Special Olympics BC. October Newsletter

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October 2018 Newsletter

Sports Celebrities Festival 2018

Sports Celebrities Festival helps change lives

Sports Celebrities Festival

Held on October 4 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, the 2018 Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals put Special Olympics BC athletes in the spotlight alongside the entire Vancouver Canucks roster and leading B.C. sports celebrities, while raising vital funds for the Canucks for Kids Fund and SOBC.

Special Olympics BC – Abbotsford athlete Paige Norton captivated the sold-out crowd with her story of how Special Olympics has dramatically changed her life and her health.

Born with Down syndrome and a number of health issues, Norton had her first heart surgery at just five months old, and open-heart surgery at three years old. She and her family were told that Norton would need additional surgeries as she grew older.

“Imagine how happy and surprised my parents where when, at 13 years old, my cardiologist told us he didn’t feel I would need any further surgery. He said my healthy lifestyle, sports, and my training have given me a strong heart.”

Norton is now an accomplished athlete who has earned her way to seven Provincial Games, four National Games, and two World Games. She was named Special Olympics BC Athlete of the Year in both 2011 and 2017 and was named Special Olympics Canada Female Athlete of the year in 2017.

Photo: SOBC – Abbotsford athlete Paige Norton and Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter speaking at the 2018 Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals. Photo courtesy of Jeff Vinnick / Vancouver Canucks

>> Read more

Online volunteer registration for 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games opens November 1

2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games logo

Online registration for volunteers for the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon will launch November 1.

More than 1,000 volunteers will be needed for what will be the largest SOBC Winter Games to date, which will run from February 21 to 23 in Greater Vernon. More than 800 athletes from all over the province and the Yukon will be competing in eight sports.

Volunteers will be needed for a wide range of areas, including the Opening and Closing Ceremony, logistics, media, transportation, and sporting events.

>> Read more

Celebrating #50moments of Special Olympics

50 moments with Special Olympics

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

Check out the latest #50moments:

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

CF|24 participants show their strength for Special Olympics

Raincity Athletics showing their strength at the 2017 CF|24 event!

On October 20, fitness enthusiasts across the country tackled a marathon of workouts in support of Special Olympics! In gyms and fitness centres throughout Canada, CF|24 participants sweated it out for up to 24 hours to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

In B.C., Coquitlam’s CrossFit CBCCrossFit Prince George, and Raincity Athletics in Vancouver took on a series of strength-testing workouts in support of Special Olympics athletes.

SOBC – Coquitlam athlete Adam Advocaat was one of the SOBC athletes helping to kick off the day by sharing their Special Olympics stories and gratitude with participants.

“All of the time I’ve spent in Special Olympics has led to my life being happier, healthier, and more fulfilling,” Advocaat told the crowd at CBC Crossfit in Coquitlam. “On behalf of Special Olympics athletes across the province, thank you for your support and helping change lives through the power of sport, joy and unity.”

Thank you to everyone who took part in this fun fitness challenge and helped make a difference for Special Olympics athletes across Canada!

>> Learn more about CF|24

SOBC Champions for Inclusive Health summit brings solutions to the table

SOBC Champions for Inclusive Health summit

Eliminating the health disparities between people with intellectual disabilities and the general population is both complicated and a massive challenge.

Special Olympics BC set out to tackle the challenge when it hosted  the Champions of Inclusive Health Summit in Surrey in October.

The event attracted more than 70 stakeholders, including representatives from NGOs, community groups, government, parks and recreation, researchers, school boards, and SOBC athletes with the goal of advancing health outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities across the province.

Special Olympics BC will continue to advocate for better health outcomes and asks all those interested in learning more or being involved in the discussion to contact the provincial office.

For more information please contact Sarah Russell at srussell@specialolympics.bc.ca or call 604-737-3081 or 1-888-854-2276.

>> Read more

Dine and donate at Boston Pizza

Lower Mainland Torch Run for SOBC

The BC Law Enforcement Torch Run and Boston Pizza are joining forces to serve up support for Special Olympics BC!

Taking place on November 14 from 5 to 9 p.m., the Cops, Pops, and Pizza event will see law enforcement members and SOBC athletes serve customers, collect donations, and raise awareness for Special Olympics at participating Boston Pizza restaurants across the province.

