Insight Newsletter – October 2020

Inside this Issue:

  • BC Blind Sports Annual General Meeting
  • Two BC Athletes on the Long List for CBSA Goalball Team
  • BC Blind Sports Executive Director, Jane Blaine, Recognized by the BC Sports Hall of Fame
  • Sports Returning to Play
  • Dragon Boat – Dryland Training with Cindy
  • Virtual Fitness with Brian
  • Fundraising through Giftwrapping

1. BC Blind Sports Annual General Meeting

Thank you to everyone who attended our virtual AGM.

The Nominating Committee Report was circulated to all members.
The organization thanked Darren Douma for his service on the board over the past number of years, Darren is leaving the board but we are sure he will be back someday. He will remain as our Sport Commissioner for Golf, and our representative to BC Golf.

Two new members are joining the board, Nancy Leung and Carolyn Gunn, both were welcomed by the existing board and membership.

Nancy is from Burnaby and has been involved with BC Blind Sports through her son who is blind and has taken part in many of our programs. Nancy has worked with our junior and provincial goalball teams as well as being one of the managers for the Dragons Insight team.

Carolyn is from Nanaimo and has been involved with organizing our Seniors Fitness program in Nanaimo for a number of years. She is active in recruiting new members as well as volunteers. She volunteers in her community and has served on boards with organizations in the blind community as well as with other organizations.

2. Two BC Athletes on the Long List for CBSA Goalball Team

Two BC Athletes on the Long List for the Canadian Blind Sports Goalball Team which will compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games (in 2021)

On September 28, James Thompson, Canadian Blind Sports High Performance Director, announced the long list for the upcoming Paralympic Games – Tokyo 2020.

He also said that between now and the final selection announcement on the 24th May 2021, all the athletes will be working hard to earn their spot on the team to represent Canada at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

With only six spots available on the team to Tokyo 2020, competition for places will be high.

The Long List is as follows:
1. Abeer Hammad (AB)
2. Amy Burk (ON)
3. Brieann Baldock (AB)
4. Emma Reinke (ON)
5. Genevieve Hart (ON)
6. Haley Olinyk (BC)
7. Maryam Salehizadeh (BC)
8. Meghan Mahon (AB)
9. Tiana Knight (AB)
10. Whitney Bogart (ON)

Congratulations and Good luck Haley and Maryam!

3. BC Blind Sports Executive Director, Jane Blaine, Recognized by the BC Sports Hall of Fame

Jane Blaine has been awarded the Eric Whitehead Inspired Service Award by the BC Sports Hall of Fame. The announcement came during the Hall’s virtual Annual Summit held on Sept. 18, 2020.

The award, given annually in partnership with the BC Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, recognizes “inspired service in and to sport in B.C.”

Jane has been involved in programming, education and administration of para and blind sport for over 40 years. Through her work with BC Blind Sports, her experience covers all stages of participation from beginning movement in infants, early motor learning, development of fundamental movement skills, PE, competition, high performance, and promotion of sport for a lifetime and healthy active lifestyles.

Jane is also the CEO of Canadian Blind Sports. She is co-author of our parent’s resource ‘Encouraging Physical Activity for Preschoolers with Visual Impairment’ as well as “Being a Sport Guide”; both published by BC Blind Sports. She was also instrumental in the development of a “Pathway in Sport and Physical Activity for Canadians who are Blind” showing how individuals who are blind or partially sighted enter physical activity and move through the stages of long term athlete/participant development in sport and physical activity.

Since 2009 Jane has served as the Sport Technical Committee Chairperson with World Para Swimming (formerly IPC Swimming) (under the International Paralympic Committee), and since 2002 on the Sport Technical Committee of the International Blind Sports Federation. She volunteers with various disability groups and community organizations including Sport Ability BC (Cerebral Palsy Sports Association of BC. Jane’s values include ensuring programs and systems are fun, safe, inclusive, ethically sound, equitable, and based on participant input and available evidence.

