Special Olympics BC July 2019 Newsletter

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July 2019 Newsletter

Special Olympics BC athlete George

Photo by Darren Inouye, Region 5 Coordinator

#ChooseToInclude on the Global Day of Inclusion and all year round

Special Olympics Global Day of Inclusion

The Special Olympics Global Week of Inclusion has been a celebration of how we are better together, culminating in the second annual Special Olympics Global Day of Inclusion on July 20. By playing and leading together, we are creating an inclusive and welcoming world for all and ending the discrimination faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities.

There’s a delicious way to make a difference on the Special Olympics Day of Inclusion in Canada. On July 20, everyone can visit their local Tim Hortons restaurant to purchase a Special Olympics donut created by Ontario athlete Tori Ranson. All proceeds from the donut will support Special Olympics across Canada, and all donut purchasers can participate in the #ChooseToInclude photo challenge! Learn more

Champions can also take the #InclusionRevolution pledge anytime to show the world we are better together – please click here!

Many thanks to all the Special Olympics BC athletes and volunteers for visiting Tim Hortons restaurants on the Day of Inclusion, and to everyone who has been spreading the word!

Please click here to watch Special Olympics BC athlete and Director Susan Wang with Travis Lulay, retired BC Lions quarterback and longtime SOBC ambassador, talking about Special Olympics and the Day of Inclusion on Breakfast Television Vancouver.

Meet the amazing 2019 SOBC award winners

Special Olympics BC Athletic Achievement Award winner Kelsey Wyse

To understand the true power of the people in this community, look no further than the five inspiring winners of Special Olympics BC’s annual awards. These dedicated individuals have achieved so much, given so much, and created so much through sport. SOBC is so fortunate and so thrilled to congratulate this year’s award winners:

Newmont Goldcorp Invitational scores big for Special Olympics BC

Newmont Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament 2019

The Newmont Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament makes a big difference for Special Olympics BC, having raised more than $3.5 million to help create opportunities for inspiring Special Olympics athletes and support empowering year-round SOBC programs province-wide.

The 2019 tournament raised more than $360,000 net while serving up a great day of golf and a lot of inspiring moments courtesy of the Special Olympics athletes, the generous sponsors led by Newmont Goldcorp, the tournament organizing committee led by Michael Campbell, and the event participants who genuinely care about supporting and respecting individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The event involved influential businesspeople from the Lower Mainland as well as across Canada and the U.S., and their generous support makes a difference for the Special Olympics movement.

>> Read more

Salute to an incredible season of Special Olympics competitions and the people who made it all possible

Special Olympics BC northern track meet 2019

With another amazing season of Special Olympics BC sports and competitions coming to a close, we want to send a big round of congratulations to all the athletes, and huge thanks to all the dedicated volunteers, families, and caregivers who made these empowering experiences possible!

Local and Regional competitions are absolutely vital parts of the Special Olympics experience. Many people still think that Special Olympics is just Games, just a one-time event. Local and Regional competitions are absolutely critical both for athletes and for awareness of the year-round Special Olympics programs and opportunities in 55 communities throughout our province.

>> Read more

Sobeys campaign provides smiles and fundraising success

Sobeys Special Olympics

From June 20 to July 3, Sobeys Inc. made a difference with its second annual fundraising campaign in support of Special Olympics programs across Canada. In Sobeys, Safeway, Thrifty Foods, IGA, Foodland, and Urban Fresh stores across the country, staff encouraged customers to make a donation at the checkout. In total, this successful campaign raised almost $930,000.

On June 22, Special Olympics BC athletes were in more than 40 stores to meet customers and talk to them about Special Olympics.

“It was amazing!” Safeway Castlegar Manager Brian Bogle said. “I spent a lot of time with the athletes just talking and joking around. It’s a great experience for us, and I think the athletes enjoy interacting with the customers.”

>> Read more

Special Olympics Team BC 2020 starts their engines

Special Olympics Team BC 2020 logo

Ready – set – train! Members of the Special Olympics Team BC 2020 Training Squad are starting to build toward the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020. Commitments have been signed so team members will be keeping up their fitness and skills over the summer, and will be preparing to be in tip-top form to deliver personal bests in national competition.

