Special Olympics youth programs continue to grow in B.C, giving children and youth with intellectual disabilities the chance to learn vital skills, get more active, and have a whole lot of fun.
Special Olympics BC youth programs help kids ages two to 18 to learn essential motor and sport skills in fun and supportive environments. Many kids with intellectual disabilities feel left behind or isolated in traditional sport and activity programs; Special Olympics is the place where they shine in the supportive environment and learn vital motor, sport, and social skills through the activities tailored to them and their needs.
Since 2011, the number of Special Olympics BC youth programs around the province has more than doubled, growing from 30 to 78. Now almost 900 children with intellectual disabilities are taking part in youth programs offered by SOBC Locals around the province, including the FUNdamentals program offered by SOBC – Comox Valley.
FUNdamentals is for young athletes with intellectual disabilities ages seven to 11. In this fun, family-centred program, the skills taught transition from basic movement skills to basic sport skills, providing participants with a more in-depth introduction to sport-related motor skills along with training and competition, while maintaining an atmosphere of fun and meaningful interaction.
SOBC – Comox Valley needs a new leader for their successful FUNdamentals program, and is always excited to welcome new participants to get involved.
Being involved in Special Olympics youth programs is inspiring, heartwarming, and so much fun.
Through the FUNdamentals program in Kamloops, one young athlete forged his first-ever friendship. This athlete’s caregiver had never before observed him connecting with other little people as friends. When he first came to participate in FUNdamentals, he was known for always trying to escape – heading out the door, onto a stage, into the hall. But in his third week with the program, he struck up a friendship with a fellow athlete-in-training. He was using words and they forged a connection for the evening, playing in the fun activities together.
“Apparently that was the first time in his life he’s had that kind of friendship with someone else,” said SOBC – Kamloops FUNdamentals leader Lorna Clarkson. “It was really, really special. It felt like a huge stride for him.”
Comox Valley volunteers and athletes are welcome to get involved to enjoy these special experiences.
SOBC – Comox Valley FUNdamentals program runs Tuesdays, 5 to 6 p.m. at Ecole au Coeur-de-L’ile. For more information, contact Randy James SOBC – Comox Valley Local Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org. 250-897-1828.
Special Olympics BC – Comox Valley FUNdamentals