We know Special Olympics athletes love to compete. To give athletes opportunities to challenge themselves and show their skills, Special Olympics BC Locals around the province will host competitions in every single summer sport in spring/summer 2022. These competitions will be open to all registered SOBC athletes. Most of these events will also be qualifiers for the Special Olympics Team Canada 2023 Training Squad for the 2023 World Summer Games in Berlin.
Welcome to the SOBC Super Summer Series 2022!
All registered Special Olympics BC athletes can compete in these in-person events. Train hard to make the most of these opportunities, and bring your passion to compete and cheer on your teammates and competitors! SOBC Return to Sport safety protocols will be followed at all times.
Because the pandemic forced the cancellation of the 2021 Special Olympics BC Summer Games and the 2022 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, provincial and territorial Chapters across the country have worked together to develop a new pathway for athletes to qualify for spots on the national team for the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Berlin. SOBC’s path will be the SOBC Super Summer Series competitions.
How will athletes qualify for Special Olympics Team Canada 2023?
Typically, Special Olympics Canada athletes qualify for Team Canada by competing in National Games. This time only, because of the pandemic, each provincial/territorial Special Olympics Chapter will run its own qualifying process. All Chapters will follow the same national technical requirements for each sport, and all national policies and procedures.
For the 2023 World Summer Games, Canada will have a much smaller team than usual. This is for two reasons: 1. World Games team sizes are always determined by the relative numbers of Special Olympics athletes in the respective countries, and other countries have grown a lot in recent years, passing Special Olympics Canada in size. 2. Softball will not be offered at the 2023 World Games.
Because of this, the number of Special Olympics BC athletes who advance from the SOBC Super Summer Series to SO Team Canada 2023 will be a lot smaller than in years past.
So we invite everyone who gets involved in these events to focus on the joy of returning to competition – it’s going to feel so good to be back together – and set goals of pushing yourselves to achieve your personal bests! We know SOBC athletes and coaches are amazing at this, and we can’t wait to see you in action again this summer.
How many SOBC athletes can qualify for SO Team Canada 2023?
Special Olympics Team Canada will be smaller than in years past. For these World Games only, each provincial/territorial Chapter is being given very specific spots to fill on the national team.
For the first time ever, because of the pandemic changing this Games cycle, SO Team Canada’s team sports will include a selection of athletes from across the country. Usually, a team from a single province/territory advances together after competing at National Games.
The selection procedure for the SOBC athletes has been finalized by a working group of SOBC athletes, volunteers, and staff, in consultation with Special Olympics Canada and Chapters across the country. Please click here to find the SOBC selection procedure.
Endorsement is part of these selection criteria. Endorsement means SOBC will speak with each athlete and their coaches and loved ones, in order to say they believe the athlete will be comfortable and successful within the Games and travel experiences. Please click here to read the Special Olympics BC and Canada policy about endorsement.
What SOBC Super Summer Series competitions will be happening in my area?
Please stay tuned to the SOBC Super Summer Series homepage for ongoing updates!
Some competitions will be regional, and some will be provincial, depending on interest. Locals will register their athletes and programs to participate. To help SOBC and all Locals with planning, we ask that all Locals start to express their interest as soon as they can.
HUGE thanks to all the dedicated volunteers who are working so hard under all these unique circumstances, in order to rebuild opportunities for SOBC athletes to compete.
My Local is thinking about hosting a competition, but we need support – what resources are available to us?
- SOBC Competition Coordinator Ailey Jarvis will be with you every step of the way – firstname.lastname@example.org
- SOBC Community Development Coordinators and all SOBC staff are here for you always! Please talk to us any time about your ideas and how we can help.
- These competitions are getting a significant amount of financial support from the Government of Canada, covering many costs in order to create competitive opportunities for Special Olympics athletes. They are also getting a great deal of in-kind support from Sobeys (Safeway and Thrifty Foods) and Tim Hortons to offer healthy food options at these events. So support is here waiting for you! Please contact your SOBC Community Development Coordinator to find out more.
I want to compete in softball, but softball won’t be in the 2023 World Games. Can I still compete this year?
YES! Special Olympics BC will make sure that softball competitions are offered in our province in the Super Summer Series.
Is this how selection for the national team will work in future Games cycles?
NO. This is only happening because the pandemic meant we couldn’t host the 2021 SOBC Summer Games and 2022 SOC Summer Games. Special Olympics provincial and territorial Chapters had to come together to develop an alternate, fair way to try to build a national team based on the current realities. In the next Games cycles, we will return to the usual qualifying process that is directed by national Special Olympics policies.
I’m confused, where are we right now in the Special Olympics Games cycle?!
The pandemic has definitely made things different. Here’s a recap:
- The new winter-sport Games cycle is beginning! 2022 Winter Regional Qualifiers were held this year in our province. These are qualifying competitions for the 2023 SOBC Winter Games that will be held in Kamloops February 2 to 4, 2023. The 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games will be hosted in Calgary, Alberta. The 2025 SO World Winter Games host community has not yet been announced.
- You’ll recall that when the pandemic began in March 2020, most of the 2020 Regional Qualifier season had to be cancelled. Then the 2021 SOBC Games and 2022 SOC Games had to be cancelled as well. Plans for the 2023 SO World Summer Games in Berlin are proceeding, and the SOBC Super Summer Series competitions will be our province’s qualifiers for the national team for those Games.
- In spring/summer 2024, Regional Qualifiers will be held around B.C. to start the next summer Games cycle.