SOBC Return to Sport news July 7

SOBC Return to Sport Plan principles

The provincial government’s move to Step 3 in B.C.’s Restart was welcome and exciting news for everyone. Here at Special Olympics BC, we continue a careful and steady reopening focused on safety. This approach is based on our community’s feedback and needs, and on the Provincial Health Officer’s encouragement of a gradual approach to reopening. With these principles in mind, here is Special Olympics BC’s Return to Sport steps for July and August.

Sport status

  • All sports except powerlifting remain in Level 2. Powerlifting remains in Level 1. This allows outdoor sports to operate with groups of up to 20, with COVID-19 safety protocols continuing. Please click here for the full list of the current requirements.  
  • In-person Local meetings are permitted, both indoors and outdoors, while following all the Return to Meetings protocols in the SOBC Return to Sport Plan.
  • Locals interested in running indoor in-person programs during the summer are asked to contact their Community Development Coordinator to discuss group size options. 


  • All provincial sport organizations are now being encouraged to change their COVID-19 safety plans into communicable disease prevention plans
  • Communicable disease prevention plans will focus on the fundamental principles of: 
    o    Appropriate handwashing and personal hygiene practices, 
    o    Appropriate ventilation, and 
    o    Staying home when sick.
  • We are working on transitioning the SOBC Return to Sport Plan safety protocols into the communicable disease prevention plan format. Until that new plan is in effect, the existing SOBC Return to Sport safety requirements remain in place. 
  • There are a number of questions that need to be answered before we can finalize the communicable disease prevention plan for SOBC and Local operations. Some of these relate to legal and insurance responsibilities as well as Special Olympics national and international requirements. For example, Special Olympics Chapters nationwide are currently required to have participants complete COVID-19 declarations and contact tracing for insurance purposes. We are working on getting all necessary answers to finalize the SOBC communicable disease prevention plan. 
  • In the summer, if a Local is planning an in-person summer sport season-ending event, or an in-person registration event, they are invited to use the Return to Sport Program Application form to submit their proposal to their Community Development Coordinator. 

Next steps

  • Sincere thanks to all the Locals who are offering programs this summer! If a Local would like to run a summer program, they can submit the Return to Sport Program Application to their Community Development Coordinator and receive approval.
  • There will be an update in early August about registration, as we are awaiting registration forms and guidance from Special Olympics Canada.
  • Athletes who would like to continue staying active and sport-ready this summer can take up the SOBC Super Summer Wellness Challenge. Please click here to find the eight-week calendar of daily workouts and wellness challenges. 
  • Volunteers looking for opportunities to stay connected with athletes are invited to consider offering summer Fit Families & Friends programs or outdoor sport programs. Please contact your Local and your Community Development Coordinator to discuss options.

Big picture

If everything continues on the current trajectory, it is our expectation that in-person programs and competitions will be possible in a much more normal way in the fall, just with the new general requirements for prevention of communicable diseases.

Everyone’s comfort level is in very different places right now. We also understand that many volunteers, athletes, and families need to have a summer off from program expectations. We are grateful for everyone’s patience and understanding with Special Olympics BC’s gradual approach. 

Our focus remains ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for everyone to enjoy Special Olympics BC programs and events, for everyone who wants to return.

Thank you all so much for your ongoing efforts to keep everyone safe. 

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to email

To find the province’s B.C. Restart outline, please click here.

Find the full SOBC Return to Sport Plan and resources