BC Special Olympics Newsletter April, 2018

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April 2018 Newsletter

SOBC 2018 Athlete Leadership Conference

2018 SOBC award nominations for amazing athletes, coaches, and volunteers

SOBC annual awards

We are excited to congratulate this year’s nominees for Special Olympics BC’s five annual awards! These accomplished and inspiring athletes, coaches, and volunteers have been nominated by their peers in recognition of their outstanding achievements, spirit, and contributions to Special Olympics.

Please join us in congratulating these 38 deserving nominees!

The winners of the 2018 SOBC awards will be announced over the coming weeks on the SOBC website and social media accounts.

>> Meet our nominees

New Car Dealers drive support for SOBC

New Car Dealers Association logo

This year’s New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction is revving up in anticipation of its annual online event, set to run from May 4 to 10.

The members of the New Car Dealers Association of BC have been strong supporters of Special Olympics athletes and programs throughout the province since 1984. Last year the New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction raised $178,000, bringing the three-decade total to just under $4.7 million in support of SOBC and the work of the New Car Dealers Foundation.

The New Car Dealers’ dedication to raising funds and awareness for Special Olympics is deeply appreciated. The annual New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction has become a multi-day event that includes hundreds of incredible items and bids coming in from all over the province.

The long list of prizes offered at this private online auction includes everything from new cars, electronics, and jewellery to travel packages, sporting goods, and air travel.

We are forever grateful for the ongoing support of the New Car Dealers of BC!

Dealers and supporters from around the province can bid online from May 4 to 10.

>> Click here for more auction information.

SOBC bowlers ready to rock the lanes in P.E.I.

Team BC 2018 Training Squad 5- and 10-pin bowlers have been working hard and are ready to hit the lanes in Prince Edward Island in just a few weeks!

The 56 bowlers from across the province are ready to travel from sea to sea to compete in the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Bowling Championships from May 15 to 19.

Read more about how bowlers have been getting prepped and pumped to shine on the national stage next month.

Follow SOBC’s social media accounts and #SOTeamBC2018 for updates on their exciting achievements!

>> Donate now

>> Follow Team BC

#ShareaDream with Staples Canada for Special Olympics

SOBC athletes at Staples Give a Toonie Share A Dream event

Special Olympics Canada and Staples Canada kicked off the 18th annual Give a Toonie Share a Dream fundraising campaign on April 21!

From now until May 21, Staples Canada stores across the country will be raising funds and awareness to help support more than 45,000 individuals with intellectual disabilities participating in Special Olympics sport programs in over 450 communities throughout Canada.

In addition to in-store donations, customers will be able to make an online donation while shopping at Staples.ca/ShareADream.

We are very grateful to all the Staples stores, staff, and customers in B.C. for their amazing support, and to the athletes and volunteers throughout the province who give great time and energy to help make this important campaign a success!

>> Read more

Celebrating a successful season of SOBC Regional Qualifiers

SOBC cross country Regional Qualifier in Kelowna

It was an incredible winter of competition and sportsmanship as Special Olympics BC athletes across the province wrapped up another successful season of Regional Qualifiers.

SOBC Vice President, Sport, Lois McNary said she was excited to hear about the level of competition throughout the eight SOBC Regions, as well as the tremendous efforts by all the volunteers.

“It’s no easy task putting on such a wide range of competitions for athletes is such a short period of time,” McNary said. “But we have some amazing people in our communities who go above and beyond to make sure the athletes get a chance to compete at their best. Thank you to everyone who came together during Regional Qualifiers.”

>> Read more

Children build confidence and have a blast in SOBC youth programs

SOBC – Nanaimo athlete Veda Graw

Five-year-old Veda Graw feels happy and proud when she walks into a Special Olympics BC – Nanaimo Active Start session.

“She absolutely loves it!” her mother Amanda Davis says. “Whenever we tell her it’s Special O day she gets so excited!”

The number of SOBC youth programs continues to grow across the province and current programs are going strong. There are now 115 Active Start, FUNdamentals, and Sport Start programs running in communities around B.C., providing children with intellectual disabilities with opportunities to develop motor, sport, and social skills in a fun and supportive environment.

>> Read more

Teeing up support of Special Olympics BC with the Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament

SOBC athletes at Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament

The Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament, which has raised almost $2.8 million to benefit Special Olympics BC, supports our empowering year-round programs and opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities throughout the province. This year’s tournament returns to Northview Golf and Country Club on June 28!

We are very grateful to Goldcorp and all the sponsors, volunteers, teams, and supporters who participate in this event to help change lives with SOBC.

