Special Olympics BC Newsletter May and June,2019

May-June 2019 Newsletter

Announcing the Team BC 2020 Training Squad!

We are so pleased to announce the roster of the Special Olympics Team BC 2020 Training Squad, with members from all the sport Regions throughout our province!

These dedicated and deserving individuals have qualified for their spots on the Team BC 2020 Training Squad based on their performances in the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon.

Next February 25 to 29, Special Olympics Team BC 2020 will head east to Thunder Bay, Ontario, to compete with pride in the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games. This will be our province’s biggest National Winter Games team yet, because this will be the first time that 5-pin bowling will be part of Winter Games – it’s back-to-back National Games for the 5-pin bowlers as they transition out of the summer sport cycle!

>> Read more

Gearing up for the game-changing Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament

The Newmont Goldcorp Invitational Golf Tournament is regarded as one of the Lower Mainland’s must-attend golf events, and it has raised nearly $3.2 million to support Special Olympics BC’s 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 20!

We are very grateful to Newmont Goldcorp and all the sponsors, volunteers, teams, and supporters who participate in this event to help SOBC change lives through the power and joy of sport.

Stay tuned to SOBC social media accounts for the launch of the tournament’s online silent auction, which will run June 15 to 20!

Supporters can be part of this highly regarded golf experience by becoming a sponsor or donating an auction item. To get involved and make a difference, please contact Christina Hadley by email or by phone at 604-737-3073 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

Be inspired by the 2019 SOBC award nominees

We are delighted 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 deserving nominees!

This year’s award winners will be announced over the coming weeks on SOBC’s website and social media accounts.

>> Read more

Generous donors geared up for 2019 New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction

Thanks to the generosity of New Car Dealers and supporters throughout the province, the 2019 New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction raised significant funds to benefit the empowering work of the two beneficiary charities. With more than 280 items and a record number of bidders, the 2019 auction raised more than $178,000 for Special Olympics BC and the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC.

Over its three decades of inspiration, this important event has raised nearly $5.1 million to support Special Olympics BC’s life-changing year-round sport programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, and the empowering work of the New Car Dealers Foundation.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the many Dealers and supporters who contributed to the success of this year’s auction by making a cash pledge, donating auction items, soliciting donations, and/or bidding on items. Sincere thanks to the BC Honda Dealers Association, Chevrolet Buick GMC Dealers of BC, and Pacific Toyota Dealers for leading the way in giving back by each donating a sought-after vehicle to the auction.

>> Read more

Youth shine in SOBC school sports opportunities

Student-athletes with intellectual disabilities have had amazing opportunities to develop and show skills this spring through growing Special Olympics BC school sport programs. Island athletes shone in the third annual SOBC Vancouver Island 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, with the biggest number of teams yet, and then two teams of amazing Island athletes headed to Toronto to hit the court in the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games.

Huge cheers also go out to the track and field student-athletes who competed in Zone Championships across the province as well as the BC High School Track & Field Championships. This was the first year all zones included Special Olympics events, and the third year of Special Olympics athletes being part of the BC High School Championships. Thanks to BC School Sports for their support of inclusive sport! And we send a big shoutout to the athletes who showed their skills in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District 68 Track Meet!

>> Read more

To find out how your school can benefit from offering SOBC school sport programs, please contact Jean Tetarenko, SOBC Competition & Youth Coordinator, by email or by phone at 250-883-2452 / 1-888-854-2276.

BC LETR events in full swing

It’s an exciting time of year for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC with inspiring fundraisers taking place across the province!

Torch Run events

Law enforcement members and SOBC athletes are lacing up for fun BC LETR run and walk events taking place all around the province. Members of the public can participate in run/walks in Kamloops on June 15, Trail on June 16, Cranbrook on June 22, and Golden on July 1. The Lower Mainland Torch Run championed inclusion and respect for Special Olympics while carrying the Flame of Hope through 16 communities from June 4 to 7, and the Victoria Torch Run on June 1 and Prince George Torch Run on June 6 raised awareness and funds with terrific turnouts.

