Insight Summer Newsletter July 2022


1. Happy Retirement Mike!
2. In Memory of Don Steen
3. Swimming at the BC Summer Games
4. “Discover Coquitlam Sports” features Blind Tennis
5. Dragon Boating
6. In-Person Fitness Classes
7. Online Programs Continue
8. For more information

Happy Retirement Mike!

Thank you, Mike Lonergan, for your 22 years of service to the BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association as our Program Director!

Picture below of Mike at a goalball tournament.

In May 2000, Mike Lonergan joined the BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association as our Program Director. Mike came to BC Blind Sports with a background as a teacher and a High Performance Athletics Coach. Mike’s first year with BC Blind Sports included our 20th Annual Run for Light, the BC Disability Games, the BC Summer Games and also saw BC Blind Sports host Lawnbowls and Athletics Nationals. Mike has helped build many programs and worked with numerous children, youth and adults on their ambitions to participate in sport and recreation programs. Mike worked to expand our sports programs, our work in the BC Education System through our Insight Program, our work with athletes and provincial teams in a number of sports and was involved in BC Blind Sports hosting a number of national championships. Mike traveled with teams to many national and international championships as well as with BC students to Space Camp in the USA and with Canadian Blind Sports to a few IBSA Games and to the 2012 Paralympic Games. He particularly enjoyed the time he spent travelling throughout BC working with athletes, participants, and students who are blind, supporting them in their own communities.

After 22 years with BC Blind Sports, Mike retired this summer. Mike will be missed by the many athletes, participants, students, volunteers, staff, and others who he worked with.

Picture below of Mike in the background at a sports day.

Mike says it was quite a journey, and he made many friends through his work. He indicated that there were many facets of his job and that made it very interesting. He enjoyed working with students, children, youth, adults and seniors in the various BC Blind Sports programs. He appreciated learning on the job about working with people who are blind or partially sighted and thanks everyone who supported him in his role.

To recognize and celebrate Mike’s amazing work with BC Blind Sports, BC Blind Sports held a virtual retirement party on Zoom on May 31. Thank you to the many members, colleagues, and supporters who joined us to celebrate Mike’s retirement. There were a lot of great stories told during the zoom session. If you missed the retirement party and wish to send Mike a message, we would be pleased to forward it to him. You can email messages for Mike to

Mike will now take time to travel and spend more time with his family including his new granddaughter.

We wish Mike all the best for his retirement!

Picture below of Mike at a sports day

In Memory of Don Steen

The BC Blind Sports community is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Don Steen. It is with great sadness, but also incredible admiration and respect, that we acknowledge the loss of Don Steen, a man recognized for his talents as an athlete, coach and builder of BC’s and Canada’s sport community. Don passed away peacefully at home with his wife Courtney at his side on the morning of July 25th, 2022. A consummate planner, Don somehow managed to schedule his departure from this world the day after the closing of the World Athletics Championships held at Hayward Field at his alma mater, the University of Oregon.

Picture below of Don Steen.

Don played numerous roles in sport in BC, nationally and internationally and served as an athletics coach and Athletics Commissioner with BC Blind Sports for many years, he also served as our President from 1998 through to 2000. Don was awarded the Sport BC President’s Award by BC Blind Sports in 2005 for his contribution to BC Blind Sports. Don was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 as a builder in Athletics. Here is a link to the write up.

Don Steen

A celebration of Life will be held at a later date, if you would like additional information please let us know by contacting

Swimming at the BC Summer Games

Two of our members in the sport of swimming participated in the BC Summer Games held in Prince George from July 21 to 24. Nika Najafi, B2 / S12 and Jill Sloane B1/S11. They each swam in six events and participated in two exhibition 4 X 50 meter freestyle relays. Nika medaled in the 200 IM (individual medley including 4 strokes) placing 3rd for a Bronze medal and Jill swam in the 50m freestyle placing 2nd for a silver medal, the 100 m butterfly placing 3rd for a Bronze, and the 100m backstroke receiving a bronze medal. Nika and Jill also did personal best times in all of their events. Congratulation to you both!

