BC Special Olympics Latest Newsletter 2020

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Latest Newsletter

Jake Miller doing the SOBC Move-It March challenge

Special Olympics BC – Trail athlete Jake Miller (and friend) completing the SOBC Move-It March challenge!

Staying healthy at home

In light of the current guidance from provincial and national public health officials, and in order to limit any possible risk to members of our community, Special Olympics BC made the very difficult decision to pause all training programs, all competitions, all fundraising events, and all face-to-face meetings and activities until April 30, 2020. SOBC continues to follow the COVID-19 situation closely, and will keep everyone up to date on the timeline for return of programs and events.

But we can all stay active and connected while at home! Special Olympics BC has resources to help athletes of all ages maintain their training and health at home, including the SOBC Active April Challenge. And we are committed to helping everyone feel connected and supported.

Following public health recommendations, all Special Olympics BC staff are currently working remotely. But we all want to provide top-quality support and resources to all members of our community throughout this unique time. Please absolutely do not hesitate to contact staff with any questions whatsoever, and/or any ideas for how we can best support the SOBC community that inspires us all the time.

Please click here to find resources to help you stay active, connected, positive, and informed.

And please stay in touch! We care about how you are doing!

Special Olympics Team BC 2020 achieved their goals

Special Olympics Team BC 2020 bowler Matthew Brewer

They trained – they came – they conquered their goals. Special Olympics Team BC 2020 put in all the work necessary to give their best possible performances at the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games, and they truly delivered when it counted.

“Our athletes want to win and to improve, and they absolutely stepped up and did that,” Chef de Mission Michelle Cruickshank said.

>> Full story, photos, results, and more

Recapping Polar Plunge season

Saanich Police Department members at the Vancouver Island Polar Plunge

What does it take to muster up the courage to charge into the ocean waves on a cool winter’s day? Good friends, fun costumes, and a great cause were the answer at the 2020 Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC in Victoria and Vancouver.

More than 350 shivering participants made a splash at the Vancouver Island Polar Plunge for SOBC on February 16 and the Vancouver Polar Plunge for SOBC presented by Westminster Savings Credit Union on March 7. Together, the fun and frigid events raised more than $140,000 to support Special Olympics BC.

Watch SOBC athlete and Director Susan Wang’s coverage of the Vancouver Polar Plunge

Heartfelt thanks to Vancouver Island Polar Plunge Photo Booth Sponsor McIntosh Mortgages, Volunteer Sponsor The Neal Estate Team, Hot Beverage Sponsor Serious Coffee Millstream Village, and Breakfast Sponsor Thrifty Foods.

We are also very grateful to Vancouver Polar Plunge Presenting Sponsor Westminster Savings, VIP Warming Tent Sponsor Dueck Auto Group, Breakfast Sponsor Safeway, Hot Beverage Sponsor Tim Hortons, and Media Sponsors Citytv, JACK 96.9, KiSS RADiO, OMNI Television, and Sportsnet 650.

>> Read more

2020 Regional Qualifiers off to a strong start

Special Olympics BC swimmer in Regional Qualifier

While current health circumstances have paused the Regional Qualifier season, we still want to congratulate and thank the dedicated athletes and volunteers involved in the qualifiers held so far. These competitions highlighted the significant growth in many Regions, marking some exciting firsts across British Columbia. You can find photos from the 2020 Regional Qualifiers here.

>> Read more

Provincial partners provide essential support to SOBC

Special Olympics BC powerlifter

We are incredibly grateful to our provincial partners who power Special Olympics BC. Thanks to them, we are able to continue providing support to our community, even while programs are paused. Thanks to them, Special Olympics BC will be better than ever when programs are back. Please consider supporting SOBC partners when you can.

Heartfelt thanks to SOBC’s provincial partners:

Government of British ColumbiaGovernment of Canada ⚫ Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOBCmotionballNew Car Dealers Association of BCNewmontSobeys Inc.Staples CanadaWestminster Savings Credit UnionWheaton Precious MetalsHome HardwareJYSK CanadaMethanexPacific Coastal AirlinesPostmediaSignature AuthenticsTim HortonsBC LionsVancouver CanucksVancouver Whitecaps FC

>> SOBC corporate partners and fundraising events

Stepping up for inclusion

Spread the Word>>Inclusion

In early March, inclusion was in the spotlight around the world, with schools, communities, and champions supporting the Spread the Word>>Inclusion global awareness day. Schools throughout B.C., and champions like the Canucks for Kids Fund and Travis Lulay, helped spread the word to create inclusion and respect for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Please click here to read more.