Cops, Pops, and Pizza

Grab a slice and support SOBC with Cops, Pops, and Pizza! On June 27, law enforcement members and SOBC athletes will serve customers and collect donations at Boston Pizza restaurants across British Columbia.

>> Register and learn more about BC LETR events

Sobeys raising funds to ensure athlete health and wellness

Sobeys Inc. has been a proud national sponsor of Special Olympics Canada since 2016. Through this partnership, Sobeys is committed to helping Special Olympics athletes live healthier lives. Sobeys supports Special Olympics year round by providing donations, fundraising opportunities, and nutrition sessions, and they employ Special Olympics athletes in stores from coast to coast.

In 2018 Sobeys debuted their national check-stand fundraising campaign for Special Olympics, and raised $708,000 for Special Olympics programs across Canada! This year the Sobeys fundraising campaign will run from June 20 to July 3 in stores nationwide.

We are so thankful for the support of Sobeys stores and customers, and of the Special Olympics BC athletes and volunteers who play an important part in the success of this campaign by visiting stores and sharing their stories.

Heads up Smithers, Healthy Athletes is coming your way!

There were so many smiles at the Special Olympics BC Healthy Athletes Screening Day in Victoria earlier this month! We’re so grateful to all the Region 6 athletes and volunteers who took the time to attend, and all the local health practitioners who gave their expertise and caring to make the valuable screenings possible. Please click here for photos and here to learn more about Healthy Athletes.

The next SOBC Healthy Athletes Screening Day will be held in Smithers on June 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., providing free, fun dental and health promotion screenings open to all local athletes and individuals with intellectual disabilities! Please click here for details.

We want youth who want to make a difference

This summer Special Olympics BC will be launching a new Youth Engagement Project, funded by the Government of Canada under the Canada Service Corps. The SOBC Youth Engagement Project will give young people a meaningful opportunity to address the need for greater inclusion and respect for people with intellectual disabilities in communities across B.C.

Youth ages 15 to 30 will be invited to apply with their idea for a project to address inclusion for individuals with intellectual disabilities in their community. SOBC will provide the successful participants with information, resources, support, and funding of up to $1,000 to help them execute their project. Applications will be due by June 30.

If you know a young champion of inclusion and the power of sport, please let them know about this opportunity to make a difference in their community while building important life skills and having a lot of fun with Special Olympics! Please stay tuned to SOBC’s website and social media accounts for more details, or contact SOBC Youth Engagement Coordinator Jocelyn Kerr by email.

Methanex Corporation makes an empowering commitment to Special Olympics BC

Special Olympics BC is thrilled to welcome Methanex Corporation as a new provincial sponsor. Methanex, a corporation committed to making a positive impact in the communities in which they live, work, and play, has made a $20,000 commitment to support Special Olympics BC youth initiatives and Games competitors. Methanex employees will also be getting involved in hands-on volunteering to help make a difference through the power and joy of sport.

Methanex’s generous support will create more opportunities for Special Olympics BC to reach children and youth with intellectual disabilities (IDs), helping them step off the sidelines and onto empowering teams with SOBC youth programs designed for children with IDs ages two to 18, and SOBC’s growing school-sport programs.

>> Read more

Terrific opportunities to give Special Olympics a try

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.

Thanks to everyone who participated in May’s wonderful Williams Lake try-it day and smile-filled SOBC Youth Sports Day presented by Methanex at St. Thomas More Collegiate! Please click here to be inspired by pics of the fabulous kids and families at Youth Sports Day.

At June 9’s try-it day in Prince Rupert, participants enjoyed basketball, learned more about health and fitness, and had a lot of fun! Thanks to Prince Rupert’s high-profile and fun-filled Seafest for including Special Olympics in the festival and promoting our event.

Many thanks to all the supporters, volunteers, and participants who make these valuable events possible!

