Insight Summer Newsletter July 2022

Contents

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 info@bcblindsports.bc.ca

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 info@bcblindsports.bc.ca

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 programs@bcblindsports.bc.ca

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 susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca

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 susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca 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.

Nanaimo

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 susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca 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 susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca

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 programs@bcblindsports.bc.ca or call the office at 604-325-8638 or 1-877-604-8638.

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

Try Blind Hockey program 2022

The Vancouver / Surrey Try Blind Hockey program will return on Sunday, February 20, at the North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex from 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm.

This Canadian Blind Hockey program is run in partnership with BC Blind Sports and the Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey Team. It is 100% free and is open to all local children, youth, and adults who are blind or partially sighted. All equipment will be provided as well as volunteers from the Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey Team to ensure a safe and fun experience. To register please fill out this google form: Click Here to Register for the Vancouver Try Skating and Blind Hockey Session

Canadian Blind Hockey currently runs children and youth Blind Hockey programs in Toronto, Brantford and Ottawa, and supports all-ages programs in Calgary, Halifax, New Brunswick and St John’s. We are pleased to now offer ongoing children and youth programming in the lower mainland. The North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex is located only a quick walk from the Scott Road Skytrain Station

Vancouver / Surrey Try Skating and Blind Hockey Program
North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex
10950 126A St, Surrey, BC

Sunday Feb 20
1:45 pm – 2:15 pm: Arrival – Gear Up! Skates + Equipment
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm: Try Skating & Blind Hockey with the Vancouver Eclipse

Download the Canadian Blind Hockey waiver and media release – if possible, please fill out and bring to the program. Staff will be on site with waivers for participants’ whose parents / guardians are present or who are adults.

In addition, BCBSRA will be running a Family and Learn to Skate day – February 21st at Moody Park Arena, New Westminster. Time 11am to 12pm is free skate and 12pm to 1pm stay and watch the Eclipse play an exhibition game.

Insight Newsletter – January 2022

Table of Contents:
1. Annual General Meeting 2021
2. Goalball
3. Ice Hockey
4. Tennis
5. Active Living Network For Adults
6. Online Zoom Programs
7. In Person Fitness Classes
8. Return To Sport

1. 2021 Annual General Meeting

The 2021/2022 Board Members:

President – Brian Cowie
Vice President – Elaine Todd
Treasurer – Tom Ollis
Athletes Representative – Amy Amantea
Officer at Large – Sean Heaslip
Director at Large – Bob Smith
Director at Large – Vern Short
Director at Large – Nancy Leung
Director at Large – Tami Grenon

2. Goalball

Practices for goalball are now continuing twice a week, Wednesday practices are for throwing techniques from 7:15pm to 8:15pm, and Sunday practices are full practices from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. With the new Provincial health orders you must sign in to the community Centre. If you are interested in coming out and trying goalball or want to participate and/or need further information on the protocol for attending practices please call the office and Mike will be happy to assist you. Practices are at Collingwood Neighbourhood House Community Centre, and you must show your Vaccine card when you enter their facility.

3. Ice Hockey

The Eclipse Blind Hockey Team continue to practise at the North Surrey Sports and Ice Center 10950 – 126-A Street, Surrey, near the Scott Road Sky-Train station. Our ice time is every Sunday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm. We also continue to practice every other Friday next session is Friday Jan 28st at 11:45am at Moody Park Arena in New Westminster. As we keep our programs running with all Provincial Health orders in place, please contact the office to ensure you have the right information if you are unsure.

Hockey and Learn to Skate day – February 21st at Moody Park Arena, New Westminster. Time 11am to 12pm is free skate and 12pm to 1pm stay and watch the Eclipse play an exhibition game.

Members of the Eclipse hockey team has arranged this opportunity for those who want to come out and try skating or hockey, all levels welcome, skates and helmets are available, and there is no cost for this program. Please contact Mike at the office if you would like to join the fun or need any further information.

4. Tennis

Please note the schedule for tennis is now every Tuesday from 3:30pm to 5:00pm same location Pinetree Community Centre, 1260 Pinetree Way in Coquitlam.
Please be aware that everyone participating in Blind Tennis will have to present your vaccine card and ID every single time you come to play. This is the City of Coquitlam’s policy for every adult program. For more information, please contact Susan or Mike at the BC Blind Sports office.

