In 1980, Special Olympics BC started out with two weekends of games and about 500 participants. Thirty years later, we are providing year-round, high-quality sports programs and competitions for 3,900 athletes in 55 communities around the province, with the vital assistance of more than 2,900 trained, dedicated volunteers.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.
The sport programs run by 100 enthusiastic volunteers and coaches through SOBC Kelowna give over 200 local Kelowna athletes the chance to gain sport skills and improve their health while enjoying training that could take them to competitions at local, regional, national and international levels. But the benefits from Special Olympics BC programs go well beyond the basics: our athletes experience joy and acceptance, cultivate friendships and self-confidence and feel empowered to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.
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.
Athlete’s Oath: Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.