Pumped to elevate performance province-wide

It’s been an amazing spring of Performance Program training, thanks to the dedicated Special Olympics BC coaches and athletes who have worked so hard to elevate performance! In March, April, and May, coaches and athletes from all over the province came together for Performance Program training camps in team sports, bowling, swimming, golf, and athletics; what’s more, SOBC – Williams Lake hosted a valuable Region 7 & 8 Snowshoeing Performance Camp, and SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook hosted an impactful Region 1 Swimming Performance Camp.

Performance Program training camp participants learn best practices from each other and share techniques to enhance the fundamentals for their sports, generating knowledge and skills that they will implement in their home programs in order to elevate everyone’s level of performance province-wide. In some camps, external sport, health, and/or training experts are involved to help everyone add to their toolbox.

Videos and training tools created through the Performance Program are uploaded on the SOBC website for use by all coaches. Check out the Resources section and look in the Sport Rules, Resources, and Videos area with lots of information to help elevate performance.

motionball Marathon of Sport events feature inclusion, fundraising, fun

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 Vancouver presented by Hootsuite was another huge hit at the EA Sports complex on June 1! Forty SOBC athletes joined 36 teams of young professionals for an inspiring day of sports, camaraderie, and fundraising in support of Special Olympics. We are so thankful to the dedicated volunteer organizing committee, energetic teams, and generous sponsors and volunteers who make this event so inclusive and such a success to benefit Special Olympics athletes and programs. Check out photos

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

Summer fun in store with Fit Families & Friends

Special Olympics BC Locals can offer Fit Families & Friends programs to create additional ways to help athletes be active! These popular summertime programs allow SOBC athletes to get together with their families, friends, and social supports to exercise in fun ways. Participants also learn nutrition tips and create an engaging environment to encourage each other and meet health goals together.

Fun fact: You don’t need to be a coach to lead a Fit Families & Friends program – this is a great opportunity for parents, caregivers, or community members who want to be involved but can’t commit to a full season or are interested in trying out Special Olympics! The time commitment is minimal, and the benefits and fun times are many.

>> Learn more and find out which Locals are already planning to offer Fit Families & Friends this summer

Promoting safe sport environments for all

Special Olympics BC joins provincial sport organizations in supporting the #ERASEbullying campaign to promote positive, respectful, engaging, accessible, and inclusive environments for all participants! SOBC is offering workshops around the province for athletes and coaches to share solutions and help ensure our sport programs stay safe, encouraging, and fun for all.

Upcoming presentations:

>> Learn more

Staples Canada helps Special Olympics athletes achieve their dreams

Sincere thanks to special olympics bc may and june 2019 newsletter for running the Give a Toonie Share a Dream campaign from April 27 to May 27, helping Special Olympics athletes across Canada build the confidence to pursue their dreams!

Heartfelt thanks to all the Staples stores, staff, and customers in B.C. who generously supported this important fundraising initiative, and to the SOBC athletes and volunteers throughout the province who visited their local stores and helped the campaign succeed!

>> Learn more

Vancouver families, come cook with us!

Special Olympics BC has a Family Health Forum on the menu this month in Vancouver! Set to be held June 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Killarney Seniors Centre, the SOBC Family Health Forum will help families prepare healthy meals and snacks together, with a focus on promoting independence in the kitchen and choosing healthier options.

Participants will make lunch and enjoy eating together upon completion. The event will welcome families with a minimum of one caregiver and one individual with an intellectual disability. All participants must be ages seven and up.

Please RSVP by June 20 to SOBC Health & Engagement Coordinator Sarah Russell by email or by phone at 604-737-3081.

RBC Foundation helps empower athlete leaders

Sincere thanks to RBC Foundation for their $20,000 donation to help empower athletes through Special Olympics BC’s Athlete Leadership programs! RBC’s Lynn Houle kindly took the time to attend the 2019 SOBC Athlete Leadership Conference and congratulated the participants on their significant achievements. “You are exceptional examples to all of us,” she said.

>> Read more

World Games Final Leg an inspiring experience for BC LETR members

Two law enforcement members from B.C. helped kick off the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games – and they say it was an honour and a very rewarding experience.

