The 2023-24 Strategic Plan for Special Olympics British Columbia aligns with the vision of Special Olympics Canada and Special Olympics International.
The plan outlines the strategic priorities we want to collectively and collaboratively achieve, and the strategic enablers we will employ and strengthen, in order to achieve our mission of enriching the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and building inclusion across British Columbia.
The 2023-24 Special Olympics BC Strategic Plan is a natural outgrowth of the 2017-23 SOBC Strategic Plan, whose goals were deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, SOBC's focus is working hard to rebuild all of SOBC's life-changing year-round programs, while continuing to aspire to introduce more British Columbians with intellectual disabilities to the transformative power of sport, and maintaining our commitment to delivering safe, equitable, and high-quality programs for thousands of athletes across the province.
At its core, Special Olympics is a sport organization that uses the power of sport as a catalyst for social change. Through sport, we challenge society. By drawing attention to the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, we break down misperceptions and tackle negative attitudes. By highlighting how the needs of people with intellectual disabilities are not being met, we expose inequity and exclusion. The focus for Special Olympics BC, therefore, needs to be bringing more athletes to the movement and providing high-quality sport experiences that help create positive attitudes and bring about permanent change towards the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.
While Special Olympics BC has made a tremendous impact, we clearly have much more to do if the estimated 69,000 Canadians with intellectual disabilities (approximately 1.5 per cent of the population) are to be fully included in communities. Ours is an important mission, and we must continue to provide opportunities that enable everyone to embrace people with intellectual disabilities as full members of society. When we do that, we show that when given the opportunity, individuals with intellectual disabilities can and will achieve great things!