Special Olympics October 2020 Newsletter

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Special Olympics track athletes in Nanaimo

Thumbs up from Special Olympics BC – Nanaimo’s athletics program with their Return to Sport safety protocols in place! SOBC Return to Sport Plan and resources

Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals reimagined for November return

Vancouver Canucks forward Brandon Sutter and Special Olympics athlete Michael Langridge

The Sports Celebrities Festival presented by Wheaton Precious Metals has been making a difference with the Canucks for Kids Fund and Special Olympics BC for more than two decades. Usually an in-person gala, the event has been reimagined in a new virtual format that will expand our opportunities to change lives through the power and joy of sport.

The 2020 Sports Celebrities Festival will run from November 3 to 10 and will include:

  • An online silent auction full of the finest in sport memorabilia, travel, wine, entertainment, fashion, food, and more;
  • Featured Fund a Need donation opportunities to directly benefit the life-changing charities;
  • A coveted Canucks for Kids Fund 50/50 Raffle benefitting Special Olympics BC;
  • And a star-studded live show on the evening of November 10! Join us virtually to interact with sport celebrities and find out the lucky raffle winners.

Register in advance to receive SCF news and emails with celebrity content.

>> Learn more

Latest news in Special Olympics BC’s safe, staged Return to Sport

SOBC Return to Sport Plan basic principles

With sincere thanks to all who have worked so hard to move the Special Olympics BC Return to Sport Plan forward safely, we would like to share the latest steps in the slow, phased provincial progression.

Basketball, floor hockey, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing are moving into the Pilot Program level, joining bowling (5- and 10-pin), curling, powerlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, Active Start, and FUNdamentals.

Figure skating, speed skating, and swimming join athletics, bocce, golf, and Club Fit in Level 1.

We have added more coach training webinars.

>> Find details on these steps and more updates

>> Full Return to Sport Plan and resources

B.C. election candidates respond to call to end health inequality faced by individuals with intellectual disabilities

Special Olympics BC's challenge to provincial election candidates

People with intellectual disabilities have been severely marginalised and face unacceptable health inequality. Now more than ever, with the added challenges of COVID-19, this must end.

We issued a series of questions to all candidates in the 2020 B.C. election, asking them to commit to ending the alarming health inequality faced by B.C. citizens with intellectual disabilities. We thank all who took the time to reply, and everyone who helped put this critical issue on the radar. Please click here to view responses.

All British Columbians can help by following up with their local candidates, and holding them to their commitments when in office. We need everyone’s support to help make sure elected officials will work to end the unacceptable health outcomes for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

>> Find more details and resources

Generous donors powered successful 2020 New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction

New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction

This has been a challenging time for many, but New Car Dealers and supporters still stepped up to make a difference through the 2020 New Car Dealers Foundation / Special Olympics BC Auction. Running from September 18 to 24, this impactful event raised more than $171,000 in silent auction items, cash donations, and sponsorship to support the life-changing work of Special Olympics BC and the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC.

The auction was originally set to launch in spring, but it had to be postponed because of COVID-19. Even though many of their businesses have been affected by the pandemic, New Car Dealers and supporters remained committed to helping Special Olympics BC athletes. As fall approached and the province began to open back up, Dealers and supporters said the time was right to relaunch the 2020 auction.

New Car Dealers and supporters came through in a big way, donating more than 250 exciting auction items, as well as making cash pledges, soliciting donations, and/or bidding on items. This year’s headline prize was a 2020 Honda Civic DX Sedan, generously provided by BC Honda Dealers. We were also extremely grateful to Corus Entertainment Inc. / Global BC for donating a $10,000 advertising package, First Canadian Insurance for their extremely generous cash donation, and The Province and Vancouver Sun who provided promotional space to help spread the word about this vital event.

