About SOBC Nanaimo

The Nanaimo chapter of the B.C. Special Olympics

Special Olympics Nanaimo Return to Sport Update

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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!

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

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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

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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

Join us for the Virtual Torch Run in Support of Special Olympics

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From June 1 to 7, make your kilometres make a difference. Raise vital funds by running and walking with the Virtual Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics BC!

Every year, Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC members around the province usually lace up to hit the pavement together in their communities, raising vital funds and awareness to benefit SOBC athletes and programs. This year, we are launching the first-ever Virtual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC! From June 1 to 7, everyone can run and walk to help raise much-needed funds for SOBC.

To recognize the 30th anniversary of the Law Enforcement Torch Run in British Columbia, the event’s fundraising goal is $30,000 and runners/walkers will look to cover a combined distance of 3,000 kilometres.

Sign up and learn more at www.specialolympics.bc.ca/letr

Registration is free, but you can support Special Olympics BC’s life-changing work for people with intellectual disabilities by donating to the event or asking friends and family to support your run/ walk with a donation.

SUPPORT FOR SOBC LOCAL FUNDRAISING
All SOBC athletes that register and fundraise through the Virtual Torch Run will have their fundraising dollars go back to their local SOBC program. Since we announced this event on SOBC’s social media platforms just yesterday evening we have already received eight athlete registrations, many from Region 6, so we hope this event will be popular with the athletes and a boost to the Local and Provincial fundraising efforts.

To our inspiring law enforcement friends, and to everyone lacing up for the Special Olympics BC community – THANK YOU!! You are so important to this life-changing movement, now and always.

Join us for the Virtual Torch Run for SOBC

Hello All

From June 1 to 7, make your kilometres make a difference. Raise vital funds by running and walking with the Virtual Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics BC!

Every year, Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC members around the province usually lace up to hit the pavement together in their communities, raising vital funds and awareness to benefit SOBC athletes and programs. This year, we are launching the first-ever Virtual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC! From June 1 to 7, everyone can run and walk to help raise much-needed funds for SOBC.

To recognize the 30th anniversary of the Law Enforcement Torch Run in British Columbia, the event’s fundraising goal is $30,000 and runners/walkers will look to cover a combined distance of 3,000 kilometres.

Sign up and learn more at www.specialolympics.bc.ca/letr

Registration is free, but you can support Special Olympics BC’s life-changing work for people with intellectual disabilities by donating to the event or asking friends and family to support your run/ walk with a donation.

SUPPORT FOR SOBC LOCAL FUNDRAISING

All SOBC athletes that register and fundraise through the Virtual Torch Run will have their fundraising dollars go back to their local SOBC program. If you have more questions about using the Virtual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics BC to help fundraise for your local SOBC program, please me Charlotte Taylor ctaylor@specialolympics.bc.ca . Since we announced this event on SOBC’s social media platforms just yesterday evening we have already received eight athlete registrations, many from Region 6, so we hope this event will be popular with the athletes and a boost to the Local and Provincial fundraising efforts.

To our inspiring law enforcement friends, and to everyone lacing up for the Special Olympics BC community – THANK YOU!! You are so important to this life-changing movement, now and always.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me,

Kind regards
Charlotte

Charlotte Taylor
Manager, Fund Development
…..
Special Olympics British Columbia
210 – 3701 Hastings St.
Burnaby, BC   V5C 2H6
Tel 604 737 3056
Toll-free 1 888 854 2276
Email  ctaylor@specialolympics.bc.ca
Facebook & Instagram @specialolympicsbc
Twitter @sobcsociety
…..
www.specialolympics.bc.ca
…..
Created by the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation. Authorized and accredited by Special Olympics, Inc. for the benefit of persons with intellectual disabilities.

SO Nanaimo: SOBC May 7 COVID-19 Update

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SOBC return to sport update as of May 7

Special Olympics BC welcomes the Government of B.C.’s May 6 announcement about their plan to restart B.C. safely. We’d like to share what the next steps look like for SOBC. We are currently developing plans to safely reactivate each of our sports and all of our programs and activities. Provincial officials will need to approve the plan for each sport and program before we are permitted to restart anything. SOBC’s Sport team is busy building these plans, and we are working with the sport-specific Provincial Sport Organizations who are generously sharing their own plans.

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. We are working through the plans now, with fellow PSOs and provincial officials, to make sure everything will proceed safely.

We look forward to keeping everyone up to date as we learn more. We can’t wait to get back to Special Olympics sports and programs again. But we will put everyone’s safety first, and proceed in accordance with provincial officials. For now, all Special Olympics BC programs and face-to-face activities remain paused. 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.

“Today, we’ve unveiled our plan for a slow and safe restart. We need to be vigilant, to make sure we keep flattening the curve of transmission,” Premier John Horgan said. “There is much more to do. But we will get through this pandemic to better days by working together and keeping each other safe.” 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 spring 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.

Sad news from Special Olympics Nanaimo

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The SO Nanaimo community has lost some of our friends over the past couple of months and we want to take a moment to recognize the recent passing of athlete Shirley Keno and long-time volunteers Bill Crocker, Jim McKinley and Mary Ranger. Their family members wanted to make sure everyone knew how much the athletes and Special Olympics meant to the them and we want the families to know how much they meant to us.

Shirley participated in 5 pin bowling and athletic club and was well known for her ability to make you smile. A true gentleman who enjoyed sports with his son Chris, Bill was a mentor and friend of many of our coaches and a great representative for the local at many games. Jim served as the local treasurer for 16 years and is the father of athlete Paul McKinley. Well known for her role in keeping our athletes and coaches well dressed in competition as the uniform coordinator, Mary was also one of the early members of the executive at the start of the Nanaimo local.

From all of us at Special Olympics our thoughts go out to all of the families and friends. They will all be sorely missed.

SO Nanaimo: Important COVID-19 SOBC Update

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Because of the ongoing health recommendations, and related facility closures, all Special Olympics BC programs, sport events, fundraising events, and face-to-face activities will be paused until May 30, 2020.

At this time, it’s also become clear that we need to cancel the remainder of the 2020 Regional Qualifier season. This is disappointing for everyone. But after discussing the feedback we have been receiving, it feels necessary to make this decision now.

We don’t want anyone to feel anxiety about training for and organizing these important competitions, when we’re all compromised by a situation beyond anyone’s control. And in the reduced time available to us all, it won’t be possible to host and train for all the necessary competitions in a way that would be fair to everyone.

In fall 2020, we will announce the new selection process for the next Special Olympics BC Summer Games. We will be consulting widely in B.C. to discuss opportunities and possibilities, and we will stay aligned with other provincial and territorial Special Olympics Chapters.

We know the lack of access to in-person Special Olympics activities has an impact on us all. We miss seeing all of you! We miss knowing that you are out there enjoying your sports and community activities. But now there are many opportunities to find new ways to stay active at home, and new ways to connect with each other. These opportunities will be important for right now, and they will be improvements that will have a lasting benefit for us all.

Special Olympics BC will be continuing the weekly spring at-home training and activity challenges, and we are working on resources to remotely deliver coach training and athlete sport skill support. Please check out our website for tools to stay active, connected, positive, and informed.

And please stay tuned to Special Olympics BC’s social media channels for upcoming resources, ideas, and for places to talk.