>> Click here for a list of participating restaurants

Jo Buck honoured with Community Sport Hero Award

SOBC - Terrace volunteer Jo Buck

Special Olympics BC – Terrace volunteer Jo Buck has been honoured for her 25-plus years of dedication and hard work.

The Community Sport Hero Awards program recognizes coaches, officials, mentors, and administrators who have dedicated themselves to amateur sport at the community level.

Buck first started volunteering with SOBC – Terrace in 1990 selling raffle tickets and helping out when she could before volunteering to be the Program Coordinator two years later. She is currently serving as the Local Coordinator and has been an integral part of SOBC – Terrace’s success for the past 25-plus years.

>> Read more

Hall of Fame inductees to be announced at Leadership Summit

Special Olympics 50th anniversary logo

Both the future and the past will be recognized at Special Olympics BC’s Leadership Summit, which will be held October 27 and 28 in Richmond.

A number of guest speakers will present over the two-day summit, and representatives from Locals across the province will take part.

Also, there will be a celebration commemorating the 50th anniversary of Special Olympics, as well as the announcement of the newest inductees to the SOBC Hall of Fame.

Dan Howe, SOBC President & CEO of SOBC, said the summit would offer is the perfect place to honour the new inductees.

“Globally, Special Olympics has come a long way in the last 50 years. In B.C. for the past 38 years, we have continually strived to improve the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport,” Howe said. “Our newest inductees all embody the dedication and selflessness that we rely on to make Special Olympics a success. I am honoured to be able to welcome such a distinguished group to our Hall of Fame.”

Fit Families & Friends wraps up another successful summer program

This summer marked the third year of SOBC running Fit Families & Friends programs, with the help of the Golisano Foundation Healthy Communities grant. This year popular programs ran in Kelowna, Parksville/Oceanside, Castlegar, Smithers, and Trail.

Athlete Anne Forbes from SOBC – Smithers took part in Fit Family & Friends this summer and went above and beyond the normal guidelines for the program. Forbes found herself getting out to walk even on days when the group wasn’t scheduled to meet. Forbes said she fell in love with keeping track of her steps, what she was eating, and the activities she did throughout the day.

Many thanks to all the participating volunteers, athletes, and supporters who made these programs so much fun and so helpful in improving the health and fitness of everyone involved!

>> Read more

Athletes input sought for online survey

Special Olympics North America is asking athletes for 10 minutes of their time to complete an online survey. The survey is available to Special Olympics athletes who live in Canada, as well as the U.S. and Caribbean.

Your feedback will be discussed with the members of the North America delegation at the Special Olympics Global Athlete Congress, taking place in November in the Dominican Republic.

All surveys must be completed by November 1.

>> Click here to complete the SONA athlete survey

motionball helps change lives and minds

motionball 2018

Since 2002, motionball has been helping change lives and minds across Canada. Through their fun-filled social and sport events, Special Olympics athletes and young professionals come together to celebrate inclusion, camaraderie, and friendship.

This year, motionball events like Marathon of Sport and CF|24 helped build the next generation of Special Olympics supporters, share our message of hope and inclusion, and raise vital funds for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation. We are so grateful for the support of motionball participants, and for the volunteer organizers who make these events possible.

>>  Read more about motionball and the events that took place in B.C. in 2018

Transit Police hit hole-in-one for SOBC

Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament

May’s Metro Vancouver Transit Police Charity Golf Tournament raised more than $28,000 for Special Olympics BC, exceeding the event’s previous fundraising totals!

Transit Police Interim Chief Officer and BC Law Enforcement Torch Run Executive Council member Barry Kross says the tournament has come a long way, and the 2018 event was the best one yet. Kross says he has received a lot of positive feedback from golfers who enjoy participating in the event and supporting such a great cause.

Special Olympics BC is grateful to all the law enforcement members, SOBC athletes, sponsors, and volunteers who made this fundraiser a big success!

Column: Sport psychology in Special Olympics

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.

Not long ago individuals with intellectual disabilities were put in institutions because few realized their potential and what they could contribute to society. Fifty years ago, programs such as those promoted by Special Olympics changed expectations of individuals with intellectual disabilities so they could participate in organized activities and experience life like never before.

After seven years with Special Olympics, I came to realize that a new change in expectations is necessary to integrate and increase contributions that Special Olympics athletes can make to society. This is why I decided to write a book about what I believe is the next step to develop further and take advantage of the potential of individuals with intellectual disabilities.

> Read more


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