In Jane’s acceptance speech she recognized the athletes, participants, volunteers, families, staff, and board members she has had the privilege to work with over the years as well as acknowledging how much she continues to learn from everyone involved in BC Blind Sports.

CONGRATULATIONS JANE on receiving this award!!! Your dedication, commitment and extensive contributions to sport and disability sport in BC as well as at the national and international levels is truly appreciated.

4. Sports Returning to Play

Please note you must register with a staff person from BC Blind Sports prior to coming to a program. We are excited to announce that the following sports have returned:

  • GOALBALL – practices will continue on Sunday nights 7pm to 9pm.
  • HOCKEY – will continue every Friday from 11:15 to 12:30pm.
  • TENNIS – practices are now on Wednesdays from 2pm to 3:30pm and requires specific instruction on registering and signing in and out. There is online registration or in person registration at the community centre. All participants must check in with the community centre and provide contact information.

For information on what you need to know to participate or how to register in any of these sports, please contact Mike Lonergan at the office 604-325-8638 or email him at and he will give you the details you need to get back in the game. Information on return to sport is also available on our website.

5. Dragon Boat – Dryland Training with Cindy

This is open to all members of our dragon boat teams

This program has been put together to reunite team members and keep building on your technique and if all goes well get ready to start a new season next spring. Cindy has coached the Sonar Dragons team in Kelowna, is a certified fitness instructor with BCRPA, and is certificate in Health Coaching.

This class is for all levels of dragon boaters. This is a team sport and every seat is important. Imagine how much stronger your team will be if you improved your technique, strength, flexibility and Cardio during the off season. Cindy is excited to work with you and can’t wait to see how this training translates to a win in a race.

Come Join us for the dryland training on Monday evenings from 7:30pm to 8:30pm through Zoom. All you need to do is reply by 4pm on Mondays and she will put you on the Zoom Invitation list. The zoom invite will be sent out by 6pm each Monday evening.

Paddles Up!!!!

6. Virtual Fitness with Brian

Everyone is invited to join us in the Fun and Fitness Class with Brian, we are now offering 2 classes on Wednesdays, at 2pm and at 7pm. If you would like to join one or both of these programs contact BCBSRA and Susan will put you on the invite list. Once on the list, we will keep you on the list and you will receive invites for both classes, unless you notify us otherwise. Invites for the 2pm class will be sent by 12 noon and the 7pm class will receive invites by 5pm every Wednesday.

Classes will be approximately 40 min and we will have a water break at about the 20 min mark. Also please have a sturdy chair to sit on.

For questions or problems with Zoom please contact Susan on her Cell phone at 604-790-4174 as she may be doing the Zoom call remotely from outside of the office. We look forward to hearing from you to join our Fun and Fitness Class.

7. Fundraising through Giftwrapping

As many of you know, we raised funds over the past 13 years by providing volunteers to operate the giftwrapping booth at Oakridge Centre. Oakridge is going through a building phase and renovations and many of the stores have closed until the fall of 2024 in order to speed up the renovation process. We greatly appreciate the support of the Oakridge customers and management over the past 13 years as well as the many volunteers who supported our operation there. To all of you who volunteered and/or supported us by bringing gifts to be wrapped and making contributions in the past at Oakridge Centre in our Festive Season Gift Wrapping Booth, we couldn’t’ have done it without you! The funds we raised helped us to deliver a number of sport and physical activity programs through BC Blind Sports.

Last year we had a giftwrapping booth at Tsawwassen Mills mall in Tsawwassen. The management team has invited us back for the 2020 holiday season, and we are preparing for giftwrapping in these COVID-19 times.

We are looking for volunteers if you are interested in coming out to Tsawwassen. We will have a protocol to deal with COVID 19 and there may be some shuttle service being offered by the Marketing Department at Tsawwassen Mills. Please consider coming out to join us and help us make our Giftwrapping Booth at Tsawwassen Mills a great success.

If you would like to volunteer or need more information, or would like to receive additional details, please contact Susan Flanagan at or Tami Grenon at

Stay Safe, Well, and Active and Connected to Us !

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