Special Olympics Alberta is dedicated to enriching the lives of
individuals with an intellectual disability through sport.

2022 Annual Report


From the age of two, athletes can participate in Special Olympics Alberta programs. Active Start and FUNdamentals is offered to Young Athletes, focusing on physical literacy and basic motor skills development. Athletes in Alberta can compete in 18 summer and winter sports, learn and grow in their sport, and advance to competitions at the local, regional, provincial, national, and international level.


Total Athletes


Young Athletes
(21 years and younger)

“I am thankful for the SOA Peak Program because it helps me in different areas I can work on. This helps me with my mental health or physical health [and] to motivate me with my daily activities. Mostly I am thankful for all of my Peak Program coaches and volunteers as they do a lot for us so I am quite thankful for that.”

- Jordan MacLeod, SOA-Calgary athlete

Health Messenger

Health Messengers continue to motivate athletes across the province through their projects like Damion Chiodo who is keeping us up to date on how to stay healthy through his podcast Accessible Athletics.


Coaches are the catalysts for athlete development. They provide athletes with the tools to learn their sport, the motivation to help them train, the inspiration to help them succeed, and the resources to be all they can be. Our coaches are inspirational, inclusive, role models who are building a bright future for individuals with intellectual disabilities.


Coaches enrolled in virtual
SO NCCP training

“Seeing the true love and enjoyment of the athletes being able to do the sports they love and the honest appreciation they have for it,” says Todd. “Being able to be a part of giving them the opportunity to do these sports and building amazing friendships is very rewarding.”

- Todd Mitchell, SOA-Edmonton coach

Marie Powell

Marie Powell was recognized for her contributions to Special Olympics over the last year as she was awarded the Special Olympics North America Community Outstanding Coach Award in April 2022. The Alberta, Canada–based coach was nominated for her efforts in coaching snowshoeing, but she also excels at coaching athletics. The award, given by Special Olympics North America (SONA), honors coaches for their contributions and efforts to enhance the lives of Special Olympics athletes.


Volunteers are the main driver for the Special Olympics movement. Over the past year they have made tremendous efforts to connect with our athletes virtually, coach them online, provide virtual training sessions, and spend a tremendous amount of hours doing whatever it takes to better the lives of our athletes.

We want to recognize milestones for our incredible volunteers: See our 2022 Volunteer Milestones


The impact of our movement this year, while different, was as powerful as ever, as athletes across the province participated in virtual programming designed to keep them connected, active, healthy, and more. Athletes utilized weekly sessions and videos on our YouTube channel to help stay in shape and socialize with athletes across Alberta.

The Excel Awards

This year we changed the playbook on our traditional awards and recognized 11 winners for 6 categories: Empowerment, Excellence, Respect, Diversity, and Inclusion, along with our Unified School Award.

The Excel Awards took place virtually on November 18, 2021 with special guest host Justin Renfrow of the Edmonton Elks. Over 500 participants tuned in to cheer on all the winners, hear from Special Olympics Alberta athlete ambassadors, listen to some amazing guest presenters and check out the halftime show featuring musical guests All in Vain.

Play Video

Digital Presence


more people followed us on social media to learn about the movement.

0 %

(Increase from 2021)
Our website was visited more than

600,000 times


Nearly 5,000 users utilized the resources on our PEAK Program website

Our movement was featured 61 times on various media outlets

Our digital footprint surged as people visited our YouTube to learn about the movement



40 more than 2021



Video Views (2,904 more than 2021)


Impressions (51,225 more than 2021)


Unique viewers

For more on the movement follow us on social media !