>> Read more

Registration for the 2020-21 sport season

Special Olympics BC logo

It’s registration season! All new and returning Special Olympics BC athletes and volunteers are asked to complete the 2020-21 registration form and waiver, in order to participate in any upcoming SOBC opportunities. By registering, you’re helping your Local plan which sports and programs to offer. You’ll get access to virtual programs and resources. And you’re helping us keep you in the loop about upcoming opportunities.

>> Find forms and FAQs

Virtual motionball Marathon of Sport achieved ‘awesome’ results

Special Olympics athlete David working out alongside the motionball Marathon of Sport

motionballers across Canada laughed, danced, and worked up a sweat during the first-ever virtual Marathon of Sport on September 26!

Hosted by five-time Olympic medallist Tessa Virtue, the star-studded motionball broadcast on Sportsnet was a spectacular celebration of Special Olympics. Not only did participants raise their heart rates, they also raised an impressive total of more than $1 million to support Special Olympics programs across Canada.

In a normal year, motionballers raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics at Marathon of Sport events in their communities. Because of COVID-19, motionball held the 2020 event virtually – and everyone across Canada was able to participate.

>> Read more and watch the show

Staying healthy at home

Special Olympics BC Super September icon

Here are some upcoming ways to stay active, healthy, and connected with Special Olympics BC friends and supporters!

  • Use the SOBC Basic Sport Skills tools to help continue your sport-specific training at home.
  • Complete the fun daily at-home workouts and wellness challenges in the #SOBCOutstandingOctober calendar.
  • SOBC Yoga Club will be starting in November, giving athletes an opportunity to continue working on their flexibility, strength, and mental health. Stay tuned for details!
  • Check out the brand-new Sobeys Nutrition Breaks! Our friends at Sobeys want to make nutrition accessible for Special Olympics athletes, coaches, volunteers, families and caregivers, so they created these bite-size nutrition sessions, which cover topics from Canada’s Food Guide to Hydration and Healthy Eating on the Go. Fantastic Sobeys Dietitians are also running fun Wellness Wednesday Nutrition Break Facebook Live sessions on
  • Special Olympics Canada’s Facebook Page every other Wednesday starting October 21.
  • Athletes can attend Virtual Healthy Athletes Education Sessions for virtual screenings and vital info. Catch the Strong Minds session on October 22 at 5:30 p.m. PT, and Healthy Hearing on November 4 at 5:30 p.m. PT. Stay tuned to SOBC’s website and social media for details on upcoming Healthy Athletes events!
  • Stay tuned to SOBC’s social media channels for details on the Virtual Personal Health Series to come this fall!

>> Please click here for more tools to stay healthy at home

Empowering SOBC athletes today, tomorrow, and forever

Today, Tomorrow, Forever

During these uncertain times it is hard not to feel alone, isolated, and disconnected from the world. But we are all in this together – and our inspiring community can overcome any adversity put before us!

Watch the Today, Tomorrow, Forever video

Special Olympics BC is a community, a family, and a source of emotional stability for more than 5,200 athletes across the province. This digital fundraising campaign will provide SOBC with vital support as we work to restart the empowering programs where athletes gain essential friendships and pride.

Supporters can help us change lives by donating at www.sobcforever.ca. You can also make a difference by sharing this campaign with friends, family, and coworkers.

>> Learn more

Virtual Fit Families & Friends participants inch closer to completing their walk around the province

Virtual Fit Families & Friends icon

Our Virtual Fit Families & Friends program is a virtual walking club with the collective goal of walking around the province and visiting each Local along the way! This program provides great opportunities for Special Olympics BC athletes to get outside, exercise, and connect with others virtually to create engaging and supportive social networks.

Visit the Fit Families & Friends page to find weekly healthy recipes, leaderboards, and digital badges you can download to celebrate milestones. Participants have already walked more than 1,300 kilometres collectively, and have completed the SOBC Region 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 routes! They have rounded Fort St. John and are now heading south. Let’s keep moving and get that heart rate up!