5. Active Living Network for Adults

We had our first meeting of 2022, with new members joining us. We did some brainstorming talking about, new potential presenters, new topics of interest for future, and possible group get together. We had discussions on accessibility of various fitness trackers and phone apps. For our virtual walking venture, our accumulated kilometres are going to go toward hiking in Brazil, including the Amazon River and other well-known hiking sites, with some stops along the way to enjoy some good food and beverages.

We hope you will come join us from your own home on zoom or by phone. The only requirement is to be or become a member of BC Blind Sports. So please spread the word and join the conversation at our next get together on February 12 at 1:00pm. Just email Susan. susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca or call the office at 604-325-8638.

Here’s, to a healthy and happy 2022,
Marilyn Rushton, Facilitator

6. Online Zoom Programs – Updated Schedule

Please see the full schedule of all our online classes below:
• Chair Yoga with Candice – Sundays 6pm and Thursdays 12pm noon
• Dragon Boat Fitness with Cindy – Monday 7pm and Tuesday 7pm
• Fitness with Brian – Wednesday 2pm and Thursdays at 7pm

7. In Person Fitness Classes

We have the go ahead to reopen in person fitness classes with restrictions.
Our Nanaimo class has started up again, with new protocols in place. We continue to work on opening a new in person class in Kelowna.
If you are interested, in either the Nanaimo class or Kelowna class, please contact the office and Susan will give you all the information you will need to join. There is no cost other than your membership to BC Blind Sports.

8. Return to Sport

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 mike@bcblindsports.bc.ca 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.

Stay safe, healthy and active
Jane, Mike, David, Susan and Linda

Insight Newsletter – December 2021

Seasons Greetings to all our Members and Supporters!

Table of Contents
1. Annual General Meeting (AGM) Reminder
2. Programs
3. Skating – try Skating and Blind Hockey in Vancouver / Surrey
4. Congratulations to the Vancouver Goalball Club!
5. Office Hours during the Holidays

1. Annual General Meeting (AGM) Reminder

Our AGM will be held on Saturday December 18th at 10:00 a.m.
The meeting will be via teleconference and/or zoom. There will be no in person attendance due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Those attending the AGM will receive the materials and Zoom link information in a separate email from susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca If you have not registered but wish to do so, please contact Susan.

If you are not attending but would like to receive the report, audited statement, or minutes from 2020, or would like to have your regrets noted, please contact Susan by email susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca .

2. Programs

Please note that there will be no programs from December 24th through to January 4th. Please check with the office for all details on program schedule and times.

3. Skating – try Skating and Blind Hockey in Vancouver / Surrey

Canadian Blind Hockey and BC Blind Sports have partnered to bring the first Children and Youth Blind Hockey Program to BC. The program takes place on a monthly basis for the rest of the season, with ice times and dates shown below. The program takes place at the North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex.

Canadian Blind Hockey are pleased to now offer ongoing children and youth programming in the lower mainland. The North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex is located only a quick walk from the Scott Road Skytrain Station

It is 100% free and is open to all local children, youth, and adults who are blind or partially sighted. All equipment will be provided as well as volunteers from the BC Blind Sports Vancouver Eclipse Blind Hockey Team to ensure a safe and fun experience. To register please fill out this google form: Click Here to Register for the Vancouver Try Skating and Blind Hockey Session

Lower Mainland Try Skating and Blind Hockey Details:

Location: North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex. 10950 126A St, Surrey, BC
Dates: Sunday Dec 19, Jan 9, Feb 20, March TBD

Times:
1:45 pm – 2:15 pm: Arrival – Gear Up! Skates + Equipment
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm: Try Skating & Blind Hockey with the Vancouver Eclipse

Skates will be supplied

Please contact the office for registration material

4. Congratulations to the Vancouver Goalball Club!

The Vancouver Goalball Club (VGC) have just returned from competing in Lisbon, Portugal at the First Goalball Clubs World Cup 2021, held November 24-27, 2021.

BC Blind Sports members Doug Ripley, John Tee and Ahmad Zeividavi, competed on the VGC team. Lisa Odland was there as an Assistant Coach.

There were six teams in total. VGC played against the Quebec Club team for the Bronze medal. Congratulation to VGC for their win November 27, 2021 in the Bronze medal game,

5. Office Hours during the Holidays

Please note that the office will close on December 27th and 28th, and there will be reduced hours on the 29th, 30th and 31st. The office will reopen on January 4, 2022.

