Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Meet a Sponsor: Government of Canada

5 October 2017

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Special Olympics BC programs help thousands of individuals with intellectual disabilities celebrate personal achievement and gain confidence, skills, and friendship. Here we look at how support from the Government of Canada has helped SOBC empower athletes to enrich their lives through the joy of sport. 

The Government of Canada has been a crucial supporter of Special Olympics Canada and Special Olympics BC, providing significant funds to develop new and existing sport programs and competitive opportunities. Without this support, we could not offer the full range of opportunities that make such a difference in the lives of Special Olympics athletes and their families.

Athletes and coaches thank the Government of Canada at an SOBC Speed Skating Performance CampWith the support of the federal government, SOBC’s Performance Program is helping elevate performance by enhancing the skills of coaches and through them, all athletes of SOBC.

Pictured above right: Athletes and coaches thank the Government of Canada at an SOBC Speed Skating Performance Camp.

Pam Kiselbach, who runs the SOBC – Coquitlam Club Fit program and is the SOBC Healthy Athletes Clinical Director for Health Promotion, says Performance Program camps are a great resource for coaches because they show the potential of SOBC athletes. Coaches can take what they learned at the camps, including conditioning techniques, back to their Locals to benefit all athletes.

Read more about SOBC’s Performance Program

The Government of Canada is also an important supporter of SOBC youth programs, which give children like Soskay Matsunaga the chance to learn vital skills, get more active, and have fun in a safe and supportive environment.

Akiho Matsunaga, Soskay’s mother, said she could see his skills improving every week with SOBC – Whistler Valley’s Active Start/FUNdamentals program. At the end of each session Soskay would say, “More!” in American Sign Language.

“I am so happy to have this program here in Whistler!” Matsunaga says. “We would like to participate as much as we can and hope that Soskay continues to build his skills.”

Special Olympics BC youth programs continue to grow in B.C., giving more children with intellectual disabilities opportunities to develop essential skills and thrive within their home communities. In the 2016-17 program year, nearly 1,100 children age two to 18 participated in SOBC youth programs around the province.

Read more about SOBC’s youth programs

This year, the federal government supported the 2017 Special Olympics BC Summer Games, where more than 1,200 Special Olympics athletes from across the province and the Yukon came together in Kamloops to compete with determination and pride in SOBC’s largest Provincial Games to date.

The Government of Canada also funds training and travel expenses for athletes, coaches, and mission staff to travel to National and World Games, giving athletes the life-changing experience of representing their home at these high-level competitions.

SOBC Athlete Leadership programs, Leadership Summits, and Coaching Summits receive support from the Government of Canada, allowing individuals throughout the Special Olympics BC community to come together to take part in networking opportunities and listen to inspiring expert speakers. Participants at these events come away with new tools and ideas to take back to their grassroots communities.

With the help of federal government funding, SOBC has strengthened our sport programs by developing tools and resources to support coaches and athletes. Support from the Government of Canada has also helped SOBC create new sport opportunities across the province, giving athletes the chance to train and compete in a variety of sports within their home communities.

SOBC is extremely grateful for the support of the Government of Canada. If you have a moment, please thank your local Member of Parliament for this support as it truly makes a difference.

Government of Canada logo

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