Athlete leaders in action around the province

Special Olympics athlete leader Sash Barbour from Nanaimo
Sash Barbour and the Special Olympics BC – Nanaimo Athlete Input Council members are working through their training!

Special Olympics Athlete Leadership programs offer training to help athletes succeed and inspire in leadership and speaking roles inside and outside the movement. Here are some of the exciting things happening in the world of Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership!

  • The next SOBC Safe Sport Anti-Bullying Virtual Workshop for athletes is coming up on June 1 and 8! Athletes have shared amazing anti-bullying insights in recent virtual workshops!
  • The SOBC Athlete Input Council members have been meeting regularly to share insights that help lead our movement. They are working hard to support the Provincial Challenge Games!
  • Dedicated athlete leaders in Quesnel and Nanaimo have taken on the Special Olympics Athlete Input Council training to help guide their Locals!
  • Congratulations and thanks to the SOBC Athlete Reporters who have been sharing their stories, and to the insightful athletes who completed SOBC Health Messenger training this spring!
  • AND stay tuned this summer for an exciting Athlete Leadership announcement!

Virtual Athlete Leadership programs

Next up in our 2020-21 series of virtual Athlete Leadership programs: Join the SOBC Safe Sport Anti-Bullying Virtual Workshop on June 1 and 8 at 6 p.m. PT! 

This two-day course helps athletes get support and tools to help identify and address harmful scenarios in their daily lives. 

To register or express your interest in upcoming anti-bullying workshops, please contact Melainie Hatt, SOBC Community Development Coordinator (Kootenays), by email at or by phone at 250-919-0757.

As part of the new two-day format for the workshops, athletes are invited to complete projects that will help end bullying and raise awareness about its harmful effects. Please click here to check out some of the inspiring work by recent participants in the course!  

Anti-bullying info and resources

SOBC Athlete Input Council

In their April 2021 meeting, the SOBC Athlete Input Council members developed their public email addresses. Any athletes can reach out to them here! Please click here for the contact list.

Other topics they discussed in April:

  • How they can connect with Athlete Input Councils in the Locals in their Regions. This is a great way for athlete feedback to come from the Local level to inform discussions at the Regional and provincial levels.
  • Ways to let everyone know what the provincial SOBC Athlete Input Council members discuss in their meetings. There will be notes posted on the SOBC website here. Summaries will be shared on SOBC’s Facebook Page and in the SOBC e-newsletter. 
  • A report from Canadian Athlete Leadership Council member (and BC Region 6 rep) Jake Hooper: There have been discussions around how to address barriers to communications for those athletes that don’t have computers or social media.
  • For the Provincial Challenge Games, connecting with the Chefs de Mission and supporting their Regional teams.
  • Planning the schedule for provincial AIC members to participate in Provincial Challenge Games Trainer Tuesday and Throwdown Thursday workouts

The SOBC Athlete Input Council members advise SOBC on important ideas and issues. The council has athlete representatives from each Region around the province. They all have Athlete Leadership experience from previous courses and roles.

Please click here to meet and contact AIC members 

Local Athlete Input Councils

Any Local can have an Athlete Input Council. Special Olympics BC offers a training workshop that will help athlete leaders start and run an input council. They learn to build their own leadership skills, work together effectively, and share their opinions and knowledge in ways to help Special Olympics. 

Congratulations to Special Olympics BC – Quesnel athlete leaders who recently completed their AIC training!

SOBC – Quesnel Athlete Input Council:

  • Travis Burt
  • Dean Cake
  • Danny Dodgson
  • Matthew Hender
  • Greg Lindstrom
  • Cory Melnychuk
  • Glenda Melnychuk
  • Trevor Roszmann
  • Cherie Swann
  • Volunteer Mentor: Laura Hender

Congratulations to Special Olympics BC – Nanaimo athlete leaders who are currently working through their AIC training!

SOBC – Nanaimo Athlete Input Council:

  • Kevin Baldwin
  • Sash Barbour
  • Tristan Dunn
  • Ron Greenhorn
  • Simon Phipps
  • Sara Young
  • Volunteer Mentor: Angela Behn

Any Locals interested in starting an Athlete Input Council for their community can contact SOBC’s Chelsea Rogers at 604-802-4226 or

SOBC Athlete Reporters

In National Volunteer Week, SOBC Athlete Reporters shared stories about the incredible impact of Special Olympics volunteers! 

Please click here to check out their reports 

SOBC Health Messengers

Special Olympics Health Messenger training is designed to help athletes learn to serve as health and wellness leaders, educators, advocates, and role models within Special Olympics programs and communities. Health Messengers empower fellow athletes and advocate for the health needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

Huge thanks and congratulations to the amazing athletes who completed their training in spring 2021!

  • Sky Hendsbee, Surrey
  • Claire Lemaire, Creston
  • Shinji Matthews, Kamloops
  • Kassidy Rutledge, Kelowna
  • Torben Schuffert, Smithers
  • Roy Stephens, Kelowna
  • Victoria Tai, Vancouver

Please click here to find resources created by SOBC Health Messengers 

Coming soon

There will be an exciting Athlete Leadership announcement coming this summer! Athlete Leadership courses will be taking a break in the summer months, but we’ll still have news to come. Stay tuned to SOBC’s website, e-newsletter, and social media! 

About SOBC Athlete Leadership programs

Special Olympics Athlete Leadership programs offer training to help athletes succeed and inspire through leadership and speaking roles inside and outside the movement.

Through SOBC 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.

“Athlete Leadership is life changing. It can change the way you see things, and how you communicate with others, to have the courage to stand for others and be on the front lines. It creates leaders.” 
–Nyasha Derera, Chair, Special Olympics Global Athlete Congress

If you have questions or feedback about SOBC Athlete Leadership, please contact SOBC Community Development Coordinator Chelsea Rogers at 604-802-4226 or 

Learn more