For Special Olympics BC staff, volunteers, and athletes, the cost of flying to an event or function can be a real barrier. Fortunately, Pacific Coastal Airlines helps SOBC bring athletes and communities together from across the province to share their love of sport.
The airline company has been an important supporter of SOBC since 2000, when Quentin Smith, President and CEO of Pacific Coastal Airlines, reached out to SOBC and offered any assistance the organization needed.
Since then, Pacific Coastal Airlines has provided air travel for SOBC athletes, coaches, and volunteers to attend events all over B.C.
Recently they helped many athletes get to the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games in Greater Vernon, providing an important opportunity for athletes to experience and thrill and empowerment of representing their region and competing at Provincial Games.
In addition, Pacific Coastal Airlines goes above and beyond to ensure that SOBC athletes have a positive experience on their flights.
In March 2018, SOBC – Kelowna athlete Connor Kiester was excited to participate in the Alpine Skiing Regional Qualifier competition in Kimberley. The team was flying to get there, which meant that Kiester would be taking his very first flight with the team, rather than any family.
To help him prepare for the flight, staff at Pacific Coastal Airlines took Kiester on a tour of the airport and explained what would happen during the flight and check-in.
“The crew at Pacific Coastal were amazing!” said Christine Kiester, Connor’s mother. “When the flight date arrived, Connor was excited, but not anxious.”
The flight went well, and Kiester raced his way to a spot representing his region at the 2019 SOBC Provincial Winter Games.
“Pacific Coastal Airlines was integral to Connor’s first flight being an extremely positive experience,” Christine Kiester said.
As well as helping athletes and volunteers get to important competitions, Pacific Coastal Airlines generously donates highly valued travel packages as auction items, and Smith personally attends SOBC fundraising events.
This year, SOBC was honoured to induct Pacific Coastal Airlines into the SOBC Hall of Fame, recognizing their incredible contributions and dedication to supporting athletes with intellectual disabilities.
SOBC is grateful and proud to be supported by Smith and Pacific Coastal Airlines.
Pacific Coastal Airlines was founded nearly 40 years ago and provides regular schedule, charter, and cargo services to 65-plus destinations in B.C. Make sure to check out their schedule at www.pacificcoastal.com if you’re flying to a community they serve.