Any athletes and coaches who would like to be part of the program can contact Special Olympics BC Sport Coordinator Marlow de Paul by email or by phone at 604-737-3081.

Sincere thanks to the Government of British Columbia, Government of Canada and Prospera Credit Union for all their impactful support of SOBC health programming, and to the Hamber Foundation for their generous support of Fit Families & Friends!

>> Read more

Mark your calendars for Special Olympics BC’s Birthday Party

Special Olympics BC logo

November 2020 marks 40 years of Special Olympics in B.C. We want to take a few moments to celebrate SOBC’s incredible people and the power of this life-changing movement in our province! Join us on November 24 for a virtual dance party and birthday festivities. Stay tuned to SOBC’s website and social media for details!

Spread the word for featured volunteer opportunities

Special Olympics BC athlete Dave and coach George in 2014

Local Committee volunteers are the vital organizers who make Special Olympics BC programs and events possible. SOBC has created a website page to help advertise Local Committee volunteer opportunities around the province, hoping to support Locals in filling these roles.

Please click here to find the page that is being kept up to date with current openings.

It would be much appreciated if you can spread the word in your networks about any opportunities that appear on this page. Please encourage others to get involved in Special Olympics and change lives through the power and joy of sport, the same way you do!

Coaches Corner: Upcoming webinars

Coaches Corner icon

Return to Sport training

Special Olympics BC is running required Return to Sport training webinars for all coaches in the sports that are reopening. More webinars will be added as the need arises. Upcoming webinar dates:

The registration deadline for each is 9 a.m. on the day of the webinar.

Coach Development Webinars 

These Zoom sessions bring together SOBC coaches and sport-specific experts to share expertise and training tactics.

Upcoming Coach Development Webinars include:

Additional events and resources

If you have any questions, please contact Helen Cheung, SOBC Sport Manager, by email or by phone at 604-737-3055.

For your info: Flu vaccine

Special Olympics Health Messenger Abe got the flu shot

“Everyone in B.C. has a role to play in our COVID-19 response,” says Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. “Through simple steps, like washing our hands regularly and getting our influenza vaccine, we can all make a difference. Do your part today and help to protect our communities this fall and winter.”

Dr. Henry recommends that everyone makes it a part of their fall activities to get the flu vaccine before the end of November. To find a clinic and book your appointment, visit www.immunizebc.ca.

For your info: Registered Disability Savings Plan

As October is National RDSP Awareness Month, Plan Institute reached out to share information about the Registered Disability Savings Plan.

The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) is a Canada-wide
registered matched savings plan that gives people living with a disability an opportunity to save for the future and take advantage of up to $90,000 in federal grants and bonds. You can take a tutorial, try the calculator, and learn more about the RDSP at www.rdsp.com

Study: Holland Bloorview researchers seeking perspectives of youth with autism

Researchers from the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital are exploring the needs of youth with autism related to making disclosure decisions about their autism diagnosis at work. They want to know what youth need to help make disclosure decisions in the workplace.

Who can participate: Youth with autism, aged 15 to 24, who are able to communicate in English and are currently employed or have work experience.

What’s involved: Participants will be asked to take part in one virtual focus group session using Zoom (around 2 hours) with other youth with autism. Participants will receive a gift card and can also receive volunteer hours as a token of appreciation to thank them for their time.

Deadline: December 2020

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact Vanessa Tomas

by email or by phone at 416-425-6220 ext. 3091. Contacting her does not obligate you to participate in the study.

>> Learn more

Stay connected

Special Olympics BC logo

Do you want more people to be aware of Special Olympics BC and inspired by our incredible community? Please forward SOBC’s e-newsletters to anyone and everyone who might be interested!

Did you receive this e-newsletter as a forward from a friend? Please join our mailing list to receive future monthly bulletins full of news and inspiration!

Please click here to sign up.

Are you interested in daily updates on Special Olympics BC’s people, programs, and events? Please join the community on our social media accounts!

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