Special Olympics Canada Applauds Federal Government Supporting a Shared Vision of Sports for All Through Increased Funding in 2018 Budget

Yukon athletes holding medals

TORONTO, ON, February 27, 2018 –Today marks another important milestone for Special Olympics Canada (SOC), not only are we celebrating 50 years of transforming the lives of Canadians with intellectual disabilities through sport, The Government of Canada’s 2018 federal budget has approved an incremental $16 million for SOC over the next five years plus $2M per year ongoing. This funding represents an increase of $6 million from the 2014 incremental financing and will supplement Sport Canada’s current annual funding of more than $2.8 million.

As a national multi-sport organization, SOC provides year round community sport, training and competition opportunities for individuals with an intellectual disability of all ages and abilities, from coast to coast, in communities across Canada, large and small. With today’s announced funding, SOC can fulfill their strategy to expand and improve the athlete and volunteer experience, build organizational capacity through investments in technology and allocate resources to public education and research that reduces participation barriers and helps to build stronger, more inclusive communities across Canada.

“Special Olympics Canada is extremely grateful to be included in today’s 2018 federal budget. This commitment will allow Special Olympics Canada and our twelve provincial and territorial Chapters to extend our reach to even more Canadians with an intellectual disability,” said Sharon Bollenbach, CEO of Special Olympics Canada. “We are honored that the Government of Canada has made this investment in providing all Canadians the opportunity to access sport and thank them for their ongoing support and commitment to Special Olympics in Canada.”

This new funding will ensure that SOC will be able to sustain the momentum and impact achieved over the course of the last four years. It will also further maintain Special Olympics Canada as a leader in delivering opportunities that enrich the lives of Canadians with intellectual disabilities through sport. Currently, approximately 5% of Canadians with an intellectual disability are registered with Special Olympics in Canada. SOC and its twelve provincial and territorial Chapters are committed to significantly increasing this number and to the delivery of high-impact, cost effective community based sport experiences.