2019 Annual Report
Special Olympics Alberta uses sport to reveal the full potential of individuals with intellectual disabilities. The transformation and empowerment of our athletes is a catalyst for social change making healthier, stronger, and more inclusive schools. cultures, and communities.
More athletes reached on a community level in 2019
More coaches signed up to teach athletes the fundamentals of sport
More student athletes participated in Unified Sports through our partnership with Alberta Schools’ Athletics Association (ASAA)
athletes across the province
More people we told our story to through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
Interactions on our posts, 51k more than in 2018
|a) Government of Canada||253,020||15%|
|b) Government of Alberta||178,779||10%|
|Law Enforcement Torch Run||124,752||7%|
|Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission||289,952||17%|
|Sport Program and Events||210,978||12%|
|Unified Sport Programs||65,827||4%|
|Law Enforcement Torch Run||99,814||6%|
|Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission||82,158||5%|
From the age of two athletes can participate in Special Olympics Alberta programs. Active Start and FUNdamentals is offered to Young Athletes and focuses 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.
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.
“I continue to be involved because I find Special Olympics extremely inspiring and incredibly rewarding. It is a supportive organization that welcomes everyone and fosters a sense of family, belonging, and respect. I admire that it build confidence and self-esteem in our athletes and is
– Marie Powell
Volunteers drive the Special Olympics movement. They organize events, support fundraising efforts, provide sessions for athletes, and advocate for inclusion, among the hundreds of invaluable things they do to better the lives of SOA athletes.
We want to recognize milestones for our incredible volunteers
Athletes from 140 communities across Alberta participate in 26 affiliate or community programs. Our community now includes 58 schools who Play Unified across the province.
Community Spotlight: Medicine Hat
Medicine Hat is a community that is always thriving. Their numbers are up again increasing their athlete total by an impressive 50%! They have recruited and developed a new Affiliate Management Committee that is thriving. They are always committed to fundraising whether it is a local event or a national campaigns and are willing to try new events. This year they implemented their Young Athletes program through an innovative partnership with a local Disability Sport Group and they now already have the largest in the province.
motionball swept the province this year as the University of Calgary, Alberta, and Lethbridge each hosted a Marathon of Sport. Nearly 200 people came together to raise $14,465 in the three events in support of the Special Olympics movement.
“motionball is truly such a fantastic program because so many university students have the passion and the drive to create change, but don’t know where to start. This event really lets us connect students to the Special Olympics movement and lets them see firsthand why it’s so important.” – Emma Wolowski, Event Director
Health Athletes is a global program designed to educate athletes on healthy lifestyle choices. Our first community-based Healthy Athletes screening took place in Calgary, as Dr. Carly McMorris and Stephanie Howe hosted FUNfitness and Strong Minds sessions to over 70 athletes. It marks the start of an effort in the province to make Healthy Athletes and reach more communities.
From February 8 to 10, we were inspired by over 700 athletes that came together from Alberta, Saskatchewan, and N.W.T. to compete in 7 winter sports at the incredibly successful 2019 Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games in Calgary. Together we celebrated strength, sport, and spirit and a Special Olympics Commemorative Cauldron will stand outside of the Winsport Centre in honour of the impact these Games had on the Special Olympics community.
11 athletes, 2 coaches, 3 LETR officers, and 1 mission staff represented Alberta as members of Team Canada at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi from March 14-21. Alberta athletes earned a total of 27 medals (18 gold, 7 silver, and 2 bronze) in 10-pin bowling, bocce, golf, rhythmic gymnastics, powerlifting, and swimming.
Law Enforcement Torch Run
The Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) is the largest public awareness and grassroots fundraising organization for Special Olympics globally.
Cops, Pops & Pizza is an annual LETR event where law enforcement officers partner with Boston Pizza to serve patrons with money raised going to support local Special Olympics programs.
Lacombe has embraced Cops, Pops & Pizza and for Jeff Hewitt, having the community involved is the reason why it is the hallmark event in the province.
“The Lacombe community is extremely generous and supportive and the event is always a success. When I approached Boston Pizza this year about the event they were looking for additional ways to give back. They are hoping to make coupons which they would sell ahead of the event.”
– Jeff Hewitt
On behalf of over 3,300 athletes with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics programs throughout the province, we would like to thanks our incredible partners for strengthening the movement.