We had excellent volunteers helping with tapping for the swimmers, Teresa Ngan, has been attending practices with Jill and Nika for the past eight month we were pleased to have her join us. We also had Barb Schuster from Victoria a retired Orientation & Mobility Specialist, and Denise and Drew Pederson, mother and daughter team from Prince George join us. Each swimmer requires two tappers, one at each end of the pool. Thank you to these volunteers for giving us their time and commitment to this past weekend to help out.

Picture below is of Teresa tapping Jill and Nika at the far end of the pool in their warmup session.

Picture below is of Denise is tapping Jill and Barb is tapping Nika at the starting end of the pool in their warm up session.

“Discover Coquitlam Sports” features Blind Tennis

On Saturday, Aug. 20 from 1pm to 3pm at the North Field #6 in Town Centre Park (1299 Pinetree Way I Coquitlam) come and discover what Coquitlam’s many sports organizations have to offer. Test your skills • Try out tennis as Kiyo our tennis coach will be there to show you the equipment and let you try out blind tennis. There will be many other new things to check out and you can also enjoy a free slushie!

For more information about tennis opportunities, please contact Susan at the BC Blind Sports office or on email at

Dragon Boating

This season we had four dragon boat teams up and running, Fort Langley team Ex-Sighted, Sonar Dragons in Kelowna, and Dragons In Sight and Vision Impossible both in Vancouver.

Both Vancouver teams participated in the Concord Pacific Festival in June and came away with medals, Dragons In Sight winning a Bronze and Vision Impossible winning a Silver. Congratulations to both teams.

We will have a team in the Steveston Festival, August 20th and in the Fall Classic, September 24th, hosted by the Dragon Zone Paddling club. The Sonar team will participate in the Penticton Festival on Sept 10th. Our Fort Langley team is not doing any festivals this year but will stay active training on the water will be ready for next season.

In-Person Fitness Classes

Our in person programs are designed to help build on your goals of keeping active. The program will help with body movement, balance, strength and endurance with your individual level in mind. All classes are for all adult members at all levels of fitness Theses classes can be a regular class for you or a drop in. It is your choice.

Come Join us for the fitness and meet up with old friends and build new friends. If you are interested all you need to do is be a member with BC Blind Sports and register with Susan by emailing

Kelowna Fitness

Our new in person class is now running in Kelowna, if you or someone you know in the Kelowna area might be interested in trying it out email or call the office at 1877-604-8638 and we will get you in touch with Cindy.

Cindy is excited to work with you and is looking forward to seeing how this exercise/training translates to helping you while having fun and keeping active. The classes are held on Thursday mornings. Cindy, is a certified fitness instructor with BCRPA, and is certificate in Health Coaching. She also does our on line dryland and fitness program on Monday evening, paddles (dragon boat) and helps coach the Sonar Dragon’s team in Kelowna

Chilliwack – In person Chair Yoga

We are now looking for a new Yoga/fitness instructor for the Chilliwack group as Candice has moved to Vancouver. As soon as we have an Instructor in place we will re open the program. In the mean time, Candice will continue to do our online program.


In Person Fitness with Brian in Nanaimo is up and running at the Bowen Recreation Centre on Monday afternoons.

Please note that in person fitness schedules may change so please contact if you are interested in joining

Online Programs Continue

We will be continuing our online programs as they have proven to be a wonderful success.

These programs have made it possible for those in remote and local areas to join in and be active. For some they are learning more about getting to know their bodies and their body movement and for some it’s about getting a workout and keeping active. Members have reconnected with old friends and created new friends.

If you would like to join in the fun contact Susan at the office at 604-325-8638 or email

Schedule – Online Classes:

Chair Yoga with Candice – Sundays and Thursdays
Dragon Boat Fitness with Cindy – Monday evening
Fitness with Brian – Wednesday afternoon and Thursdays evening
BC Blind Sports Active Living Network – Meets once every 4 to 5 weeks.

For more information:

For information on any of our programs, please email or call the office at 604-325-8638 or 1-877-604-8638.

Jane, David, Linda and Susan
BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association