SOBC - North Shore...Everyone Can Participate, Everyone Can Win!
**Special Olympics BC (SOBC) - North Shore**, a non-profit sport organization, has been providing intellectually disabled individuals the opportunity to enhance their lives and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences for 28 years.
These sports provide athletes of all ages far more than the physical benefits of improved health and athletic ability. Their participation in sports allows athletes to develop social skills, cultivate friendships, strive for and achieve goals, and increase their self-esteem – ultimately enriching lives.
There are approximately 5,200 individuals on the North Shore with intellectual disabilities. Many of these people are isolated and without programs such as those we offer. It is our goal to make ALL intellectually disabled North Shore residents aware of our existence and the many sports we offer.
Until now, all funds raised have been used to operate existing programs. If we are to introduce our entire intellectually-disabled community to the benefits of Special Olympics, create awareness of our organization, fulfill our mandate and continue to operate and improve our programs to the high standards our athletes deserve....FUNDING IS CRITICAL!
Statistics show a direct correlation between financial sponsorship and athlete participation. With a one-time financial injection from Aviva Community Fund, we plan to increase our athlete and volunteer participation, and in turn, attract more government and donor funding to cover sustainment costs.
Individuals with intellectual disabilities who are involved with Special Olympics become more involved with the community and feel like valued members of society. Similarly, volunteers--from high school students to retired sports enthusiasts--enjoy the rewards of helping our athletes achieve their potential. SOBC – NORTH SHORE plans to host regional competitions in the year ahead. This will provide financial benefit to the broader community with the arrival of SOBC athletes and their fans.
With proceeds from the Aviva Community Fund, here's what we will do...
To increase the number of athletes who participate in SOBC – North Shore, in consideration of the fact that there are some 5200 individuals with intellectual disabilities living on the North Shore.
1. Increase community awareness of Special Olympics BC – North Shore and the benefits we offer not only to our target audience: individuals with intellectual difficulties, but also to their families and caregivers, our community volunteers and our community businesses & leaders.
2. Ensure that existing programs are well equipped & established before continuing to expand them.
1. Host a large-scale community event that includes the SOBC community, the North Shore community and leadership and the Aviva sponsors. A fun and welcoming event that showcases the SOBC – North Shore programs and culture, promotes involvement at all levels, and encourages/enables charitable donations and/or sponsorship.
2. Develop promotional materials to assist in outreach to the community via schools, service providers, businesses and municipal leadership.
3. Address existing needs for program improvements with respect to uniforms, equipment, volunteer training and athlete competitive sporting opportunities and provide adequate, secure storage of our equipment & supplies.
**Outcomes & Benefits:**
1. At a minimum, we will have ensured that existing programs are well situated to serve our existing athletes. This will allow them to continue to participate in SOBC – North Shore where they develop not only sporting skills, physical fitness, and learn about healthy lifestyles; but also enjoy a strong sense of community, represent the North Shore with pride across the province, country and internationally, and leave a lasting impression with everyone they interact with in the community, from volunteers to sponsors and fans.
2. We have often heard from new athletes and their families that 'they never knew we existed until...’ This project gives us the resources to get the message of SOBC – North Shore out to our target audience, their families and caregivers, service providers and the broader public.
3. We already have enjoyed a great deal of support from our community businesses, schools, organizations & individuals. With greater community awareness, we can expand the pool of potential donors and sponsors to increase revenues and make sure we don't over tax our supporters.
4. A solid base with an established program infrastructure and an expanded resource pool for fundraising, and attracting volunteers will allow SOBC – North Shore to grow and serve more athletes into the future.
Thanks very much to AVIVA for this opportunity. Winning this competition will ensure the SOBC – North Shore community is victorious in sports, on the podium, in health and in life!