We wish all of you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

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

Notice of the BCBSRA AGM

Notice of the BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association
Annual General Meeting and
Important Voting Information

The ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Association will be held:

At 10:00 a.m., on Saturday December 18, 2021

The meeting will be held via teleconference and/or zoom. There will be no in person attendance due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Attending by telephone or zoom– Please let us know if you will be attending the meeting, and please also confirm which email to send the dial in or link information to.
• We will circulate the dial in and link information closer to the meeting.
• To vote in the election (if applicable) – you may do so by submitting a ballot ahead of the meeting, or by email or through zoom during the meeting. Instructions will follow once nominations close.

Not Attending – you may contact us if you wish us to note your regrets.
• You may still vote in the election (if applicable), by submitting a ballot ahead of the meeting. Instructions will follow once nominations close. Please notify the office if you wish to do this and include an email address to which we can send the information and ballot.

A Call for Nominations to the Board of Directors is attached, the deadline for nominations is 4:00 p.m. on Thursday December 9, 2021. A report from the Nominating Committee (along with any applicable ballots) will be circulated to members prior to the meeting by email; and by fax or by mail to those who request it (please contact us as noted below to request fax or mail).

To RSVP regarding the AGM, or to request a copy of the Nominating Committee report or other information via mail or fax, please contact the office as follows:

Email: susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca
Phone: 1 604 321-1638
Toll Free: 1 877 604 8638

The minutes of last year’s meeting and the Constitution and Bylaws are available from the office upon request.

We look forward to your participation in the 2021 AGM. Thank you!

 

Insight Newsletter – October 2021

Table of Contents

  1. BC Blind Sports Athlete to be inducted into the BC SPORTS HALL OF FAME – JASON DELESALLE
  2. DRAGON BOAT 2021
  3. GOALBALL
  4. ICE HOCKEY – New location and schedule
  5. TENNIS
  6. ACTIVE LIVING NETWORK FOR ADULTS
  7. ONLINE ZOOM PROGRAMS – UPDATED SCHEDULE
  8. IN PERSON FITNESS CLASSES
  9. RETURN TO SPORT
  10. IN MEMERORY OF SHIRLEY SHELBY
  11. HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED A CONCUSSION?
  12. HAPPY AUTUMN

As many facilities and programs are requiring vaccine passports or other COVID protocols please check with us at the office about these requirements before starting any program.

1. BC Blind Sports Athlete to be inducted into the BC SPORTS HALL OF FAME – JASON DELESALLE

Congratulations to Jason Delesalle – Para Athletics! Jason has been selected for induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, class of 2021, as an athlete. Jason began his passion for athletics in high school in Tumbler Ridge BC. He then became involved with BC Blind Sports where he met his coach Don Steen. Through his hard work, commitment and working with Don he began competing internationally in 1990 at the World Youth Games where he won a silver medal in Javelin. He went on to compete at three Paralympic Games winning a silver medal in 1992 Barcelona, and a gold and bronze in 1996 Atlanta. He also competed and won medals at four world championships, ending with a Bronze in Discus at the IBSA World Games in Quebec City in 2003. Jason won numerous medals in Javelin, Discus and Pentathlon in all levels of competition. Today Jason continues his passion for athletics by coaching at the Royal City Track and Field Club in New Westminster, BC

Jason Delesalle throwing the discus
Photo showing Jason DeleSalle throwing discus from a throwing circle into a large grassy field.

https://bcsportshall.com/2021/10/07/announcement-day-bc-sports-hall-of-fame-reveals-class-of-2021-selections/

https://www.paralympic.org/jason-delesalle

Congratulations Jason!

2. DRAGON BOAT 2021

Congratulations to everyone for a great season of Dragon Boating. Two of our 5 dragon boat teams were able to return to training and competition this summer. Dragons Insight and Vision Impossible returned facing the challenges of COVID protocols, and made it work with ease and no fuss.

An article written by Dragon Boat volunteer Paul Mak:

The morning sun rose over False Creek. It was a beautiful Race Day, sunny with patches of cloud  and not too hot. Thousand of spectators and the dragon boat teams converged onto the race site for a day of exciting races.

