SOBC Athlete Leadership news February 2021

Claire Lemaire
Special Olympics BC – Creston athlete Claire Lemaire delivering her final speech in Virtual Athlete Speakers Bureau 1.

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

  • Next virtual course opportunity: SOBC Safe Sport Anti-Bullying Virtual Workshop for athletes – now an updated two-part course with more time for interactive discussions – coming up March 2 and March 9! 
  • Hats off to the 10 terrific athletes who completed SOBC’s first virtual Athlete Speakers Bureau 1 course!
  • Huge thanks to the members of the new SOBC Athlete Input Council who will be sharing their insights, and the feedback of athletes from their Regions, to help lead our movement!

Virtual Athlete Leadership programs

Next up in our 2020-21 series of virtual Athlete Leadership programs is the first offering of the updated SOBC Safe Sport Anti-Bullying Virtual Workshop! The course helps athletes get support and tools to help identify and address harmful scenarios in their daily lives. 

The workshop has been updated for 2021, and now runs in two parts to give more time for in-depth and interactive discussions.

Register for the course on March 2 and 9 at 6 p.m. PT 

We started 2021 with SOBC’s first-ever virtual version of the Athlete Speakers Bureau 1 course! Big congratulations to the 10 terrific athletes who completed this multi-day course on public speaking to help them share their stories and advocate for Special Olympics.

Please join us in cheering for the newly certified speakers:

  • Ashley Adie, SOBC – Campbell River
  • Tye Cranton, SOBC – Campbell River
  • Sebastian Gylander, SOBC – Golden
  • Jason Gubbels, SOBC – Richmond
  • Claire Lemaire, SOBC – Creston 
  • David Johnston, SOBC – Dawson Creek
  • Kerry McKenzie, SOBC – Vancouver 
  • Jake Miller, SOBC – Trail 
  • Torben Schuffert, SOBC – Smithers 
  • Abby Sudom, SOBC – Coquitlam 

Watch their inspiring speeches 

“With Special Olympics, I can do anything!"
-Jason Gubbels

Many thanks to the dedicated volunteer ASB1 course facilitators Charlotte Taylor and Sarah Howe!

SOBC Athlete Input Council

Special Olympics BC’s new provincial athlete council has begun! The SOBC Athlete Input Council will advise SOBC on important ideas and issues. They will gather and share feedback from fellow athletes, and will select the B.C. representative on the Special Olympics Canada Athlete Leadership Council.

The SOBC Athlete Input Council has athlete representatives from each Region around the province, serving two- or three-year terms (staggered to ensure continuity for the council). Athlete leaders around the province were consulted to help build this advisory group and its terms of reference.

The SOBC Athlete Input Council is expected to meet virtually five to six times a year. The council members all have Athlete Leadership experience from previous courses and roles.

Meet and contact AIC members 

We are really looking forward to sharing the SOBC Athlete Input Council’s news and insights! Please stay tuned for lots more to come!

In addition to the SOBC Athlete Input Council, athlete leaders help guide the movement in our province as members of the SOBC Board of Directors and Leadership Council. 

SOBC Athlete Reporters

SOBC Athlete Reporters have also been busy working on stories to spread awareness of the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics BC. Watch for their coverage to come in the first week of March!
Stay tuned for more SOBC Athlete Leadership courses to come, and to hear more from our inspiring athlete leaders!

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