Salute to an incredible season of Special Olympics competitions and the people who made it all possible

Special Olympics BC Smithers athletics meet
A snapshot of some of this spring's amazing competition action, this from the Special Olympics BC - Smithers Athletics Meet in June.

With another amazing season of Special Olympics BC sports and competitions coming to a close, we want to send a big round of congratulations to all the athletes, and huge thanks to all the dedicated volunteers, families, and caregivers who made these empowering experiences possible!

Local and Regional competitions are absolutely vital parts of the Special Olympics experience. Many people still think that Special Olympics is just Games, just a one-time event. Local and Regional competitions are absolutely critical both for athletes and for awareness of the year-round Special Olympics programs and opportunities in 55 communities throughout our province. 

Local competitions are vital for athletes, who get the chance to challenge themselves by striving for personal bests and competing against others. They get to feel the joy of being part of a team, of succeeding at their goals, of being cheered on by teammates and fans in the stands. They are celebrated for their abilities and show everyone what they can do.

Local competitions also draw attention to the local athletes and the ongoing Special Olympics programs in their communities. This opens hearts and minds to the abilities of individuals with intellectual disabilities, to the importance of opportunities and inclusion, and to the year-round value of Special Olympics. Competitions can put Special Olympics front and centre and show people that they can get involved with the empowering year-round programs, have a great time with an incredible community, and make a difference through the power and joy of sport. 

Special Olympics BC believes strongly in the critical importance of Local and Regional competitions, and we are so grateful to the hardworking volunteers and supporters throughout this province who dedicate themselves to making these events possible. 

To all the competition organizers, our most sincere thanks for all that you do both to make these empowering events happen, and to continually improve the quality of the competition experiences for Special Olympics athletes.

To all the coaches who made the time to help their athletes reach and enjoy competitions, our heartfelt thanks. 

To all the athletes who compete and inspire everyone – THANK YOU!

It is Special Olympics BC’s mandate to provide at least one quality competition opportunity a year for every athlete in every sport. Coaches, did all of your athletes have a chance to compete this year? If not, please make this a priority for next year, and please know that SOBC staff are here to help through support, resources, and connections with other experienced competition coordinators to provide mentoring; you don’t need to do it on your own. 

Also, please know that competition can take many forms, but time and time again athletes tell us that fair and consistent is what they are seeking. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact SOBC Competition & Youth Coordinator Jean Tetarenko by email or by phone at 250-883-2452 / 1-888-854-2276 toll-free. If you’re looking for competition information, please check out the Sport Rules, Resources, & Videos section in the SOBC website resources and the SOBC Sport Policies.

What’s next in the Special Olympics BC competition cycle:

  • Spring/summer 2020 will see Regional Qualifiers hosted around the province, giving athletes opportunities to qualify for the 2021 Special Olympics BC Summer Games.
  • Regional Qualifier standards will be reviewed over the summer, and in fall the schedule will start to be confirmed.
  • On the winter sports side, athletes will have the ongoing opportunities to compete in Special Olympics Local and Regional competitions around the province, while the members of the Team BC 2020 Training Squad get ready for the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Thunder Bay 2020. 
  • SOBC is developing a competition marketing toolkit to help support Locals in promoting their amazing events, using these opportunities to be visible and generate community awareness about year-round Special Olympics programs and the abilities of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Many Locals already do an outstanding job of this, and we hope to share tools to help everyone. For more SOBC marketing resources, please click here.