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Special O keeps ‘marching on’

As this month’s namesake states, Special O keeps ‘marching’ on.
Last week, Special Olympics athletes were treated to a heartwarming webinar with Olympic gold medalist and Canadian Commonwealth record-holding swimmer Brent Hayden.
His presentation was chock full of both accomplishment and humility as he walked us through his early challenges in sports to realizing his dream. Brent demonstrated ways to practice at home and answered many questions. It felt relatable to be listening to a fellow swimmer.
One day earlier, executive members, coaches and other volunteers from Regions 3, 4, & 5 took part in a virtual Town Hall chaired by Community Development Coordinator Chelsea Rogers. Participants introduced themselves and were introduced to new SOBC staff members.
They also learned of the BCAIC or the BC Athlete Input Council. This group consists of seven athletes from across BC who meet once a month to provide information and input from an athlete’s perspective. Our Region 5 rep is Mathew Schmiing from Vancouver.
Participants were informed of athlete leadership workshops and two upcoming webinars for coaches on Bocce and swimming.
From March 1 to April 4, athletes can participate in the SOBC Move It March Wellness Challenge. Daily activities will encourage physical movement, staying hydrated and healthy eating. Registration is online at www.specialolympics.ca/sites/default/files/SOBC_Moveit
March_2021F.pdf.
Wednesday, March 3, was awareness day for Spread The Word for Inclusion. This ongoing movement encourages the use of inclusive beliefs, words and actions in everyday life. This year the word is connection.
The global campaign website states: “Spread the Word will explore the need for connection and how individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities need to be seen, heard, and valued in order to develop the skills of inclusion to build connection. At the very root of inclusion is the crucial need for connection. Connection is not only a relationship but a shared strength developed between individuals. A strength where two individuals can feel (they are) seen, heard, and valued.” You can learn more at: www.spreadthe
word.global/2021-theme-
connection.
As you can see, though we are not in the pool, running the track or on the court, we are steadily preparing ourselves for the inevitable and welcome return to sports, as we know it.
In the meantime, we must all remember to “be kind, be calm, and stay safe.”

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