Athlete leaders making an impact throughout Special Olympics BC

Special Olympics athletes and volunteers doing Athlete Leadership training virtually
Half of the Athlete Speakers Bureau 1 class of December 2021!

Special Olympics BC Athlete Leadership programs help athletes build skills and confidence to become leaders, mentors, and advocates in their communities and throughout our movement. They 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. 

There are lots of exciting things happening with SOBC Athlete Leadership!

Join the SOBC Athlete Leadership Academy

In order to help athletes get the most out of their courses, and to inspire and recognize ongoing commitment and achievements, Special Olympics BC has launched an Athlete Leadership Academy! The SOBC Athlete Leadership Academy includes and links all of the courses that SOBC has traditionally offered, and will add new opportunities as determined by athlete interest. 

In the Athlete Leadership Academy, athletes are invited to register for a specific stream that matches their interests. After completing the required number of courses in their stream, athletes will be recognized as program graduates and will receive an Academy diploma and swag!

Read all about it and complete the membership commitment form 

Congrats to recent course graduates!

In December, dedicated athlete leaders and volunteers completed Athlete Speakers Bureau 1 and 2 courses, and Athlete Input Council training, all in the virtual format! We sincerely congratulate these athlete leaders on their accomplishments, and thank all the volunteer facilitators and peer mentors for making these opportunities possible!

Athlete Speakers Bureau 1 – December 2021




Matthew Basso

Cheryl Clay

Campbell River

Trinity Geisler

Carol Geisler


Sky Hendsbee

Sherri Birkett


Lee Kissinger

Bev Kissinger


Nicholas Longshore

Scott Longshore


Lauren Philley

Glen and Christine

Comox Valley

Kendall Salanski

Tracy Salanski


Victoria Trerice

Cheryl Clay

Campbell River

Facilitators: Sarah Howe and Charlotte Taylor

Watch their inspiring speeches

“Special Olympics is a great place to make friends, and be active and healthy!”

-Trinity Geisler, SOBC – Victoria 

Athlete Speakers Bureau 2 – December 2021




Sarah Brown

Karen Zawortny


Claire Lemaire

Corrine Lemaire


Kerri Lipsack

Geoffrey Trimble


David Johnston

Steve Oliver

Dawson Creek

Torben Schuffert

Sandra Schuffert


Katherine St.Amand

Susan St.Amand

Ridge Meadows

Facilitator: Andrea Boyes

Watch their inspiring speeches

“Joining Special Olympics is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. Not only has it allowed me to excel in sports and push myself, it let me know I could do anything I put my mind to. I never dreamed I would be able to downhill ski on a mountain, and yet there I was, winning bronze and silver medals for my province and Team Canada!”

-Katherine St.Amand, SOBC – Ridge Meadows

Athlete Input Council – December 2021

•    Dan Catarig, SOBC – Mission 
•    Carmel Hashemi-Dahaj, SOBC – Surrey 
•    Sandra Malku, SOBC – Richmond 
•    Kayley Olund-Rak, SOBC – Surrey 
•    Mike Palitti, SOBC – Abbotsford
•    Torben Schuffert, SOBC – Smithers, SOBC Region 7 Representative
•    Ryan Stewart, SOBC – Richmond 

Many thanks and congratulations also go out to all the participants in the in-person Athlete Leadership courses on February 26, 2022! Full coverage coming soon!

SOBC Athlete Input Council news

The Special Olympics BC Athlete Input Council members have been hard at work providing important feedback from around the province on key Special Olympics issues, and supporting initiatives that raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics.

The provincial Athlete Input Council has representatives from each Region around the province. They advise the SOBC Leadership Council and all of SOBC. They have created formal Terms of Reference for the Athlete Input Council, guiding how they work and how athletes can get involved. Read the Terms of Reference here

A big thank you goes out to SOBC Athlete Input Council members Susan Wang (Region 3) and Jake Hooper (Region 6) for their involvement in the Canadian Athlete Leadership Council! Hooper’s term on this national advisory group recently ended, and Wang has graciously stepped up to serve on this council and share B.C. athlete perspectives.

SOBC Athlete Reporter stories

Special Olympics BC Athlete Reporters continue to capture stories from all over the province! Athlete Reporters Miranda Orth from SOBC – Nanaimo, David Johnston from SOBC – Dawson Creek, and Jake Miller from SOBC – Trail recently covered the Return to Sport. Check out these stories and more!

Learn more about SOBC Athlete Leadership