Special Olympics BC September 2018 Newsletter

September 2018 Newsletter

Making a difference with the Sports Celebrities Festival

The Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals is an inspiring and interactive gala supporting Special Olympics BC and the Canucks for Kids Fund.

Set to be held on October 4 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, this exciting event brings guests together with top local sports celebrities including SOBC athletes and the entire Vancouver Canucks roster.

The event’s exciting silent auction bidding will take place online again this year, and the auction website is now live at scf2018.com! Bidding has just begun and will run until the evening of October 4.

Please share the auction website scf2018.com widely to encourage bidding in support of the Canucks for Kids Fund and SOBC!

Photo: Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter and SOBC – Abbotsford athlete Paige Norton – Photo courtesy of Jeff Vinnick

Special Olympics Team Canada members announced

We’re thrilled to congratulate the 11 members from Special Olympics BC that have been named to Special Olympics Team Canada. The athletes will represent Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi on March 14 to 21, 2019.

The team consists of athletes from all 12 participating Special Olympics provinces/territories across Canada.

Lois McNary, Vice President, Sport for SOBC, said she was extremely proud of all the athletes and coaches that took part in the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games and those who were selected to go to the World Games.

As well as the 11 athletes, McNary said SOBC will be sending six coaches and three members of the Special Olympics Team Canada Mission staff to Abu Dhabi.

>> Read more

Celebrate National Coaches Week

It’s National Coaches Week, and we are proud to celebrate the dedicated coaches who make SOBC’s year-round programs and empowering opportunities possible!

There is still time to sign up for the three free online training courses offered by the NCCP during National Coaches Week! Coaches can sign up for:

Coach Initiation in Sport
Coaching Athletes With a Disability
Making Head Way

Coaches can also check out viaSport British Columbia’s website to find a great range of NCCP courses on offer, including Make Ethical Decisions workshops and Fundamental Movement Skills.

Thank you to all the coaches who generously give their time to make a difference across the province!

SOBC – Surrey athlete Susan Wang joins SOBC Board of Directors

Special Olympics BC – Surrey athlete Susan Wang is the newest member of the SOBC Board of Directors.

At SOBC’s September 2018 AGM, Wang’s appointment to the Board also saw Randy Smallwood of Wheaton Precious Metals returning as Chair, and Ted Hirst of Canaccord Genuity resuming his role as Vice Chair. Pamela Keith of Dueck Auto Group is Past Chair, and Money Talks host Michael Campbell and Colin Yakashiro of Grant Thornton will continue to serve as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.

Wang takes over for SOBC – Richmond athlete Vincent Li. Dan Howe, President and CEO of SOBC, said he is grateful for Vincent’s contributions and looks forward to working with Susan.

“It’s important that our athletes have a strong voice on the Board of Directors and Susan, as did Vincent, brings great insight and passion to the role,” Howe said.

>> Read more

Sobeys holds first national fundraising campaign for Special Olympics

From September 13 to 23, Sobeys held their first-ever national check-stand fundraising campaign in support of Special Olympics. In Sobeys stores throughout the country, including Safeway and Thrifty Foods in B.C., customers were encouraged to make a donation to Special Olympics at the checkout, helping to raise $708,000 for Special Olympics programs across Canada.

As part of this national campaign, athletes and volunteers were invited into Sobeys stores on September 15 for their Fall Food Fair. This event was centered on the theme “Eating like an athlete” and focused on healthy meal and snack solutions for on-the-go athletes and families.

This fundraising campaign is part of Sobeys’ national partnership with Special Olympics. Since 2016, they have been empowering athletes to eat better, feel better, and do better through their year-round support.

In addition to the campaign, this year Sobeys has launched Better Food Nutrition Sessions to help athletes make healthier food choices and were the co-presenting sponsor of the 2018 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games.

>> Read more about how Sobeys is making a difference for Special Olympics athletes across Canada

Celebrating 50 moments of 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.

We continue to tell the stories of the lives and events that have shaped the Special Olympics movement.

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

Marathon workout challenge set to pump up support for Special Olympics

CF|24 participants are preparing to tackle a marathon workout for Special Olympics! On October 20, gyms throughout Canada will open their doors to members and community supporters alike as participants complete a series of workouts alongside local Special Olympics athletes.

