SOBC Return to Sport news September 11

SOBC's Communicable Disease Prevention Plan principles

With thanks for everyone's patience as we navigated the latest changes in the health landscape, Special Olympics BC shares the Communicable Disease Prevention Plan that will govern our safe Return to Sport moving forward. 

B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer now recommends having communicable disease prevention plans and measures instead of the previous COVID-19 safety plans. The idea is to be safer from all communicable diseases, not just this current pandemic.

The SOBC Return to Sport Communicable Disease Prevention Plan puts in place strong safety protocols to deal with COVID-19 concerns and with all communicable diseases.

The current protocols include:

  • Starting September 13, proof of COVID-19 vaccination for all participants and volunteers ages 12 and up; 
  • Sport training group sizes maximum 50;
  • Continued mask wearing off the fields of play;
  • An emphasis on staying home when you are sick;
  • Enhanced cleaning, hand washing, and ventilation;
  • Maintaining the safety volunteer role for every SOBC program and event;
  • And more.

Read the plan

As always, it is absolutely vital that all Special Olympics BC members take the protocols seriously and personally commit to following them. Thank you for continuing to take responsibility and follow the protocols, in order to keep yourself safe, keep each other safe, and keep Special Olympics programs safe for all. 

You’ll notice that Special Olympics BC’s safety protocols remain heightened. We are committed to:

  • ensuring the safety of our community,
  • following the provincial health requirements, and
  • meeting the expectations of facilities that are needed for SOBC programs and events.

We must maintain our strong commitment to safety because people with intellectual disabilities are more at risk of COVID-19. The proof of vaccination requirement is necessary right now – not necessarily forever, but for right now – so we can keep safely offering the Special Olympics opportunities that mean so much and are so missed by so many. Please read the Communicable Disease Prevention Plan for the details.

If you have any members needing assistance with getting their BC Vaccine Card, please don’t hesitate to connect with your Region’s Community Development Coordinator so we can assist.

Special Olympics BC is doing everything we can to stay on top of the provincial requirements for the proof of vaccination, but new information continues to come out. We will keep the SOBC Return to Sport resources hub as up to date as possible.

In the coming weeks, Special Olympics BC will offer 2-3 virtual training sessions for athletes and for coaches on the communicable disease prevention plan. These sessions will be recorded so they can be shared with anyone who can’t attend live. 

Special Olympics BC is so grateful to all Locals for their hard work on the safe Return to Sport, and for using the Communicable Disease Prevention Plan to run as much as they safely can. 

Thanks to all members for showing each other patience and kindness throughout our return to the sports and events we love. Everyone is going at their own pace. We have to continue to respect each other and give each other space (figuratively and literally) to return and rebuild in the way that is the most comfortable for ourselves and our families.

If you have any questions or feedback, please don’t hesitate to contact SOBC Vice President, Sport, Lois McNary at Lmcnary@specialolympics.bc.ca or 604-616-1341.

Find the plan and resources

How do I register for current programs?

All new and returning Special Olympics BC athletes and volunteers are asked to complete the 2021-22 registration form and waiver in order to participate in any upcoming SOBC opportunities. We encourage you to sign up for all the sports you usually would. Locals are also sharing information about their registration for the 2021-22 sport year.

Please know that filling out the forms does not automatically mean you’ll participate in everything you signed up for. Locals might not be able to offer all sports due to the unique circumstances of this season. But it is still important to fill out your complete registration form with your usual requests. Locals need to know what athletes and coaches are interested in, so they can make the best possible plans for your community under the circumstances. 

Even if you can’t participate in all the sports you usually would, there will be lots of other opportunities available while we all work on safely reopening in-person programs. There will be virtual sport training programs with athlete and coach interactions, virtual Athlete Leadership programs, health opportunities, and more. Registering will give you access to all of this, and help us keep you up to date on plans. 

We are so thankful that you’ve been so patient and understanding to this point. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your community program volunteers and/or the SOBC Community Development Coordinator for your Region.

2021-22 registration form and waiver