At last year’s event, Goldcorp President & CEO David Garofalo reminded participants just how important their support is, as Special Olympics helps athletes to develop nutrition and life skills as well as athletic skills to help them be competitive in sport and in life.

“I’m delighted that we’re joined by many good sponsors who contributed to hole sponsorships, and also contributed to this event to cover the costs so we get as many dollars as possible back to Special Olympics,” Garofalo said.

The tournament’s teams and major sponsorships are nearly sold out. However, there are still opportunities to support the tournament as a major sponsor, or by donating auction items, as well as tee and on-course competition sponsorships.

Please contact Christina Hadley at chadley@specialolympics.bc.ca  or call 604-737-3073 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

>> Read about the 2017 tournament

SOBC athletes trek to Yukon Invitational Soccer Tournament

SOBC soccer in Whitehorse

A trio of Special Olympics BC soccer teams put their skills and sportsmanship on display during the inaugural Yukon Invitational Soccer Tournament in late March.

SOBC’s Delta FC, the Surrey Seagulls, and the Chilliwack Wildcats travelled more than 1,400 kilometres to play against Whitehorse’s Charging Moose in the four-team tournament.

This is the first time in 22 years that Yukon has hosted a major Special Olympics competition.

Joanie Hayes, SOBC’s Competition and Youth Coordinator, said it was an incredible opportunity for everyone involved.

“Everyone was so excited for the chance to visit the Yukon,” Hayes said. “It is such a beautiful part of Canada and such a unique opportunity for our athletes. The reception our athletes were shown was overwhelming. We are so grateful to everyone in Whitehorse for the chance to take part.”

>> Read more

>> Click here for photos

Move into May with BC LETR events

Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament

May is packed with Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraising events in support of Special Olympics BC!

Victoria Free the Fuzz and Torch Run

Get ready for an inspiring weekend of fundraising in Victoria! From May 4 to May 6, law enforcement champions will camp out on scaffolding to raise funds and awareness for SOBC at Free the Fuzz. This event will take place at Uptown shopping centre and will include live music, police demonstrations, and fun activities for the whole family. Also on May 6, SOBC supporters will hit the Galloping Goose Trail for the Victoria Torch Run. This run/walk will be followed by a pancake breakfast by donation.

Mission Cycle for a Cause

Cheer on Mission RCMP members as they sweat it out on stationary bikes to raise funds and awareness for SOBC. This fun event will take place on May 26 at the Save-On-Foods in Mission.

Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament

Break out your clubs for the Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament on May 31! This great day on the greens will be held at the Westwood Plateau Golf & Country Club in Coquitlam.

>> Learn more about BC LETR events

Fun and inclusive Marathon of Sport events coming up in B.C.

motionball Marathon of Sport

The inspiring motionball Marathon of Sport events are coming up in B.C. this summer!

At Marathon of Sport  events, young professionals compete alongside local Special Olympics athletes in a variety of exciting sports, such as basketball, soccer, and beach volleyball. Teams have a lot of fun, create meaningful friendships, and raise funds to support the Special Olympics Canada Foundation and Special Olympics programs across the country.

“First and foremost it is for the athletes,” Marathon of Sport Kelowna participant Darrell Manderson told the Kelowna Capital News in August 2017. “motionball raises awareness for an organization that betters the lives of those with intellectual disabilities. And we all get to experience, firsthand, the impact it is having on athletes’ lives.”

This year’s Marathon of Sport Vancouver will take place on June 2 at the EA Sports complex in Burnaby, and Marathon of Sport Kelowna will be held on September 22 at City Park.

New for 2018, Marathon of Sport Victoria will be held on August 11 at University of Victoria! Please contact Meg Ishida at mishida@specialolympics.bc.ca or call 604-314-4535 for more information.

>> Check out this motionball Marathon of Sport video

>> Learn more and support participants

Try-it-Day sessions in Richmond and Surrey

SOBC Try-It-Day

Special Olympics BC will be in Richmond and Surrey as we host our popular and informative Try-It-Day sessions.

This is the perfect opportunity for individuals with intellectual disabilities of all ages to try Special Olympics programs.

In Richmond, we will be at the Richmond City Centre, Community Centre Multipurpose Room on April 29, and running every Sunday until May 20. Participants will be able to speak with SOBC coaches in Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tagalog (on select dates).

In Surrey, we will be at Khalsa School, Newton on May 5, and running every Saturday until June 2. Participants will be able to speak with Special Olympics coaches in Hindi, Punjabi, and Tagalog (on select dates).

If you know of anyone who might benefit from this great program, please encourage them to give it a try!

No skills or appointments needed, just drop in and we’ll get you started! Water and snacks will be provided.