The two BC Blind Sports teams (Dragons Insight and Vision Impossible) gathered around their tents, visibly excited, smiling, chatting and ready. The last few weeks of training had invigorated them from the relative inactivity of the past year. Everyone, the old and the new paddlers alike, could not wait to jump onto the boat and start paddling.

Race after race, they resolved to work hard and were determined to give it their all. Strong in the competition, both teams – Dragons Insight and Vision Impossible – reached, pulled and stroked their way to the finish line every race. Well done, paddlers, steers and callers who worked hard. We are so proud of you. Have a well-deserved break, we’ll see you next season.

Reminder – If you want to stay fit during the off season – check out the information below about the twice weekly virtual dragon boat fitness sessions.

3. GOALBALL

Practices for goalball are now continuing twice a week, Wednesday practices are for throwing techniques from 7:15pm to 8:15pm, and Sunday practices are full practices from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. If you are interested in coming out and trying goalball or wanting to volunteer please contact Mike at the office and he will give you the information you need. Practices are at Collingwood Neighbourhood House Community Centre, and you must show your Vaccine card when you enter their facility.

4. ICE HOCKEY – New location and schedule.

The Eclipse Blind Hockey Team has a new training and a new ice time! We are now at the new accessible facility, the North Surrey Sports and Ice Center near the Scott Road Sky-Train station. Our ice time is every Sunday from 4:45pm to 5:45pm with the exceptions of a couple of dates.

We also continue to practice every other Friday at Moody Park Arena in New Westminster. If you are interested in trying blind hockey, learning to skate, or just to come watch us play, please contact Graham at gfoxcroft11@gmail.com for more information!

Our New Training Venue: North Surrey Sports and Ice Center
10950 – 126-A Street, Surrey, B.C. V3V 0E5

Day and time: Every Sunday 4:45pm-5:45pm

Thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you on the ice!

5. TENNIS

Please note the schedule for tennis is now every Tuesday from 3:30pm to 5:00pm same location Pinetree Community Centre, 1260 Pinetree Way in Coquitlam.

Please be aware that everyone participating in Blind Tennis will have to present your vaccine card and ID every single time you come to play. This is the City of Coquitlam’s policy for every adult program. For more information please contact Susan or Mike at the BC Blind Sports office.

6. ACTIVE LIVING NETWORK FOR ADULTS

The BC Active Living Network program provided by BC Blind Sports is back in action after the long, hot summer! The purpose of this dynamic group of individuals is to encourage and motivate each other to enjoy a more active lifestyle. Along with contributing to the weekly totals of our combined steps and kilometres, we meet every few weeks on Zoom for presentations on health and wellness topics chosen by group members. Here is a summary of the last two meetings and a sneak peek into the future:

  • On August 16, BC Blind Sports Executive Director, Jane Blaine gave an informative presentation on Body Awareness. Jane explained the relationships between various bones, muscles, and joints, and helped us to understand common terms often illustrated only as pictures. Jane also answered many questions put forward by group members.
  • On October 5, Physiotherapist Derek Monkman gave a great talk on hiking skills. Derek explained that good balance is key to staying safe on unfamiliar or uneven terrain and introduced us to several exercises for improving balance. Derek has since created a great document describing these exercises so we can practice them on our own time.

Here is what is on tap for upcoming meetings, dates, and times still to be determined:

  • Jane Blaine has offered to share her experience at the recent Tokyo Paralympic Games, and will be distributing a “cheat sheet” on her Body Awareness presentation.
  • Derek Monkman has offered to chat with us again about balance, fall prevention, and any other topics of interest.
  • A presentation by a respirologist on better breathing techniques is in the planning stages.
  • When COVID protocols allow, Jane has offered to lead us in an in-person session where group members will have an opportunity to touch a plastic skeleton to understand more about joints, muscles, and bones.

Throughout the autumn and winter, we will be applying our accumulated kilometres to a walking tour across our beautiful country, learning more about the provinces and places along our route through members’ experiences and research. We started in BC and have walked almost 6,500 kilometres since May, and we will attempt to determine our current location at our November meeting.

If you enjoy being active, have ideas to share, and wish to learn more about health and wellness, this group is for you!

