Congratulating the 2022 nominees for SOBC's annual provincial awards

Celebrating SOBC award nominees

We are thrilled to announce and congratulate the 2022 nominees for Special Olympics BC’s annual provincial awards! These athletes, coaches and volunteers have shown incredible dedication and have been recognized by their peers for their brilliant accomplishments, attitudes, and contributions to Special Olympics. They are truly inspiring individuals.

Traditionally, Special Olympics BC has five annual awards to recognize outstanding athletes, coaches, and organizing volunteers. This year, SOBC is introducing an additional new award that recognizes a member of the Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOBC who has shown outstanding dedication to the movement – learn more below! 

Please join us in congratulating all of this year’s inspiring nominees! Read about their accomplishments highlighted by their nominators:

Athletic Achievement Award

Jesse Jensen, Special Olympics BC – Kimberley/Cranbrook
o    Has been an SOBC athlete for 30 years
o    Competed in the 2000 and 2020 National Games 
o    Motivated and constantly improving

Francis Stanley, Special Olympics BC – Kelowna
o    Has been an SOBC athlete for 13 years
o    Multi-medallist at National Games and 2017 World Games 
o    Outstanding SOBC ambassador

Zack Thibeault, Special Olympics BC – Surrey 
o    Has been an SOBC athlete for seven years
o    Qualified for Special Olympics Team Canada 2022
o    A supportive mentor to other athletes

Grassroots Coach Award

Vince Astoria, Special Olympics BC – Abbotsford
o    Has been an SOBC coach for 34 years
o    Has coached at Provincial, National, and World Games  
o    Caring and inclusive coach

Janice Chan, Special Olympics BC – Richmond
o    Has been an SOBC coach for 13 years
o    Attended 16 professional development courses since 2012 
o    Strong advocate for her athletes

Tram Lam, Special Olympics BC – Surrey
o    Has been an SOBC coach for 10 years
o    Excellent team player and an organization specialist
o    Highly approachable and supportive of athletes and families

Kevin Phillips, Special Olympics BC – Kimberley/Cranbrook
o    Has been an SOBC coach for five years
o    Hosted gatherings for athlete physical and mental development 
o    Works tirelessly to support athletes

Howard Carter Award

Bryan LeBlanc, Special Olympics BC – Surrey
o    Has been an SOBC coach for eight years
o    Makes sports accessible to athletes of all abilities
o    Proud supporter of SOBC athletes and events

Annabel Stanley, Special Olympics BC – Kelowna
o    Has been an SOBC coach for 12 years
o    Named head coach of the SO Team Canada 2022 cross country ski team
o    Goes out of her way to provide athletes with opportunities

President’s Award

Christine Kiester, Special Olympics BC – Kelowna
o    Has been an SOBC volunteer for seven years
o    Supports all facets of SOBC work
o    Known as a caring and kind volunteer

Paddi Robinson, Special Olympics BC – Surrey
o    Has been an SOBC volunteer for 17 years
o    Organizes athlete registration and participation
o    Advocates and provides opportunities to athletes of all abilities

Ivy-Lynne Stein, Special Olympics BC – Kimberley/Cranbrook
o    Has been an SOBC volunteer for 10 years
o    Provides wide-ranging support and skills – even sewed new table covers and materials for her community
o    Ambassador for diverse and inclusive sport

Spirit of Sport Award

Layne Benait, Special Olympics BC – Kimberley/Cranbrook
o    Has been an SOBC athlete for three years
o    Dedicated athlete who consistently achieves personal bests
o    Incredible role model for his teammates

Jason Gubbels, Special Olympics BC – Richmond
o    Has been an SOBC athlete for five years  
o    Completed Athlete Leadership training
o    Leads by example

Chris Harrington, Special Olympics BC – Kelowna
o    Has been an SOBC athlete for 19 years
o    Serves on SOBC Athlete Input Council and on SOBC – Kelowna Local Committee
o    A leader on and off the fields of play

BC LETR Award

Cst. Lisa Bruschetta, Saanich Police Department 
o    Has been involved in the LETR for 11 years
o    Served as a Final Leg runner for the 2017 SO World Games
o    Often goes for a walk and coffee with athletes on her days off

Cst. Josh Brushett, Royal Canadian Mounted Police
o    Has been involved in the LETR for six years
o    Organized SOBC athlete visits to RCMP morning briefings to raise awareness 
o    Coached figure skating on weekends

Det. Cam Mackay, Vancouver Police Department
o    Has been involved in the LETR for 10 years 
o    Organized members coaching local SOBC Club Fit program, and events such as Torch Run and Tip-A-Cop
o    Actively recruits more members to participate

Cst. Jeremy Pearce, Surrey Police Service
o    Has been involved in the LETR for nine years
o    Organized events such as Vancouver Giants 50/50 fundraisers and Polar Plunge, and members coaching local SOBC Club Fit program 
o    Promotes inclusion in the community

Heartfelt congratulations to all the deserving nominees! 

The winners will be announced in the virtual 2022 SOBC Awards Ceremony, which will be held online during the Special Olympics Global Week of Inclusion (July 18 to 24). Get ready to join us to celebrate these champions of inclusion and the power and joy of sport!

About the SOBC Awards

Did you know most of the SOBC award winners are chosen each year by a selection committee comprised of volunteers from around the province? These dedicated individuals carefully review all the nominations in order to choose the winners – a tough task with so many inspiring people and compelling nominations to consider. Our sincere thanks go out to this year’s selection committee volunteers! 

This year, the SOBC Athlete Input Council has contributed valuable feedback about the SOBC awards process, which is being implemented moving forward. They have also kindly taken on the difficult task of choosing the 2022 Spirit of Sport Award winner out of all of the deserving nominees.

The new BC LETR award is designed to recognize a volunteer who is committed to the movement and is a true champion of Special Olympics and inclusion. The dedicated leaders on the BC LETR Executive Council accepted the role of selecting the LETR award winner from this year’s pool of worthy nominees. 

Learn more about SOBC's provincial awards