This project has been generously supported by viaSport, the Government of B.C., and the Government of Canada.

To register or for more information contact Chelsea Rogers by email at crogers@specialolympics.bc.ca or call 604-802-4226.

>> Read more

Inspiration at the centre of Athlete Leadership Conference

SOBC 2018 Athlete Leadership Conference

Inspiration took centre stage at the Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership Conference April 7 to 8 in Richmond! A total of 59 amazing athletes and more than 57 volunteer speech coaches and facilitators from all over the province came together to work on skills that fall outside of the sports arena.

Participants spent the weekend working on public speaking and leadership skills in the event’s Athlete Speakers Bureau 1 and 2 courses, Governance workshop, and Health Heroes training. In addition, SOBC added three new courses to the two-day conference, with Peer Mentorship, Anti-Bullying, and Athlete Reporter training courses added to the agenda.

“I was really excited to see the new sessions roll out this year,” SOBC Manager of Community Development Michelle Cruickshank said. “It keeps things interesting and relevant.”

>> Click here to read more and view speeches from our Athlete Speakers Bureau 1 and 2 sessions.

April Fools’ Run for SOBC athletes

The following article is part of a Special Olympics BC initiative to provide a platform for SOBC athletes to share their stories.

By Mike Oswald SOBC – Sunshine Coast athlete reporter

The 2018 April Fools’ Run had special meaning for Special Olympics BC on the Sunshine Coast. On Sunday, April 8, four SOBC track and field athletes, Amber Maher, Genny Verge, Bruce Stuart, and Micheal Oswald, put all their hard work together after weeks of training with coach Tania Finnigan in anticipation of the race. Each SOBC athlete ran one leg of the total 21.1-kilometre relay. The race began on Park Road in Gibsons and finished at Mission Point Park in Davis Bay.

It’s thanks to athlete Stuart that coach Finnigan thought to include the other three. Stuart, like Finnigan, is an avid runner who has competed for many years. Stuart wanted to run in this year’s April Fools’ Run so Finnigan figured it would be a great chance for the other track and fielders to gain some experience in long distance running.

>> Read more

Competition workshops revamped by Special Olympics Canada

SOC Competition workshops

Special Olympics Canada has revamped the SOC Competition Sport workshop. The goal was to ensure the content was up to date and relevant for our coaches.

The previous National Coaching Certificate Program course was a two-day, 16-hour course, while the new course is aimed to be delivered in a day-and-a-half.

This spring, trial runs of the new delivery have taken place in Langley and Trail, and will run in Comox in June. Facilitators will then assess the new format to ensure a consistent delivery.

Watch our SOBC calendar for courses to be held this fall around the province. Coaches selected to their Regional teams for the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon will need to complete this course.

Contact Leslie Thornley, Sport Manager at lthornley@specialolympics.bc.ca or call 250-317-1272 to be put on the waitlist for upcoming courses.

Athlete input sought in satisfaction survey

Special Olympics BC logo

Athletes, this is your last chance to share your thoughts on Special Olympics with global leaders! Special Olympics International has created an Athlete Satisfaction Survey, and the Canadian Athlete Leadership Council members are asking our country’s athletes to respond and make their voices heard. Special Olympics BC – Comox Valley athlete Jake Hooper is our province’s representative on the CALC, and he would like to see many responses from B.C.

“I would like to get as many as possible completed so that Special Olympics Canada has a strong voice in the results of the survey,” Hooper says.

Surveys must be completed by April 30.

>> Click here to take the survey.

Column: Anaerobic power and anaerobic-aerobic endurance

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.

Anaerobic and anaerobic-aerobic endurance measure an athlete’s ability to endure high-intensity effort from 10 to 12 seconds to three minutes in length. Events such as track and field’s 200 metre, 400 metre and 800 metre rely on anaerobic power to sustain a maximal effort throughout the races. When using the anaerobic system lactic acid is produced, which gives the burning sensation in your muscles.

>> Read more

SOBC staff update

SOBC web logo

Special Olympics BC is excited to introduce Sheida Hajighazi, who has joined the provincial team as our new Finance and Administration Manager.

Sheida graduated from Capilano University in 2013, and has her CPA designation, as well as her MPAcc (Masters of Professional Accounting) and comes to SOBC after a successful five year stint at KPMG.

We are very excited to have someone with Sheida’s experience, commitment, and passion on our team.


Email info@specialolympics.bc.ca

Office 604-737-3078
Fax 604-737-3080
Toll free 1-888-854-2276

3701 Hastings St., Unit 210
Burnaby, BC V5C 2H6



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