From March 3 to 14, Metro Vancouver Transit Police Deputy Chief Officer Barry Kross and Oak Bay Police Department Constable Sheri Lucas proudly participated in the 2019 Law Enforcement Torch Run Final Leg for the World Games in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The two LETR for Special Olympics BC members joined an international team of runners, carrying the Flame of Hope through all seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and into the Opening Ceremony. This historic 10-day journey marked the first time the Flame of Hope had come to the Middle East.

>> Read more

Spreading the word for inclusion in Chilliwack and Surrey schools

We’re inspired by the inclusion and respect for individuals with intellectual disabilities shown in recent Spread the Word: Inclusion events held at Chilliwack’s AD Rundle Middle School and Chilliwack Middle School and at Surrey’s Semiahmoo Secondary School!

Amazing SOBC – Chilliwack volunteers and local students Megan and Abby led the Chilliwack events as they made presentations and encouraged everyone to sign the pledge to include. They’ve been involved with Special Olympics for three years and are going above and beyond by advocating for more inclusive environments in local schools.

The Semiahmoo Secondary campaign attracted more than 160 signatures!

>> Read more about Spread the Word: Inclusion in B.C.

Fantastic month for track and field

On June 20, the 36th edition of the Vancouver Sun Harry Jerome International Track Classic will bring Canada’s top athletics athletes to Burnaby’s Swangard Stadium to face competitors from more than a dozen countries around the world. For the sixth time, Special Olympics sprinters will take the track alongside Olympic champions, world record holders, Canadian stars, and other young hopefuls.

Stay tuned for more information on the Special Olympics 100m events at this iconic Canadian track and field competition!

And SOBC Locals are hosting awesome meets this month! We’re cheering for all the competitors around the province and sincerely thanking all the coaches, volunteers, families, and supporters who make these exciting and empowering opportunities possible.

Coaches Corner: Courses galore!

NCCP Special Olympics Competition Sport Workshops

Special Olympics BC will be hosting an NCCP Special Olympics Competition Sport Workshop in Terrace on July 6-7, and spaces remain available! Please click here for details and registration info. 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.

High fives to the coaches who recently completed the course in Invermere and Surrey!

NCCP Make Ethical Decisions (MED) training

Special Olympics BC coaches are required to take NCCP Make Ethical Decisions (MED) training, which helps coaches handle challenging situations with confidence. Ethics training prepares coaches to handle situations that arise from ethical dilemmas or even legal challenges. It’s also a core element of the Responsible Coaching Movement. Please click here to learn more about the training.

All coaches should know how to identify the legal, ethical, and moral implications of difficult situations. Any coach requiring NCCP-trained status needs NCCP MED training. Completing the module gives a coach five professional development points towards their NCCP Maintenance of Certification. SOBC coaches will need to have completed their MED training before attending Regional Qualifiers with athletes.

Sport-specific courses

Several courses are in the works for winter sports training. The SOC Floor Hockey Sport-Specific Module will be hosted on September 15 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.

We are awaiting information and confirmations for courses being planned in curling and snowshoeing. If you are interested in these sports and further info, 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.

Celebrating #50moments of Special Olympics

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

Check out the latest moments:

Make sure to check our social media channels and website every Tuesday for the latest instalment and share the joy and inspiration that helped define the last 50 years of Special Olympics.

>> Click here for more stories

Staff update

News from the north! Elana Bay, Community Development Coordinator for the North & Central Interior, will be leaving Special Olympics BC this summer to pursue her dream of attending the UBC Faculty of Medicine. Ellie will be missed, but she hopes to volunteer for SOBC during her studies as time allows!

We are delighted to welcome Sydney Hall into the northern staff role. Sydney grew up in Prince George and has volunteered as a soccer coach with SOBC – Prince George for six years. She has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Northern British Columbia, with a focus on marketing. Through her work experience with the Northern British Columbia Tourism Association, she has coordinated a number of events and conferences. Sydney has extensive volunteer experience that will assist her in her job with SOBC.

Ellie will work with Sydney for the last three days of June and conclude her time at SOBC on June 28. Sydney will officially start her new position on July 2.


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

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