If you would like to sign up, contact Susan at susan@bcblindsports.ca

7. ONLINE ZOOM PROGRAMS – UPDATED SCHEDULE

The time for the Dragon Boat Fitness training on Monday nights has been changed, it will now start at 7pm and run until 8pm. Please see the full schedule of all our online classes below:

· Chair Yoga with Candice – Sundays 6pm and Thursdays 12pm noon
· Dragon Boat Fitness with Cindy – Monday 7pm and Tuesday 9:30am
· Fitness with Brian – Wednesday 2pm and Thursdays at 7pm

8. IN PERSON FITNESS CLASSES

We are re opening our in-person fitness classes with Brian in Nanaimo, the classes will be held at the Nanaimo Lawn Bowling club, we hope to have this program starting in November.

We are in the process of opening a light fitness class in the Kelowna area starting in November. If you are interested, please contact the office and Susan will give you all the information you will need to join. There is no cost other than your membership to BC Blind Sports.

9. RETURN TO SPORT

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 mike@bcblindsports.bc.ca 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.

10. IN MEMORY OF SHIRLEY SHELBY

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Shirley Shelby on Tuesday, August 24th, 2021. Shirley was Ontario Blind Sports Association’s (OBSA) past president and an iconic figure in the world of blind sports.

11. HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED A CONCUSSION?

If you have experienced a concussion, please help Canadian Blind Sports out with their research into concussions in athletes who are blind or partially sighted.

The Concussion in Blind and Visually Impaired Athletes research project is looking for participants to complete an online, anonymous survey on concussion and vision impairments. Eligible participants are athletes or retired athletes diagnosed with a vision impairment or blindness currently competing or have competed in the provincial, national, or high-performance level who have sustained at least one concussion. This research is being conducted to progress knowledge and understanding of how athletes who are blind or visually impaired experience concussion.

The deadline for survey submission is November 1, 2021.

Before starting the survey, please read the recruitment letter and information letter. Prior to the survey, the link below contains an online consent form that must be completed before starting the survey.

Link to online consent form and Survey: https://quark.uwaterloo.ca/redcap/surveys/?s=CENEJKJW3X

12. HAPPY AUTUMN

With Autumn upon us, we hope you stay safe and enjoy all your activities whether they are indoors or outdoors.

Stay safe, healthy and active

Jane, Mike, David, Susan and Linda
BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association
#606 – 4980 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4K7
Tel: 604-325-8638 Toll Free: 1-877-604-8638
Fax: 604-325-1638
Email: susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca
Web Site: www.bcblindsports.bc.ca
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Insight Newsletter – June 2021

In this Issue:

  1. Six goalball athletes named to Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team, including MARYAM SALEHIZADEH of BC.
  2. Dragon Boating
  3. Tennis
  4. Return To Play Updates
  5. Virtual Classes – No Class July 1
  6. BC Blind Sports Active Living Network For Adults
  7. Deafblind Awareness Month
  8. In Memory of
  9. Have an active SUMMER!

1. Six goalball athletes named to Tokyo 2020 Canadian Paralympic Team, including MARYAM SALEHIZADEH of BC.

The Canadian women’s goalball team is preparing to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games this summer. The Paralympic Games take place August 24 to September 5, 2021. Congratulations to everyone selected to the team:

Brieann Baldock – Edmonton, AB
Whitney Bogart – Marathon, ON
Amy Burk – Charlottetown, PEI
Meghan Mahon – Timmins, ON
Emma Reinke – St. Thomas, ON
Maryam Salehizadeh – Vancouver, BC

Maryam Salehizadeh wears number one and plays the position of right wing for the Canadian women’s goalball team. She has been a member of the team since 2019 and made her Canadian debut at the 2019-Para pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. Salehizadeh has a bachelor’s degree in physical education and sports management.

The team secured a spot for the 2020 Paralympic Games when China defeated South Korea in the semifinals at the Asia-Pacific Championships in Chiba, Japan in December 2019.

Canada is a four-time Paralympic medallist in the sport of goalball, with the women’s team earning back-to-back gold medals in 2000 and 2004 as well as a silver in 1984, and the men’s squad securing a silver in 1996.

GO CANADA!

image of Canadian Flag
(image of the Canadian flag)

2. DRAGON BOATING

On June 28, 2021, the Dragon Zone Society will begin dragon boat operations under version 4 of its COVID protocols, with strict capacity guidelines, contact tracing requirements, and distancing requirements. Click here to preview Phase 4 Protocols

BC Blind Sports is preparing to have boats in the water by early to mid July by following all Dragon Boat club protocols. Some of the protocols include only ten paddlers in the boat along with the Steers person and coach, and all participants must wear masks on the boat.

