Return to Sport

Special Olympics BC's slow, phased plan to return to sport as safely as possible
Three fundamental principles for Special Olympics BC's return to sport: staged return, follow guidelines, maintain hygiene

We will be continually updating this website page as the situation evolves. Last update: August 10, 2020

Our current sport level

Athletics, bocce, outdoor Club Fit, and golf are now in Level 1. All Locals around the province can now offer these four programs, once they receive approval from SOBC.

No other sport programs are operating at this time. 

  • ATHLETES: This means all Locals can work with the provincial office to get approval to offer these sports only. If your Local opens your sport, your coach will reach out to you. But please know that things will be different from Local to Local. To run a sport, a Local needs to have access to facilities, enough volunteers, and enough interested athletes. Not every Local will have this right away. Thank you for being patient – everyone is doing the best they can under the circumstances, and wants to have a safe return to sport as soon as possible. 

Please see the Return to Sport Plan Program Progressions chart to learn what happens in each level of sport.

Protocols for restarting face-to-face Local Committee meetings and fundraising events can be found in the Return to Sport Plan.

Special Olympics BC's Return to Sport Plan

SOBC Return to Sport Plan

How do i return to sport?

What do I have to do to return to sport?

Special Olympics BC's Return to Sport planning process


May to June 2020

  • SOBC developed our required Return to Sport Plan, safety standards, and education for participants. 
  • We had to make sure those pieces would all follow the Provincial Health Officer’s requirements and recommendations, as well as the provincially mandated standards for sports and recreation.

End of June 2020

  • SOBC Board of Directors approved the Return to Sport Plan. That meant they approved the reopening of athletics, bocce, golf, and Club Fit in pilot programs, as well as the reopening of face-to-face Local Committee meetings and fundraising under new health standards.

July 2020

  • Athletics, bocce, outdoor Club Fit, and golf Pilot Programs ran with multiple practices a week, to test the new operational requirements and make sure the right safety measures are in place. Pilot Programs that ran in July 2020: Athletics - Burnaby, Quesnel, Surrey; Bocce - Kelowna, Vancouver; Club Fit - Burns Lake, Langley, Oceanside, Prince George; Golf - Chilliwack, Comox Valley, Kimberley/Cranbrook.
  • Working on development of sport-specific safety requirements for each additional sport.

August and fall 2020

  • Due to the success of the pilot programs, additional Locals can consider running athletics, bocce, golf, and Club Fit – SOBC will contact Locals when that can happen, and Locals will restart what they can based on interest from athletes and coaches as well as what facilities are available.
  • SOBC will deliver education for Locals and coaches about the new safety standards and available support.
  • Working on development of sport-specific safety requirements for each additional sport.

Moving forward

  • Additional sports will be added when the sport-specific plans and education are available, when facilities are available, AND when provincial health conditions allow.

The next pieces we’re working on right now

  • Sport-specific safety requirements for all sports
  • Return to Social Activities Plan
  • Return to Youth Programs Plan
  • Return to Healthy Athletes Events Plan 
  • Guidance for individual medical conditions
Special Olympics BC Return to Sport Plan resources


This email address is monitored by SOBC Vice President, Sport Lois McNary, SOBC Sport Manager Helen Cheung, and SOBC Program Manager Michelle Cruickshank to provide timely responses.