BC Special Olympics May/June Newsletter 2020

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Special Olympics BC Facebook Live chat May 20

We’re hosting weekly Facebook Live conversations with Special Olympics BC athletes and supporters, which are full of inspiring insights and connections! Join us Mondays at noon PT, Wednesdays at 2 p.m. PT, and more @specialolympicsbc

Lace up for the Virtual Torch Run for SOBC

Virtual Torch Run for SOBC

The Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC is marking 30 years of making a difference for individuals with intellectual disabilities. And they’re celebrating by turning their signature fundraising event into a virtual run and walk in which everyone can participate!

The first-ever Virtual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC will take place June 1 to 7. Led by law enforcement champions, the event is open to anyone who wants to raise funds for SOBC.

During the Torch Run week, participants will run and walk as many times as they can, while maintaining physical distancing. They will log their kilometres and fundraising totals online, working together to reach the event’s targets. To recognize this year’s 30th anniversary of the BC LETR, the fundraising goal is $30,000 and runners/walkers will look to cover a combined distance of 3,000 kilometres.

Check out the messages of support from Victoria Police Department Chief Constable Del Manak and Vancouver Police Department Chief Constable Adam Palmer.

>> Register now

Staying healthy at home

Special Olympics BC athlete James

Special Olympics BC has been working on the necessary plans to safely reactivate each of our sports and all of our programs and activities. Everyone’s safety is the highest priority. All Special Olympics BC programs and face-to-face activities remain paused until further notice, but please click here to read the latest on next steps.

We are so inspired by all the athletes, coaches, volunteers, families, and supporters who are working to stay active at home, and are inspiring and encouraging each other!

Please click here to find resources that we hope will help athletes of all ages with their efforts to stay healthy, connected, positive, and informed. And read on for more highlights!

Please stay in touch. We care about how you are doing!

Pictured above right: Abbotsford athlete James Clifford giving his father a lift as part of an at-home workout! Watch the video

Keep moving with daily #SOBCMayInMotion challenges

Special Olympics BC May in Motion icon

Special Olympics BC wants to help everyone stay active, healthy, moving – and having fun! Our weekly calendars have daily workouts and nutrition challenges to help you stay sport-ready while training at home.

Each calendar also has an SOBC Wellness Bingo card, full of fun activities that can help you stay positive and happy – and have the chance to win prizes!

Please click here to find the calendars and lots more athlete health resources.

Latest news on the Newmont Invitational Golf Tournament

Newmont Invitational Golf Tournament

In light of current health and safety needs, Special Olympics BC, Presenting Sponsor Newmont, and Greens Sponsor Wheaton Precious Metals, have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Newmont Invitational Golf Tournament. We look forward to welcoming our valued golfers, sponsors, and volunteers back on June 17, 2021, for the return of this significant event.

Special Olympics BC is extremely grateful to Newmont and Wheaton Precious Metals, who both immediately confirmed their donations to SOBC would proceed even though we cannot hold this year’s tournament. We are so thankful to Newmont and Wheaton Precious Metals, both for their years of generous support and their immediate assistance helping SOBC support athletes to stay healthy, active, and connected.

One of the Lower Mainland’s premier golf events, the Newmont Invitational Golf Tournament has raised more than $3.5 million to support SOBC’s life-changing year-round programs for people with intellectual disabilities.

SOBC Virtual Health Forums featuring mental wellness and healthy eating

Special Olympics BC Virtual Health Forums

Special Olympics BC is running a series of Virtual Family Health Forums! We wanted to create virtual opportunities for SOBC athletes, coaches, parents, and supporters to connect, learn, and discuss important health topics.

We are teaming up with expert facilitators for Zoom calls where you can learn, discuss, and ask any questions you might have.

Through May and June, we are offering:

  • Healthy Eating Virtual Health Forums for athletes and coaches
  • Mental Wellness Virtual Health Forums for athletes
  • Mental Wellness Virtual Health Forums for parents, coaches, and supporters

>> Read more and register

Provincial and federal governments providing vital support to sport organizations

Logos of the Governments of British Columbia and Canada

The Government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada are providing vital help to Special Olympics BC and sport organizations during this unique time.

Government of British Columbia Minister Lisa Beare recently announced that they are fast-tracking 2020-2021 funding to the amateur sport sector. This means they have guaranteed the funding SOBC will be getting in the 2020-2021 program year, and they gave us 50 per cent of it in April (earlier than usual) to make sure we’ll be in a good position to get programs and events running again, when the health conditions improve. It’s a big relief to have certainty and early access to these important funds.

In addition, the Government of Canada has confirmed their support for the following year of Special Olympics in Canada. This is so important and appreciated because it provides some certainty from a significant funder at this challenging time.

The provincial and federal governments, alongside all of SOBC provincial partners, have been so committed to supporting SOBC’s athletes and mission through this time and always.

Read more about the significant support Special Olympics BC receives from the Government of B.C. and the Government of Canada.

SOBC Women in Sport virtual workshop coming May 31

Special Olympics BC athlete Amanda

Ladies of Special Olympics BC, please mark your calendars for a unique new opportunity to connect and support each other! We are hosting a new SOBC Women in Sport virtual forum on Sunday, May 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

This will be a Zoom workshop with a lot of insights on physical activity, leadership, mental wellness, and sexual health. Please join us for opportunities to encourage and inspire each other!

