Special Olympics Nanaimo November Newsletter

91b6bd64-4050-4dbc-a088-945ee6dff697.png

Hello everyone,

It’s been wonderful welcoming back athletes in a limited capacity over the past few weeks but we miss all of you! Rest assured that the local committee and coachers are working hard behind the scenes to be able to get your programs up and running again as soon as possible. And when we can, we’ll be here. The coaches and volunteers are as eager as all of you and can’t wait to see you again!

While you’re waiting for your program to start we hope you continue to stay active and healthy in your own way. We’ve attached more great resources below and encourage everyone to find a way to get a little bit better each week. Healthy food choices and activity are possible every day in your home and we’ve heard from many of you that are doing a great job!

As you know, the number of cases in our community is rising at the moment so we want to encourage all of you to do your part to stay healthy. Please wash your hands often, reduce the number of people in your bubble and wear your masks! Everyone is doing a great job to reduce the spread in our community and we thank you for your efforts!

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and thank you for your understanding.

Dave

Special Olympics Nanaimo October Newsletter

91b6bd64-4050-4dbc-a088-945ee6dff697.png

Welcome Back!

We’re so excited to have athletes and volunteers training again in three different programs – Athletics, Club Fit and Bowling. The training groups are smaller but the effort and fun is the same as always and it has been great to see.

A huge shout out to the athletes in the Athletics program (pictured above) that gave it their all for a competition this week! Their times will be submitted to SO British Columbia where they’ll be divisioned against athletes from around the province and we’ll get the final results in a few weeks. This is just one example of the competition opportunities that will be happening in the programs as we move forward.

Now that more sports are up and running we are asking all athletes and volunteers to fill out their registration forms so that we have your updated information and can keep you in the loop as more training opportunities are announced. A reminder that we will not be collecting a registration fee at this time so get your forms in!

We’ve also shared information below in the newsletter on several virtual programs that are available to all athletes right now. We encourage everyone to find a way to stay active and healthy in a way that works best for you at this time!

If you have any questions about the programs please don’t hesitate to respond to this email and we’ll get back to you right away!

Join Special Olympics Nanaimo for a discussion on the upcoming year!

91b6bd64-4050-4dbc-a088-945ee6dff697.png

We’re very excited to be offering sport programs in our region again and can’t wait to see all of your smiles again soon!

As we gear up to start our Athletics program next Wednesday night and Club Fit on September 28th we realize that there has been a lot of changes since you were last able to attend a sport program. Our guess is that you have some questions about the changes and what the year ahead looks like and we want to make sure you have an opportunity to ask them!

Next Thursday night, September 24th, from 6-7:30pm we’re going to be hosting an online zoom conversation open to all athletes, coaches and caretakers. If you don’t have zoom you’ll also be able to call in to the conversation. In order to answer as many questions as possible we’re hoping you will respond to this email with your questions before 6pm on Wednesday.

Please also let us know if you want to attend the session by responding to this email and we’ll share the login information closer to the event date.

A quick reminder that we are asking for all athletes and volunteers to fill out their registration forms as soon as possible so that we have your updated information and can keep you informed as more programs and training opportunities are announced. Registering is also important as the data is used when applying for funding for our programs and when you indicate which sports you’re interested in it will help us determine who will participate when more sports safely reopen.

Considering that some athletes may not be able to participate right away we will not be collecting a registration fee at this time.

Have a great weekend!

DRAFT – Special Olympics Nanaimo 2020/21 Registration Information

91b6bd64-4050-4dbc-a088-945ee6dff697.png

Hello everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed a fantastic summer and haven taken advantage of the warm weather to get outside and stay healthy! We’re excited to announce that Special Olympics BC has approved the return of some sports for in-person training again and we will be offering an Athletics program on Wednesday evenings and Outdoor Club Fit program on Monday evenings starting soon and running until the weather gets too bad. Both programs will take place at the track behind NDSS.

Please note that we are limited to 12 athletes maximum in each program as the training groups are limited to ensure the health and safety of all of athletes and volunteers. We will be selecting athletes for the programs based on whether an athlete was previously registered in one of the sports offered, the athlete is able to attend the program on a regular basis, the athlete is comfortable participating during this time and able to follow all COVID-19 protocols in place for that sport program and then first come, first serve. If you’d like to learn more about the sport changes please visit: https://www.specialolympics.ca/sites/default/files/SOBC_ReturnToSportPlan_ProgramProgressions_08-10-20.pdf.

Currently we are asking for all athletes and volunteers to fill out their registration forms so that we have your updated information and can keep you informed as more programs and training opportunities are announced. Considering that many athletes won’t be able to participate we will not be collecting a registration fee at this time.

We are exploring virtual training opportunities that will help all athletes get active and healthy during this time and hope to bring you more information on that soon.

To read Special Olympics BC’s full return to sport plan please visit: https://www.specialolympics.ca/british-columbia/return-sport.

