Sports

Richmondites taking part in 2023 Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 10:44 PST, Wed January 18, 2023

Last Updated: 3:34 PST, Mon January 30, 2023

Richmond will be well represented at the 2023 Special Olympics B.C. (SOBC) Winter Games, which are taking place in Kamloops from Feb. 2 to 4.

The following Richmondites will be taking part in the event:

• George Cazzaro (five-pin bowling athlete)

• Janice Chan (figure skating head coach)

• Nicholas Chow (speed skating athlete)

• Kristofer Cohen (floor hockey athlete)

• Balpreet Dhanoya (floor hockey athlete)

• Sean Fraser (floor hockey assistant coach)

• Nathan Hudson (floor hockey athlete)

• Matthew Lai (figure skating athlete)

• Phoebe Lau (mission staff)

• Vincent Li (floor hockey athlete)

• Sandra Malku (floor hockey athlete)

• Marcus Narsaiya (speed skating assistant coach)

• Brayden Pawer (floor hockey athlete)

• Reid Scally (floor hockey athlete)

• Ryan Stewart (floor hockey athlete)

• David Swann (floor hockey athlete)

• Kyle Warkentin (mission staff medical liaison)

• Adam Warren (floor hockey head coach)

• Abraham Wong (figure skating athlete)

• Cullen Yee (floor hockey athlete)

Presented by Prospera Credit Union, this will be Special Olympics B.C.’s first Provincial Games in four years. It provides a powerful opportunity for athletes with intellectual disabilities to step into the spotlight, reconnect with friends, and be celebrated for their abilities.

At the 2023 Special Olympics B.C. Games, about 500 athletes with intellectual disabilities will give their all in the eight SOBC winter sports: five-pin bowling, alpine skiing, cross country skiing, curling, figure skating, floor hockey, snowshoeing, and speed skating. The participating athletes will be supported by about 150 volunteer coaches and mission staff, as well as 800 local volunteers.

Athletes earned their spots in these Provincial Games through their performances in Regional Qualifiers held from January to May 2022. They are currently training hard in the year-round Special Olympics programs in their communities, getting ready to pursue personal bests in Kamloops and compete for the chance to qualify for the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Calgary.

"The 2023 Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games will be an incredible opportunity for athletes with intellectual disabilities to show their skills, compete with pride, and develop meaningful friendships," says SOBC president and chief executive officer Dan Howe. "We are so grateful to all the volunteers, sponsors, donors, and supporters who are helping athletes achieve their dreams."

Members of the public can make a difference for deserving Special Olympics B.C. athletes by getting involved in rewarding roles in the year-round Special Olympics programs in their communities, and by donating to help make the empowering SOBC Games experience possible. People can find 2023 SOBC Winter Games stories, photos, and more at sobcgameskamloops.ca.

From Feb. 3 to 5, Tim Hortons is bringing back the Special Olympics Donut, a treat that changes lives and builds inclusion. When supporters buy this delicious donut, 100 per cent of the proceeds go directly to local Special Olympics community programs, supporting more than 41,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across Canada. 

From Feb. 18 to March 5, people can take part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics B.C. at in-person events or get cold and creative at home. Presented in partnership with the Law Enforcement Torch Run for SOBC, this frigid and fun event raises funds and awareness for Special Olympics B.C. Learn more and register at plunge4specialolympics.com.

About Special Olympics B.C.

Special Olympics B.C. is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport. In 55 communities around the province, the organization provides year-round training and competitive opportunities in 18 different sports to more than 5,200 athletes of all ages and a wide range of abilities, thanks to the dedicated efforts of over 4,300 volunteers. For more information, please visit specialolympics.bc.ca and find us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Flickr @specialolympicsbc and Twitter @sobcsociety.

Special Olympics B.C.’s Richmond branch is home to more than 150 volunteers who work hard to deliver a large number of programs for the 197 athletes in this community. Programs offered in Richmond include swimming, athletics, basketball, five-pin bowling, 10-pin bowling, curling, figure skating, fitness, floor hockey, rhythmic gymnastics, soccer, bocce, softball, and Club Fit, as well as Active Start/FUNdamentals for children ages two to 11.

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