The Spread the Word>>Inclusion campaign can be used online and anytime throughout the year to increase inclusion and respect for individuals with intellectual disabilities in your school, community, and/or workplace. Please contact SOBC Community Development Coordinator Sydney Hall at shall@specialolympics.bc.ca or 250-570-1455 for resources and support.

New Car Dealers Foundation / SOBC Auction postponed

New Car Dealers Association of BC

The New Car Dealers Association of BC and Special Olympics BC have made the difficult decision to pause the launch of the 2020 New Car Dealers Foundation / SOBC Auction. While the auction itself is online (and thus in accordance with the social distancing recommended by public health officials), we worry that proceeding at this time might cause added stress for donors and bidders.

We are very grateful to everyone who supports the New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction. B.C.’s New Car Dealers and the auction have played a significant part in supporting SOBC programs, competitions, and opportunities province-wide for more than three decades.

We look forward to launching the auction as soon as appropriate. For anyone who might still be interested in making a donation to make a difference, we are still accepting auction items and cash pledges. For any questions, please contact Chris Hadley by email or by phone at 604-737-3073.

2020 SOBC award nominations open

Special Olympics BC logo

While the current circumstances are unique, and we totally understand if volunteers do not have time to think about Special Olympics BC’s annual awards, we would still love to be able to celebrate the SOBC athletes, volunteers, and sponsors who inspire greatness within our organization and within our community.

With this in mind, we are going ahead with this year’s SOBC awards process, and we are extending the nomination deadline to May 5, 2020. We also have added an online submission form! Please click here to find all the online forms and Word documents for the nominations.

Anyone who would like support with nominations can please contact Community Development Coordinator Leanne Kelly or their Regional staff member.

Latest news from our friends at motionball


To ensure the health and safety of all, and in line with Canadian public health guidance about large events, motionball postponed or cancelled all of their motionballU events. For events taking place at the end of May and during the summer, motionball is working with venues to secure fall dates, in case they are encouraged to postpone. Special Olympics BC and motionball will keep participants updated as more information becomes available.

For questions relating to motionball events in B.C., please contact Meg Ishida by email or by phone at 604-314-4535.

>> Read more

Special Olympics athletes shine at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Special Olympics BC figure skater at 2020 BC Winter Games

The 2020 BC Winter Games in Fort St. John were a huge success. Special Olympics BC figure skaters and speed skaters from all over the province showed their skills in this significant competition!

This was the first Special Olympics speed skating event at the BC Games and the athletes did extremely well, coming home with some well-deserved hardware complete with smiles and fantastic memories.

SOBC – Port Alberni figure skater Kari Trott said the experience was amazing. “I met a lot of cool new people that I’ll forever have memories with, and I also got to reunite with someone who I met at Canada Games last year in Red Deer,” she said.

>> Read more

NBA Cares makes dream come true for Langley athlete Sean Annan

Sean Annan at the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game

Sean Annan from Special Olympics BC – Langley is still on Cloud 9 after being one of 12 Special Olympics athletes from around the world to play in the 2020 NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game at the NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago.

Every year, for the past nine years, talented Special Olympics athletes and basketball superstars past and present have formed teams to lace up and battle it out on the world stage. The game highlights the wonderful talents of Special Olympics athletes and promotes inclusion around the globe. If you didn’t get a chance to watch the 2020 game with Annan, you can find a recording here.

>> Read more

Special Olympics BC volunteers honoured with community awards

Award-winning Special Olympics coach Angela Behn

We’re very pleased to congratulate and celebrate Special Olympics BC members who have been recognized so far in 2020 with awards for their significant contributions to Special Olympics, sport, and community!

We are delighted to congratulate SOBC – Nanaimo’s Angela Behn (pictured at right), the deserving winner of the City of Nanaimo’s Grassroots Coach of the Year award, and Vernon’s Micheal Rouault, who won the national U SPORTS 2019-20 Ken Shields Community Service Award.

>> Read more

Coaches Corner: Sport-specific tools

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. Coaches can access many sport-specific resources, including:

  • SOBC-specific rules for floor hockey here;
  • Recent rule changes for basketball here;
  • Dryland training tools for snowshoeing here.

You can find extensive coach resources for all of SOBC’s summer and winter sports, Club Fit, and youth programs on the Sport Rules, Resources, and Videos page.

Right now, we are working on continuing coach education using online platforms and resources. Stay tuned for details!

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