Special Olympics Team BC 2020’s incredible volunteer coaches and mission staff members helped launch the team spirit at a summit on June 14 to 16 at Belcarra’s Sasamat Outdoor Centre. These dedicated and inspiring individuals came together from all over the province to share information, experiences, and passion for helping Special Olympics athletes succeed.

These caring, knowledgeable, and passionate volunteers give so much to the Special Olympics movement in their year-round programs, and they will do an amazing job getting Team BC ready for the 2020 National Winter Games.

>> Read more

Camaraderie and community support inspire at BC LETR events

Law Enforcement Torch Run Cranbrook

Vancouver Police Department Constable Cam Mackay says the most rewarding thing about participating in Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC events is seeing all the smiles.

Cst. Mackay ran shoulder to shoulder with SOBC athletes and other law enforcement members during the 2019 Lower Mainland Torch Run. He says BC LETR members are inspired by Special Olympics athletes, and he was happy to see so many law enforcement agencies come out for the event.

“The Torch Run is great because it brings all of our organizations together for a common goal and allows us to share our experiences from prior years,” he says.

In June and July, law enforcement members and Special Olympics BC athletes laced up for BC LETR run/walks in Cranbrook, Golden, Kamloops, Prince George, Trail, Victoria, and across the Lower Mainland. Along with raising vital funds and awareness for SOBC, these events demonstrated the amazing levels of camaraderie between law enforcement members and Special Olympics athletes.

>> Read more

Changing attitudes by opening young eyes

UBC Special Olympics BC x Youth Project

To create a more inclusive world, it’s so important for people to see Special Olympics athletes in the spotlight for their abilities, changing mindsets about all that they can do. It’s so important for the next generation to come of age with greater familiarity with people with intellectual disabilities. The awareness work by youth advocates is incredibly influential to make a better and more inclusive world.

Nikol Grishin is a UBC Bachelor of Kinesiology student with a Health Science Specialization and president of the UBC Kinesiology Undergraduate Society. Grishin is a strong believer in the power of sport to build empowering skills, friendships, and eye-opening connections. After learning about Special Olympics, she developed an inspiring vision of bringing together Special Olympics BC athletes with elementary-school students to teach them sports such as basketball, bocce, indoor curling, and soccer.

This year, Grishin won a UBC Chapman and Innovation Grant in order to run her impactful program in five Lower Mainland schools. Her initiative created opportunities to break down the barriers that exist around individuals with intellectual disabilities and their capabilities, and create leadership opportunities and increased confidence for the participating SOBC athletes.

>> Read more

motionball Marathon of Sport events feature inclusion, fundraising, fun

motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna 2018

At motionball‘s Marathon of Sport events, teams of young professionals fundraise to participate in a fun day of competition alongside local Special Olympics athletes in a variety of sports. In every motionball Marathon of Sport, you’ll find a remarkable spirit of inclusion, meaningful interactions between participants, significant funds and awareness raised for Special Olympics, and tons of fun!

The Marathon of Sport Kelowna presented by Kelowna Toyota will return to City Park on September 21. We can’t wait for this super-fun day of sport, fundraising, and inspiring inclusion! Learn more and support participants

And there’s exciting news from the motionball movement’s growing motionballU program, which was established to give Canadian students an opportunity to give back to their communities. This week, motionballU annunced that they will be touching down in B.C. on October 20 with UBC Okanagan’s first Marathon of Sport! “The committee of student leaders at UBCO is very excited to bring Marathon of Sport to campus this fall, and we can’t wait to welcome them into the motionball family,” motionballu said.

Youth Engagement Project participants ready to build a better world

Special Olympics Inclusion Revolution

Using sport to bring people together and increase understanding of the abilities of individuals with intellectual disabilities, the Special Olympics movement is helping build the Inclusion Revolution with the Unified Generation that will lead the way to a more inclusive future.

Special Olympics BC is so fortunate to have received a range of impressive applications for our new Youth Engagement Project, which is funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps. We are so excited to work with the selected participants who are bringing exciting ideas and inspiring passion to build a better world!

The selected participants will come together for a summit on August 16 to 18 to help kick off their planning, and then will work with the Local Committees and SOBC staff to work in their communities, building their own skills and creating benefits for everyone.