Special Olympics Nanaimo Return to Sport Update

91b6bd64-4050-4dbc-a088-945ee6dff697.png

Hello everyone,

We’re getting closer to training again with the announcement by SOBC that a Return to Sport (RTS) plan has been developed and can be found on their website including highlights for athletes. You’ll see that they have put the safety of our volunteers, athletes and staff as the top priority in this plan. I encourage everyone to take some time to read the plan as it will give you a better sense of what you program may look like when it starts running again.

SOBC’s return to sport plan includes 12 pilot programs, in four sports (bocce, track, Club Fit and golf) running until the first week of August. Nanaimo has not been chosen to run any of the pilot programs but once the pilot programs are complete these sports may be opened to our Local.

SOBC will be working over the summer to get the specific sport plans ready for our fall sports and we will share this info with you as soon as we’re able to.

If you have any questions about the Return to Sport plan, SOBC has put together a FAQ that may answer it for you.

We thank you for your patience as we work through these tough times and look forward to getting back to sport as soon as we can!!

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
The Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath

If you have SO Nanaimo stories, results and pictures to share for the newsletter please send them to SOnewsnanaimo. Feedback on the newsletter always welcome!

outline-light-facebook-48.png
outline-light-link-48.png

Special Olympics Nanaimo Return to Sport Update

91b6bd64-4050-4dbc-a088-945ee6dff697.png

Hello everyone,

We’re excited to see some of the sports fields and training venues re-opening around town for modified usage. We know everyone is missing their programs but wanted to send out a reminder that we don’t have approval to return to sport yet and we’re unsure of when that announcement may come.

SOBC is working hard on return to play plans for each program to ensure all protocols and procedures are up to Government and Provincial Health standards. The plans are not a return to normal, but rather to a “new normal” which will require everyone to modify their behavior, stay informed, apply protective measures and follow public health advice.

You may have noticed many of the other sport organizations that are announcing return to play plans are focused on small groups and skill training mostly. Be prepared that your program may look different upon our return.

While we await more information we encourage everyone to continue to stay active and eat well. We will do our best to keep everyone updated as we move forward. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
The Special Olympics Athlete’s Oath

If you have SO Nanaimo stories, results and pictures to share for the newsletter please send them to SOnewsnanaimo. Feedback on the newsletter always welcome!

outline-light-facebook-48.png
outline-light-link-48.png

Special Olympics Nanaimo Sport Update, AGM Change and Health Forums Reminder

91b6bd64-4050-4dbc-a088-945ee6dff697.png

Since the Government of B.C.’s announcement of their plan to restart B.C. safely, we have been learning more about what the process will be for returning to sport. There have been some changes to the process since our memo in early May, so we wanted to provide an update on what this currently looks like for Special Olympics BC.

We have been working on the necessary plans to safely reactivate each of our sports and all of our programs and activities. Everyone’s safety is the highest priority. Before a specific sport or activity can reopen, the following things need to happen:

1. Provincial health guidelines for sports need to be released.

2. There needs to be a plan specific to that Special Olympics BC sport or activity.

3. The sport- or activity-specific plan needs to be approved by SOBC’s Board of Directors.

4. SOBC needs to provide education for coaches, Locals, and athletes on all the steps required to safely run that specific activity.

Special Olympics BC staff are building the plans and education for each of our sports and activities, working with fellow provincial sport organizations and provincial officials, to make sure everything will proceed safely.

Special Olympics BC will reopen a few sports at a time. This is in line with provincial health recommendations. Because some sports have less physical closeness and contact than others, those sports may be able to start again sooner than others. But we don’t yet have any dates to confirm. All Special Olympics BC programs and face-to-face activities remain paused until further notice.

Notifications of reopening opportunities will start to come out sport by sport, and activity by activity, as plans are approved and education is provided. Based on current available information, it seems likely there will not be any Special Olympics BC programs restarting before the end of the typical program year in June, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be anything in the summer, if local conditions allow.

The provincial standards are one thing, and we know that opportunities to reopen may look very different in each community. Once the provincial plans and education are available, to reopen a sport in a community there must be the Local Committee’s approval, open and available facilities, available volunteers, and interested athletes.

Special Olympics BC’s Program staff will work with Locals to pilot specific limited numbers of sports as their community capacity allows. Staff will learn from Locals about whether the plans on paper match the actual program experience, and revise accordingly.

We look forward to keeping everyone up to date as we learn more. We can’t wait to restart Special Olympics sports and activities. We know it means a great deal to a great many people. But we must put everyone’s safety first, and proceed in accordance with provincial health guidance.

Throughout the coming phases of the restart plan, we all must remember to keep focusing on personal hygiene, including hand washing, physical distancing, and staying at home if you are sick. For more information about the Government of B.C.’s Restart Plan, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/restartbc.

Special Olympics BC is continuing the weekly at-home training and activity challenges, and we’re creating new resources to remotely support athletes and coaches as well as new virtual fundraisers. Please check out the SOBC website for tools to stay active, connected, positive, and informed, and stay tuned to our website and social media channels for ongoing updates.

