For almost as long as Special Olympics BC has existed, the Government of B.C. has been a key supporter of our programs and movement. The provincial government’s long-standing and significant support has allowed SOBC to grow and develop, reaching more communities and offering empowering experiences and opportunities to individuals with intellectual disabilities of all ages.
The Government of B.C. is a strong supporter of SOBC’s youth programs, which help provide opportunities for young people with intellectual disabilities to develop motor, sport, and social skills in a safe and welcoming environment. Thanks to vital support from our sponsors, SOBC’s offerings for youth have grown to include school sport competition programs such as successful 3-on-3 basketball tournaments, where students with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to feel the pride and exhilaration of representing their school on the basketball court.
For École Ballenas Secondary student Quin Clothier, pulling on his school’s jersey and playing in front of a packed gymnasium at a 3-on-3 basketball tournament gave the Parksville student an opportunity to feel like he belonged.
“I felt like I was finally doing something for my school,” Clothier said. “I was so determined to play my best game that I just blocked the crowd out.”
Support from the Government of B.C. also helps Special Olympics athletes of all ages in SOBC’s year-round programming. Provincial government funding helps provide sport-specific training camps, reduce the cost of programs and competitions, and create new opportunities for Special Olympics athletes and coaches.
In 2018, Special Olympics BC received more than $354,000 through the government’s funding of sport and through funds received through Community Gaming Grants. SOBC Locals also received gaming grants to support their year-round programs.
The Government of B.C.’s Sport Branch has also been a tremendous source of assistance and resources to SOBC. Understanding and supporting SOBC’s goals, Sport Branch staff have been working hard to open doors and inform us of other resources, contacts, and opportunities. This is invaluable as we expand programs, reach out to more athletes, increase the number and quality of competitions, and create opportunities.
We are so grateful to the Government of B.C. for being a vital supporter of our work and helping Special Olympics BC make a difference to athletes across the province. If you have a moment, please thank your local MLA for this support as it truly makes a difference.