Sincere thanks to Government of Canada through the Canada Service Corps for funding this important project, to everyone to took the time to apply, and to all the members of the Special Olympics BC community who spread the word about this amazing opportunity!

>> Meet the project participants

Hitting the links with the Alomar Sports Golf Classic West

Alomar Sports Golf Classic West

Special Olympics BC is fortunate to be a beneficiary of the inaugural Alomar Sports Golf Classic West! Set to be held on August 26, this awesome Alomar Sports event will involve great golf, a Vancouver Canadians baseball experience, and celebrities including Roberto Alomar, Jason Grilli, Ricky Romero, Lloyd Moseby, Jesse Barfield, Duane Ward, and others to be added!

>> Learn more

Olympians Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue and Patrick Chan #ChooseToInclude Special Olympics athletes in Rock the Rink tour

Special Olympics Canada Rock the Rink

Olympic gold medalists and longtime Special Olympics champions Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue and Patrick Chan are choosing to include individuals with intellectual disabilities in their upcoming cross-country tour, Rock the Rink.

The all-star cast of Moir, Virtue, Chan, two-time Olympic silver medalist Elvis Stojko, Canadian figure skater Kaetlyn Osmond, American figure skater Jeremy Abbott, and Italian figure skater Carolina Kostner will be joined by Special Olympics Canada athletes. A local Special Olympics athlete will perform a solo at each Canadian stop in the 31-city tour this fall.

“It’s an honour to be able to share the stage with all of the phenomenal Special Olympics athletes who will be performing in Rock the Rink this year,” Moir says.

“Special Olympics is an organization that is incredibly close to our hearts,” Virtue says. “We have no doubt that the Special Olympics athletes’ triumphs and exuberant performances during Rock the Rink will inspire crowds!”

>> Read more

Stay tuned for the announcement of the participating Special Olympics athletes!

Get ready to register!

Special Olympics BC logo

Athletes, are you ready to register for the upcoming season of your favourite sports? If you haven’t already completed your registration for the 2019-20 season, many registration events will be coming up in August and September around the province. Please stay tuned to the Special Olympics BC website calendar for event details.

Many thanks to all the SOBC Locals who work so hard to host registration events and submit all documentation, and to the athletes and families who take the time to complete their registrations as required!

Based on a policy proposed by the SOBC Leadership Council and recently approved by the Board of Directors, SOBC Locals must use only the approved SOBC medical form to collect medical information during athlete registration. All athletes need to complete this medical form before participating in Special Olympics activities, so athletes will see this form as part of your 2019-20 registration with your Local.

Terrific try-it days hosted in Oliver and Powell River

Try-it day thank you letter

Special Olympics BC hosts try-it days to open the doors to new individuals with intellectual disabilities and volunteers who could become part of our joyful community. This spring saw successful SOBC try-it days hosted in Powell River and Oliver, and we’re so grateful for the support and enthusiasm from School Districts, students, and volunteers who make these valuable events possible.

On June 17, Special Olympics BC and School District 53 hosted a popular try-it day in Oliver. With 42 students in attendance, the participants had the chance to try floor curling, bocce, and Club Fit! Sincere thanks to School District 53 for having the students participate, to Mr. McAllister for allowing us to host the event at Oliver Elementary, and to the SOBC – South Okanagan Local for their tremendous support!

We have already had some responses from parents interested in getting their students registered in Special Olympics programs! And we love the thank-you picture (above right) shared by one thoughtful student!

In Powell River, SOBC and School District 47 hosted a successful spring try-it day at Brooks Secondary School involved 15 participating students as well as 12 student leaders who volunteered and helped with the day, supported by teacher Katelyn Potesta. The students had a blast participating in soccer and basketball sessions that kept them hopping. A teacher commented this was the most active they had seen their students during their school daytime!

>> Read more

Summer-sport rule change proposal opportunity

Special Olympics symbol

Summer-sports coaches! Are you interested in proposing any changes to the rules in your sport?

Special Olympics rule changes can be proposed in the period after a World Games and are submitted to the national and international Special Olympics bodies for review.

All proposals must be submitted by email to SOBC Competition & Youth Coordinator Jean Tetarenko by July 22. Find the SOI Rule Change Proposal form by clicking here and email it to Jean Tetarenko.

