The Government of Canada is a vital supporter of Special Olympics Canada and Special Olympics BC, providing significant funds to develop new and existing programs and competitive opportunities.
Funding from the Government of Canada has played an important role in the growth of SOBC’s impactful health programs. Special Olympics BC’s Healthy Athletes screenings address the issue that individuals with intellectual disabilities have unique challenges around health care and communicating their needs. Through the Healthy Athletes program, health care professionals receive training about the specific health care concerns of people with intellectual disabilities and how to ask the right questions. Their interactions with Special Olympics athletes lead to referrals back into the health care system that ensure the individuals will get the treatment they need.
The federal government’s support has also helped SOBC develop its youth programs. These low-cost programs give children and youth with intellectual disabilities ages two to 18 the opportunity to learn vital motor, sport, and social skills in a fun and welcoming environment. Currently, there are 74 SOBC Active Start, FUNdamentals, and Sport Start programs running in communities around the province.
The Government of Canada funded training and travel expenses for members of Special Olympics Team BC 2020. Their support allowed 143 athletes, 42 coaches, and 13 mission staff to represent their province with pride at the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Thunder Bay. The federal government also helped bring Special Olympics Team Canada members from British Columbia to the inspiring 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi.
SOBC Athlete Leadership programs, Leadership Summits, and Coaching Summits receive support from the Government of Canada, allowing individuals throughout the Special Olympics BC community to come together to take part in networking opportunities and listen to inspiring expert speakers.
With the help of federal government funding, SOBC has strengthened our sport programs by developing tools and resources to support coaches and athletes. Support from the Government of Canada has also helped SOBC create new sport opportunities across the province, giving athletes the chance to train and compete in a variety of sports within their home communities.
SOBC is extremely grateful for the support of the Government of Canada! If you have a moment, please thank your local Member of Parliament for this support as it truly makes a difference.