>> Read more and register

Seeking champions to change the world through the second SOBC Youth Engagement Project

Funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps program

Special Olympics BC’s amazing athletes need the help of young people who want to change the world and create a more inclusive future for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

In 2020-21, Special Olympics British Columbia will be undertaking our second Youth Engagement Project, seeking to connect young people with SOBC athletes in order to collaborate and address the need for greater inclusion and respect for people with intellectual disabilities in communities across B.C. The SOBC Youth Engagement Project is funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps program.

Participants must apply by June 5, 2020. Successful applicants will run a project on one of three themes, which they will choose based on their personal interests and passions:

  1. Inclusive Schools
  2. Physical Literacy
  3. Nutrition Literacy

“I became a lot more confident through the course of this project. … I began to fight for other people’s rights and have a voice in this,” said Anneke Cairnie, successful participant in the inaugural SOBC Youth Engagement Project.

>> Learn more

SOBC’s provincial partners make a difference during COVID-19 outbreak

Special Olympics BC

Special Olympics BC’s provincial partners are dedicated to supporting their communities and creating positive change. We are very grateful to these valued sponsors, and encourage everyone to support them whenever possible.

Read about some of the ways our sponsors have stepped up during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Heartfelt thanks to all of 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 award nominees and winners will be celebrated with a new virtual ceremony

Trophy icon

We are delighted to share that 44 accomplished and dedicated athletes, coaches, and volunteers have been nominated for this year’s Special Olympics BC awards! Many thanks to everyone who took the time to spotlight these community members for their outstanding achievements, spirit, and contributions to Special Olympics!

Each year, the SOBC award winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of volunteers from around the province. With so many amazing individuals nominated this year, the selection committee now has the difficult task of choosing the award winners after carefully reviewing all nominations.

Our sincere thanks go out to this year’s committee members: SOBC Directors Brent Bergeron and Susan Wang, SOBC Leadership Council members Steve Oliver and Jason Yan, SOBC – Revelstoke Local Coordinator Courtney Kaler, SOBC – Elk Valley Local Coordinator Georgina McIntosh, and SOBC – Delta Local Coordinator Jodi Cobden.

This year, SOBC will celebrate all the deserving nominees and announce the award winners with an all-new virtual format. We are excited for this opportunity to celebrate these inspiring individuals province-wide! Stay tuned to SOBC’s website and social media channels for details to come.

Coach education continues online

To continue supporting the amazing Special Olympics BC coaches while in-person programs are paused, we are creating online coach education opportunities for those who want to use some of this hiatus time to continue enhancing their skills!

We have launched all-new sport-specific Coach Development Webinars that include insights from sport leaders, Q&A sections, and interactions with fellow SOBC coaches. Visit our Online Coach Education page to find information on upcoming webinars, recordings of past webinars, and many more tools to continue developing as a coach.

If you have any questions, please contact Christopher Delahunty, SOBC Sport Coordinator, by email at cdelahunty@specialolympics.bc.ca or by phone at 250-317-1272.

SOBC safe sport culture workshop going digital

Special Olympics BC safe sport workshop icon

Special Olympics BC has developed a workshop that brings together athletes and coaches to talk about bullying and share solutions to encourage inclusion. By promoting a safe sport culture, SOBC ensures that all participants are equipped with the tools necessary to identify and address harmful scenarios in their daily lives.

It is a priority that all athletes feel confident and welcome as they participate in SOBC programs.

While our in-person programs remain paused, we have developed a virtual version of this workshop in order to continue to promote safe sport culture! The workshop will also discuss online activities, hoping to help everyone stay safe in the increasing number of online conversations.

The first virtual SOBC safe sport culture workshop is being hosted for Region 1 on June 10 at 7 p.m. MTN. This event is open to all Region 1 athletes, coaches, and volunteers. As there is limited capacity, please reserve your spot today by contacting Melainie Hatt, SOBC Community Development Coordinator (Kootenays), by email at mhatt@specialolympics.bc.ca or by phone at 250-919-0757.

Creating inclusion with our virtual Spread the Word>>Inclusion activation kit

Spread the Word>>Inclusion challenge

Many B.C. schools and advocates step up to spread kindness and respect through Spread the Word>>Inclusion. We are so thankful to these champions of positive change!

For those in search of virtual group activities that will make the world a better place, Special Olympics BC has created a Spread the Word>>Inclusion online activation kit. Please contact SOBC Community Development Coordinator Sydney Hall at shall@specialolympics.bc.ca or 250-570-1455 for resources and support.

In May, Surrey student Sanjana Karthik ran a virtual Spread the Word>>Inclusion campaign on her own social media and with organizations for fellow aspiring medical students. Super grateful to Sanjana for helping change the world!

>> Read more

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

  • Basic skill acquisition for athletics here;
  • SOBC-specific rules for bocce here;
  • Virtual webinar for golf 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.

With all Special Olympics BC face-to-face programs and events paused until further notice, we have moved coach education opportunities online! SOBC coaches can now access sport-specific Coach Development Webinars and more virtual resources on the Online Coach Education page.

Special Olympics strategic plan news

Global Special Olympics strategic plan vision

Sincere thanks to all Special Olympics athletes who responded to the recent request for feedback on the next Special Olympics International Strategic Plan!

Due to the impact of COVID-19, SOI has decided to change their Strategic Planning process. The next Strategic Plan will now cover the period of 2021-2024, and they are anticipating the finalized plan will be available in November 2020.

Special Olympics BC is in the last year of our current strategic plan. We will continue the direction and efforts laid out here until the new international and national plans are in place, although there may be some changes as required by the current health circumstances. The next SOBC Strategic Plan will align with the new national and international vision.

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!

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Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2H6Toll-free: 1-888-854-2276info@specialolympics.bc.cawww.specialolympics.bc.ca
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