Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Breaking barriers and records with motionball Marathon of Sport

26 September 2017

The 2017 motionball Marathon of Sport events in B.C. were full of fun, friendship, and successful fundraising for Special Olympics programs across Canada. In Vancouver and Kelowna, teams of young professionals joined forces with SOBC athletes for an inclusive and inspiring day of sport and sportsmanship that broke fundraising records and raised awareness for Special Olympics.

This year’s Marathon of Sport Vancouver presented by Vega was held on June 10 at the EA Sports complex in Burnaby, and the Marathon of Sport Kelowna presented by Interior Savings Credit Union took place on September 23 at City Park.

The 11th motionball Marathon of Sport Vancouver saw 24 teams of young professionals joined by 33 local SOBC athletes at EA Sports for an amazing day of sport and inclusion that raised $126,098 net in support of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

Participants welcomed their SOBC teammates with open arms, cheering each other on throughout the day and creating a vibrant atmosphere full of high fives and smiles.

One SOBC parent wrote to say that her son had a “fantastic time” at Marathon of Sport and share the positive impact of the experience for him and other athletes.

“The camaraderie, friendships made and old rekindled, and the encouragement and kindness of all the volunteers will resonate a lifetime for these athletes,” she wrote, adding that her son “is blessed and his life enriched for having had this opportunity.”

More Marathon of Sport Vancouver photos

On September 23, the 2017 Marathon of Sport Kelowna presented by Interior Savings Credit Union brought together 28 teams and 40 Special Olympics athletes at City Park, raising $103,094 net for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation. Participants warmly welcomed the Special Olympics athletes, cheering them on and making sure they felt included and part of the team.

Pictured at right: SOBC – Kelowna athlete James Bergen and Fire Breathing Unicorns teammate Will Richardson at the 2017 Marathon of Sport Kelowna. Photo courtesy of David Wilkinson.

"First and foremost it is for the athletes," Kelowna team member Darrell Manderson told the Kelowna Capital News in August. "motionball raises awareness for an organization that betters the lives of those with intellectual disabilities. And we all get to experience, firsthand, the impact it is having on athletes’ lives."

"We really just want to enjoy the day and make sure our athlete is getting what they expected out of it," Manderson said. "We want to have that inclusive feeling and make sure they are engaged.”

The motionball Marathon of Sport events have an incredible and inspiring spirit of inclusion and friendship shared by the teams of young professionals and Special Olympics athletes who come together for a memorable day of sport, laughter, and joy.

SOBC – Kelowna athlete Kyle Grummett attended the 2016 Marathon of Sport and recently shared his experience with the Kelowna Now in the lead up to this year’s event.

“Last year was my first time coming out, and I was pretty nervous,” Grummett said. “But I realized that being with this group of people that were so supportive; it was probably one of the best days I could ever experience. It just didn’t matter whether you were winning, whether you were losing, whether it was nice outside or if we had rain as well, it just seemed like everyone was just so happy.”

Read more about the 2017 Marathon of Sport Kelowna on Kelowna Capital News

Read more about the 2017 Marathon of Sport Kelowna in the Kelowna Daily Courier

Watch Kelowna Now’s coverage of the 2017 Marathon of Sport event

Our heartfelt thanks to the volunteer organizers who log countless hours to make these events possible. Michael Blondé of Hootsuite and Mike McClenahan of BBD are the dedicated Co-Directors who run the Marathon of Sport Vancouver, teaming up with an amazing volunteer committee to make this experience possible.

In Kelowna, Donnie Ungaro and Derek Fuhr do a phenomenal job as Co-Directors dedicated to engaging the young professionals in their community and ensuring a supportive experience for the SOBC athletes. We are so grateful to all the volunteers who come out and support these important and inspiring events.

motionball is a not-for-profit whose mandate is to introduce the next generation of donors, volunteers and sponsors to the Special Olympics movement through integrated social and sporting events. Since inception in 2002, motionball has donated over $7.5 million to the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

Team Sage at the 2017 Marathon of Sport Vancouver presented by Vega
Team Sage showing their strength at the 2017 Marathon of Sport Vancouver presented by Vega

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