This fun fitness event gives participants the opportunity to challenge themselves to take on workouts every hour for three, six, 12, or 24 hours, and helps raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics programs throughout the country.

Celebrate inclusion and the strength of your community by encouraging your local gym to get involved!

For more information check out www.cf24.ca or contact Meg Ishida by email at mishida@specialolympics.bc.ca or by phone at 604-314-4535 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free.

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

SOBC Champions for Health summit advocates for better outcomes

Special Olympics BC will be hosting its second Champions for Inclusive Health summit in Surrey on October 11 with the goal of advancing health outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities across the province.

The event has attracted significant interest across a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including NGOs, community groups, self-advocates, government representatives, researchers, school boards, and more. SOBC hopes that the summit will serve as a significant step towards the advancement of health equity, not just for athletes, but for all individuals with intellectual disabilities.

>> Read more

Friendship and fundraising highlight BC LETR events

BC RCMP Staff Sergeant Tom Norton says participating in a Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC event is an incredible experience.

“It’s inspirational; there isn’t anything like it. I can’t describe it other than say you look around and there is chatter and all kinds of noise going on. It’s excitement; it’s electric!” Norton said during the Surrey leg of June’s Lower Mainland Torch Run.

A dedicated SOBC – Abbotsford coach, Norton says his favourite thing about BC LETR events is they raise funds that provide SOBC athletes with life-changing opportunities and ensure coaches can have the privilege of working with Special Olympics athletes.

All over the province, law enforcement members have been working hard to raise funds and awareness for SOBC through Law Enforcement Torch Run events. Along with playing an important role in supporting SOBC programs, these inspiring events highlight the amazing levels of camaraderie and mutual respect between LETR members and Special Olympics athletes.

>> Read more

Garth Vickers honoured with national volunteer award

Garth Vickers has been honoured for almost two decades of volunteering with Special Olympics BC.

Vickers, who volunteers with SOBC – Kelowna, was awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers in Victoria on September 6. The honour recognizes volunteer achievements in a wide range of fields across the country.

Vickers was one of 40 B.C. volunteers who was recognized by the Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia at Government House in Victoria.

>> Read more

BC LETR members set to sweat it out to support SOBC

Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC members are gearing up for the Cycle for a Cause fundraiser in Mission on October 13.

Come cheer on Mission RCMP members and SOBC athletes as they ride stationary bikes to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics BC. This fun event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Save-On-Foods in Mission.

motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna full of inspiration and fundraising success

The seventh annual motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna welcomed nearly 300 participants to City Park on Saturday, September 22 for a full day of sportsmanship, inclusion, and team spirit!

The energetic event saw high-fives, team huddles, and smiles all around as 60 local SOBC athletes joined forces with 28 teams of young professionals to take part in sport activities throughout the day.

The fun was capped off with fantastic fundraising, as the event smashed its goal with a final total of $125,000 to support Special Olympics athletes throughout the country! Big thanks to everyone who participated, volunteered, and supported to make the day such a success!

>> Learn more about Marathon of Sport

Hall of Fame inductees to be announced at Leadership Summit

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 every Local will have the opportunity to 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, President & CEO of SOBC, said the summit would offer participants the opportunity to come together to not only celebrate the past 50 years but to help shape the next 50.

“Special Olympics has spent the last 50 years enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport,” Howe said. “We’ve made incredible strides, no question. But there’s still much more to do. We want to continue to advocate for those whose voice isn’t being heard, and offer wonderful life-enhancing opportunities to as many as possible.”

Volunteers needed for 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon

Recruitment for volunteers for the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon will be launching soon.

More than 1,000 volunteers will be needed for what will be the largest SOBC Winter Games to date. The Games 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.

The dedicated competitors will be shooting for personal-best performances, and they will also be chasing the opportunity to advance to national and international levels of competition. Top performers in Greater Vernon will qualify for spots on Team BC for the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay, Ontario, which will be the qualifier for the 2021 Special Olympics World Winter Games.

>> Read more

Column: Sport psychology in Special Olympics

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.

Psychological factors, or the state-of-mind of an athlete, affects their training and competition results.

Highly trained athletes in many sports create an almost self-hypnotic state by intensely concentrating or “psyching up” before a competition.

It has been observed that top athletes possess intelligence, stability, independence, and introversion. These psychological characteristics are also required for Special Olympics athletes to train and competes to reach their full potential.

> Read more


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