Excerpted message from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry:

Our “new normal” is based on principles that apply to every person and every situation. These principles are the foundation of how we need to move forward with our B.C. plan, and will remain in place for the weeks and months ahead. These principles include:
1. Staying informed, being prepared and following public health advice;
2. Practising good hygiene – hand hygiene, avoid touching your face and respiratory etiquette;
3. Staying at home and away from others if you are feeling ill – with no exceptions – whether for school, work or socializing;
4. Maintaining physical distancing outside the household, e.g., no handshakes or hugs, keeping your number of contacts low and keeping a safe distance;
5. Making necessary contacts safer with appropriate controls, e.g., using plexiglass barriers or redesigning spaces;
6. Increasing cleaning of frequently touched surfaces at home and work;
7. Considering the use of non-medical masks in situations where physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as on transit or while shopping; and
8. Continuing to minimize non-essential personal travel.

I have seen the strength and resilience in British Columbians that I know will hold us in good stead in the months ahead. We must continue to keep our firewall strong and remain committed to our efforts to protect our province. Be kind, be calm, be safe.

Special Olympics BC Health Forums! Region 6 Dates & Times

91b6bd64-4050-4dbc-a088-945ee6dff697.png

Special Olympics BC is very excited to announce the launch of our very first round Virtual Family Health Forums! With everything going on we wanted to be able to offer athletes, coaches, parents & supporters with an opportunity to connect, learn, and discuss health related topics!

We are so excited to be teaming up with some wonderful facilitators to provide you with the opportunity to join them on a Virtual Zoom call to learn, discuss and ask any questions you might have.

Read below to find out more about each Health Forum!

Mental Wellness Virtual Health Forum with Kimberly Rutledge
Special Olympics British Columbia is very exciting to bring two different Virtual Health Forums focused on the topic of Mental Wellness, presented by Kimberly Rutledge. One of the Forum will be for Athletes only. The other open to anyone; coaches, parents, supports, family members, etc.

Kimberly Rutledge is currently working towards her double Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Biology at UBC Okanagan and works as a research assistant in community health. Kimberly was drawn to the field of psychology because of her passion for psychological health & wellness and promoting resiliency within communities. She plans to pursue her master’s degree in clinical neuroscience and to use the knowledge she gains to transform the way we provide support within health care.

Kimberly is passionate about creating opportunities for all children to succeed and volunteers her time as a STEM educator for classrooms in BC. She is also a public speaker and mental health advocate through Jack.org and is currently working on a project to promote inclusive education.

Kimberly is excited to be working with Special Olympics BC on their Healthy Athletes program! She will be leading a series of Zoom run Health Forums to chat with Special Olympics athletes about topics around mental health such as what does feeling unwell look like, how to know if you or your friends are struggling with their mental health, the types of stress that exist, and how to use positive stress to perform your best, and will be walking athletes through a Mental Wellness Booklet.

The Mental Wellness Athlete Health Forum will be hosted virtually on Zoom. Registered participants will be sent the link to access the Zoom Meeting 24 hours before the forum. Athletes are not required to have their video function enabled (turned-on) if they do not feel comfortable, it is entirely up to them!

We are limiting registration numbers for the Athlete Health Forum on Mental Wellness. The athlete forums will be limited to 25 Athletes, the Family Forum will be unlimited. If the Forum fills up or “sells out” please please please register for the waitlist, if we have enough interest we will do our very best to offer additional forums to meet this demand! We will also be making the resources (and a recording on the zoom call) available to everyone online.

Athlete Health Forum – Mental Wellness *athletes only*
Date: May 27th
Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm PT
Location: Virtually on Zoom!
To Register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/105098299844

Family Health Forum – Mental Wellness
Date: May 28th
Time: 4:30pm – 5:30pm PT
Location: Virtually on Zoom!
To Register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/105100000932

Healthy Eating Health Forum with Joel Barohn
Special Olympics British Columbia is very exciting to bring to you a Virtual Health Forum focused on the topic of Healthy Eating, presented by Joel Barohn.

Joel completed his training in dietetics in 2014 from the University of Kansas Medical Centre in Kansas City, Kansas, where he had the opportunity to train at both the University of Kansas and University of Texas Athletic Departments in sports nutrition. In addition to working as a nutrition educator at BC Dairy Association, Joel is an Adjunct Professor at UBC and works with the UBC athletic department on post-game nutrition recovery projects.

John is passionate about nutrition, and looks forward to teaching Special Olympic Athletes and Coaches about Healthy Eating. Joel will be leading a series of Zoom run Health Forums to chat with Special Olympics athletes and coaches about nutrition, proper portion sizes, the importance of food groups, and how to eat a balanced diet! Joel will also be walking athletes and coaches through a Healthy Eating Workbook called “Check on Balance”.

We are limiting registration number for Healthy Eating to 12 Athletes and 6 Coaches. If the Forum fills up or “sells out” please please please register for the waitlist, if we have enough interest we will do our very best to offer additional forums to meet this demand! We will also be making the resources (and a recording on the zoom call) available to everyone online.

Date: June 16th
Time: 3:00 p.m. PT
Location: Virtually on Zoom!
To Register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/105104231586