Changes must be for summer sports only at this time, and must be in line with the Special Olympics Canada Sport Rules. You can find the latest SOI Sport rules by clicking here.

After each Chapter across the country submits their potential rule changes, the Canadian Sport Council will vote on whether or not they agree with the proposed rules and can then submit our Canadian rule change proposals to SOI in time for their deadlines. The Canadian Sport Council is comprised of Vice Presidents of Sport from across the country.

Female soccer players from Prince George and Surrey hit the pitch in Alberta

Special Olympics BC women's soccer players

Female soccer players from Special Olympics BC – Prince George and Surrey headed to Edmonton in June to participate in Special Olympics Alberta’s first Women in Soccer: Development and Awareness Camp. The SOBC players took the pitch in Edmonton with female athletes from across Western Canada.

The teams tackled valuable training sessions and a fun round-robin tournament. Coaches said they appreciated the opportunity to learn new drills and be part of a women’s-only environment, and everyone felt this was a great opportunity for all participants. The coaches and athletes really connected, and the team play was fantastic. The tournament teams blended all the athletes so the teammates were all new to each other, but they clicked, and the games featured lots of passing and great soccer.

The SOBC coaches noted that the all-female environment seemed to create a communal tone and increased confidence among the players. SOBC participated in this event to begin exploring whether there might be interest in starting all-female soccer programs, and dialogue will continue moving forward. If you have any questions, please contact SOBC Competition & Youth Coordinator Jean Tetarenko by email or by phone at 250-883-2452 direct / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Champions for Inclusive Health coming together

Special Olympics BC athletes, volunteers, and families have done a lot in recent years to improve athlete health, as have dedicated Healthy Athletes volunteers. But it won’t be possible to change the dramatically higher rates of health problems faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities without systemic changes. To that end, SOBC has initiated the Champions for Inclusive Health Stakeholder Coalition, working with impactful partners who are dedicating time and energy to this important issue.

This summer, members of the Champions for Inclusive Health working groups are taking the time to meet in order to identify key issues and develop actions for change in their respective fields. The working groups are focusing on achieving measurable change in the following fields: measurement, wellness, professional education and support, population support and resource access, public and private policy, and communications.

More partners are welcome to get involved in this significant change-making work. If you are active in health and passionate about helping people with intellectual disabilities, please contact Scott Howe, Champions for Inclusive Health engagement lead, at showe@howeinternational.consulting. If one of your service providers is outstanding and really committed to ensuring quality care for individuals with intellectual disabilities, please share this info and encourage them to get involved.

>> Learn more

Coaches Corner: Can’t-miss upcoming courses

NCCP logo

NCCP Special Olympics Competition Sport Workshops

Special Olympics BC will be hosting NCCP Special Olympics Competition Sport Workshops this fall in the following locations:

SOBC hosts this course around the province to ensure high-quality training for coaches and athletes. All SOBC coaches (except for Active Start and FUNdamentals program leaders) are required to complete the course within their first year of coaching Special Olympics athletes.

Cheers to the coaches who recently completed the course in Terrace!

Sport-specific courses

The SOC Floor Hockey Sport-Specific Module will be hosted on September 14 in Courtenay – please click here for details. This will be the only floor hockey coaching course hosted this season, so don’t miss out! This course provides a solid foundation to understand the sport and how to deliver content to SOBC athletes, and all coaches who wish to coach at the National Games level must complete this training.

For further info on sport-specific courses, please contact Leslie Thornley, SOBC Sport Manager, Coach & Major Games Development, by email or by phone at 250-317-1272 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

National Coaches Week

Coming September 21 to 29 and will include course opportunities! Stay tuned for details from the Coaching Association of Canada.

Celebrating #50moments of Special Olympics

Special Olympics BC athlete circa 1981

While celebrating the 50th anniversary of the global Special Olympics movement, we took a look back at the #50moments that have defined Special Olympics here in B.C. and throughout the world.

Check out the final 50 moments stories:

>> Click here for the full series

Staff update

Special Olympics BC logo

Special Olympics BC is now hiring a Communications Coordinator and a Fund Development Coordinator! Please click here for details.


3701 Hastings St., Unit 210
Burnaby, B.C. V5C 2H6
Toll-free: 1-888-854-2276
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