Total Revenues

Amount ($) Percentage
National Sponsors 345,978 25%
General Donations  104,915 8%
Government of Canada  368,994 27%
Government of Alberta 123,275 9%
Law Enforcement Torch Run 70,054 5%
Events 10,577 1%
Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commision 194,243 14%
Foundations 64,563 5%
Motionball 96,893 7%
Other Revenue 5,150 0.4%
Total 1,384,642

Total Expenses

 Amount ($)Percentage
Sport and Programs259,06420%
Unified Sport School Programs103,3818%
Provincial Games54,9694%
Team Alberta4380%
Affiliate Services408,78932%
Fund Development187,43015%
Fund Development – Affiliate Sharing60,6915%
Law Enforcement Torch Run63,4855%
Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission2,3710.2%

PEAK Program

The PEAK (Provincial Exercise and Activity Knockout) Program is a virtual program that ran three times over the past year in eight week intervals. Each week, athletes were challenged to hit their selected fitness goals, attend three virtual sessions for your body, your mind, and your health, complete their BINGO card, participate in bonus events, and a variety of fun activities.

The program also ran in a non-digital format called the PEAK Paper Program for athletes without access to the internet.

“I would just like to encourage all of my friends to join PEAK to exercise and do online activities. We get to do Zoom classes with volunteers that all have a lot of knowledge for eating healthy and also the online workout are awesome! So, I hope you guys can decide to join.”

– Laura Lapeare, SOA Calgary athlete

Peak Numbers

Over 400,000 total minutes of activity tracked by climbers


Trips completed to the PEAK




Sessions hosted


Total posts in the PEAK FB Group

0 %

Average engagement rate for posts



Total post comments


Total post reactions


Total post engagements


Athletes from more than 140 communities across Alberta returned to sports and events through grassroots community programs. Over this past year some exciting things returned that were hosted to promote inclusion and the abilities of our athletes.

Metro Unified Jamboree

On May 31, 423 students from 21 high schools in Edmonton and area took part in the third Metro Unified Jamboree at Bellerose Composite High School in St. Albert. High school students with and without intellectual disabilities played together on the same team in basketball, bocce, and bean-bag toss. The event was hosted by Metro Athletics in partnership with ASAA and Special Olympics Alberta.

Calgary Golf Classic

On June 20th, 104 members and supporters of the SOA-Calgary came together to golf at the Winston Golf Course for the annual Golf Classic.

SOA-Calgary Track & Field Meet

Over 20 athletes from the SOA-Calgary Intermediate Athletics program participated in a track meet to celebrate the end of their program. The events included 100m dash, 4×4 100m relay, long jump, and shot put.


Alberta Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) continued their commitment to raising funds and awareness for our athletes virtually, staying connected through events like Polar Plunge and programs like PEAK.

#FreezinForAReason happened for the 11th year here in Alberta with our 2022 Virtual Polar Plunge. We were able to spread our reach across the province with plungers ranging from Medicine Hat to Grande Prairie taking part online with creative and exciting plunges.

Polar Bear Lair

170 brave individuals took the plunge to raise over $88,000 for Special Olympics Alberta. It was amazing to see the creativity of the 62 plungers who submitted videos for our Polar Bear Lair.


Brave individuals took the plunge


Over $88,000 raised


Videos Submitted for our Polar Bear Lair.

“I have met many great people and had experiences with athletes, volunteers, and members that I would not trade for anything,” says Brad. “I see how our work benefits the athletes and our community and will always strive to make sure that continues to happen.”

- Brad Cotmen, Chair of the Central Region

Justin Sitler

One of the shining achievements of the last year was Special Olympics Alberta-Camrose athlete Justin Sitler winning the 2021 LETR International Athlete of the Year! The award recognizes outstanding Special Olympics Athletes who have contributed to the success of the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Justin continues to be an incredible supporter of LETR events in both his community and at the provincial level including getting #FreezinForAReason at last year’s Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Alberta!


On behalf of all of our athletes across the province who are set to return to in-person programming this fall, we would like to thank our partners and donors who make it all possible.

Thank you to the generous donors who are helping make our return to sports a reality!

Thank you!


Thank you!

Tim Hortons

Thank you!


Thank you!


© Copyright 2023 Special Olympics Alberta

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