We create the social space that allows athletes to form a strong and lasting community and feel empowered to speak out on behalf of their peers and themselves. Part of our job is to encourage SOBC athletes to take part in leadership training programs so they can have a voice within their own communities, and become representatives of Special Olympics in B.C., Canada and all over the world.
Through Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership programs, athletes develop the skills and abilities to take on a range of leadership roles including public speaking, participating on Local Committees and Athlete Input Councils, and assisting as fundraising and program volunteers.
These programs are proven to have a lasting benefit to participants by increasing confidence and self-esteem, and a lasting benefit to Special Olympics as these athlete leaders provide invaluable feedback and insights.
There are many ways that Special Olympics BC athletes can get involved with public speaking and increase their self-confidence. Our Athlete Leadership programs include:
- Athlete Speakers Bureau sessions
- Athletes as Program Mentors workshops
- Athlete Input Council (formerly Athlete Congress/Governance)
- Health Hero and Health Messenger training
- Athlete Reporter training
- And more!
To learn more about Athlete Leadership and engage local athlete leaders, please contact email@example.com.
SOBC athlete leaders are active in a wide range of roles all over the province, country, and planet, providing important and inspiring athlete perspectives.
SOBC athlete leaders in action
The SOBC Athlete Input Council has representatives from Regions around the province. Meet the SOBC Athlete Input Council
SOBC – Surrey athlete Susan Wang currently serves on the Special Olympics Canada Athlete Leadership Council and SOC Board of Directors as well as the SOBC Athlete Input Council! Read more
SOBC – Smithers athlete Torben Schuffert is the Region 7 Representative on the SOBC Athlete Input Council and represented B.C. and Canada in the Global Athlete Congress at the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin. As part of his Congress duties, he successfully ran an engaging inclusion project in his community!
SOBC – Langley athlete Matthew Williams currently serves on the SOBC Board of Directors, Leadership Council, and Athlete Input Council. He participated in our province’s Athlete Leadership programs and went on to serve as a Special Olympics Sargent Shriver Global Messenger in the 2011 to 2014 cohort, as the Chair of the Special Olympics Global Athlete Congress from 2010 to 2018, and as a Special Olympics International Board Member. In 2015, he delivered a TEDxVancouver talk that drew two standing ovations from the crowd of thousands at Rogers Arena and has been watched more than 1.1 million times online.
SOBC – Vancouver volunteer Anita on Athlete Leadership programs
- February 2023 Athlete Leadership news
- September 2022 SOBC leadership news
- Summer 2022 Athlete Leadership news
- February 2022 Athlete Leadership news
- SOBC Athlete Leadership Academy launched fall 2021
- Spring 2021 Athlete Leadership news
- February 2021 Athlete Leadership news
- 2020 SOBC Virtual Health Messenger and Athlete Reporter program graduates
- Winter 2020 SOBC Athlete Leadership news
- 2020 SOBC Okanagan Athlete Leadership workshops and Abbotsford Athlete Input Council
- 2019 SOBC Athlete Leadership Conference story and videos
- Quotes and videos from the 2018 SOBC Athlete Leadership Conference
- Quotes and videos from the 2017 SOBC Athlete Leadership Conference
- 2016 SOBC Athlete Leadership Conference coverage