What We Do
In 1968, Eunice Kennedy Shriver knew in her heart that giving people with disabilities the chance to participate in sport could transform their feelings about themselves – building confidence, restoring pride and opening a door to a more hopeful future. But she never realized that her fledgling idea would have a transformative impact on societies around the globe, and that the athletes would play a revolutionary role in changing the way the world sees people with disabilities.
For more than 35 years, Special Olympics BC has been committed to enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities and, in turn, the lives of their family members, friends and everyone they’ve touched. Since our inception in 1980, that sense of purpose has not changed – and it will never change.
Currently, Special Olympics BC provides high-quality sports programs and competitions that help people with intellectual disabilities celebrate personal achievement and gain confidence, skills and friendships. There are now more than 4,600 Special Olympics athletes participating in year-round programs in 57 communities around BC, supported by more than 3,900 dedicated volunteers.
Special Olympics BC offers opportunities to train and compete in 18 sports through year-round programs and local, provincial, national and international competitions. Through these sports, the athletes gain more than just physical benefits from improved health and athletic abilities. Through their participation, they develop social skills and friendships while experiencing the joy of achieving goals and increasing their self-esteem.