Community

'An opportunity to make a direct impact’

Langley Special Olympics coach and fundraising co-ordinator Robin Foss (left) and Special Olympian Jennifer Burton at the Special Olympics fundraiser hosted by Aldor Acres on Aug. 24. - Harry Hunt/Black Press
Langley Special Olympics coach and fundraising co-ordinator Robin Foss (left) and Special Olympian Jennifer Burton at the Special Olympics fundraiser hosted by Aldor Acres on Aug. 24.
— image credit: Harry Hunt/Black Press

Special Olympics in Langley have been providing persons with intellectual disabilities opportunities to enrich their lives and celebrate personal achievements by enabling positive sports experiences for many years now.

It’s their core mandate and has been an ongoing success, thanks to their many supporters and volunteers in the community.

Special Olympian Jennifer Burton can attest to this fact as she has been involved in the Langley chapter’s sports activities for 20 years now.

Burton, whose favourite sports event is softball, went to the national championships at UBC in July of this year. She was accompanied by Robin Foss, who plays an integral role as a coach for Burton’s team.

Foss, who also coaches rhythmic gymnastics, Active Start and fundamentals for the chapter, is also the fundraising co-ordinator for Langley’s Special Olympics chapter.

The two women were also at a fundraiser for the chapter held at Aldor Acres farm in Glen Valley on Aug. 24.

Foss wears many hats for the chapter but it’s a personally rewarding and enriching experience for the young woman. As it is for the many other coaches and program volunteers who help make the program work here in Langley.

As volunteer co-ordinator Sharla Mauger says, “Volunteering with Special Olympics BC Langley is an opportunity for you to make a direct impact on the quality of life of individuals with intellectual disabilities and make a meaningful contribution within your own community.”

The Langley chapter offers a wide range of sports disciplines to participants, including Active Start/Fundamentals, youth and five-pin bowling, floor hockey, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, basketball, curling, golf, soccer, track and field, bocce, fitness, power lifting and softball.

All of this is only possible due to the kind support of individuals, community groups, and the chapter’s fundraising activities. Of course, as a grassroots, volunteer-based organization they also depend on people to step up and serve as coaches and program and event volunteers.

Head or assistant coaches are required to take an SOC and NCCP Coaching course within one year of accepting a position, but the costs of the courses are covered by SOBC Langley.

All volunteers are required to fill out application forms and submit to a criminal record check, as well as complete the on-line volunteer orientation which introduces the volunteers to the world of Special Olympics.

The public is also welcome to join the local executive by seeking an elected position.

If interested, please contact local co-ordinator Dick Jennens at wwwso@shaw.ca or Mauger  at sdmauger@shaw.ca or program co-ordinator Marilyn Farquhar at marilyn.f@shaw.ca.

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