BC Blind Sports teams will be made up of the following, Any team of 20 must have an approximate ratio of 7 to 12 blind or partially sighted members and a team of 10 must have an approximate ratio of 4 to 6 team members. The balance will be sighted volunteer paddlers.

Please contact Susan at the office for more details on how we can get your team back in the water.

3. TENNIS

The summer session of tennis will be on Friday’s starting July 2 from 3:30pm – 5:00pm. Please contact the office to register for this program, as we need to make sure there is enough room for players.

4. RETURN TO PLAY UPDATES

Goalball, hockey, lawn bowling and tennis continue to operate. We continue to follow the Provincial Health orders with all programs. All programs require you to register with a staff person at BC Blind Sports prior to attending a program.

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 mike@bcblindsports.bc.ca 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.

There are also activities for all age groups to try available on our website.

5. VIRTUAL CLASSES – NO Class July 1

PLEASE NOTE There will be no Chair Yoga or Fitness with Brian on Thursday July 1 Canada Day.

6. BC BLIND SPORTS ACTIVE LIVING NETWORK FOR ADULTS

We are “Rockin and Walkin!” Yes, the BC Blind Sports Active Living Network for Adults is on the move! Ever wanted to embark on a no-cost cross-Canada adventure? Well, here is your chance! The BCBSRA ALNA virtual cross-Canada tour has just begun. If you would like to move more, laugh a lot and learn about different places across our beautiful country, this dynamic and fun-loving group is for you!

Our second meeting will take place over Zoom next Monday, July 5th at 1:00 PM. Cindy a certified fitness instructor from BC Blind Sports will be presenting on the topic of posture, as requested by Network members at our last meeting.

To join the Network or to get more info, please email Susan at susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca or Marilyn at: mrushton@shaw.ca

Hope to see you at our July 5 meeting,

Marilyn Rushton.

7. DEAFBLIND AWARENESS MONTH

BC Blind Sports joined many of our members and the deafblind community in celebrating Deafblind Awareness Month in June. A person who is deafblind experiences life in a unique way, separate from the way a person who is only blind or only deaf may experience.

June is designated as Deafblind Awareness Month. June is the birth month of Helen Keller, one of the most internationally recognized people with deafblindness.

Members of the deafblind community in BC joined a global awareness campaign to build awareness about people who are deafblind and engage in “yarn bombing” or tactile art installations across Canada through the month of June.

Yarn bombing is an activity that takes knitted, crocheted or loomed pieces of yarn and attaches them to objects or structures in public places as a form of street art to build awareness.

Additional information about Deafblind Awareness week and deafblindness is available at:

Thanks to the Canadian Deafblind Association – British Columbia (CDBABC), for the background information for this article. CDBABC is one of our partner organizations in the community.

8. IN MEMORY OF

It is with sadness we bring you the news of three members who have passed away.

John Bell passed on March 30 and Evelyn Bell passed on April 29th – John and his wife Evelyn were Lawn Bowls officials and Directors in our program. John attended many provincial, national and international competitions. John was very committed to our programs and he served on many committees, helped organized competitions and promoted BC Blind Sports programs at all levels. To learn more about John and Evelyn please see their obituaries. Our condolences to John and Evelyn’s family.

Robert (Bob) Comba passed on June 10th, Bob was a competitive golfer and a competitive curler. Bob was always promoting the sports he loved and wanted everyone to experience the joy of competitions. Bob helped bring golf to the level it is today for those who are blind or partially sighted. He was a big promotor of golf and curling and would help in any way he could. Bob’s obituary can be found here. We send our condolence to his wife Barb and family.

9. Have an active SUMMER!

Wishing you all a fun filled safe and active SUMMER, and don’t forget to check out the activities on our website.

From all of us at BC Blind Sports
Stay Safe, Active, and Connected to us!

Insight Newsletter – May 28, 2021

In this Issue:

  1. NEW WEB SITE AND FACEBOOK LAUNCHED
  2. INSIGHT IN SCHOOLS
  3. BC ACTIVE LIVING NETWORK FOR ADULTS, OUR NEWEST VIRTUAL PROGRAM
  4. AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL
  5. ATHLETICS – FROM, CBC ABOUT A RUNNER WHO IS BLIND
  6. BLIND ICE HOCKEY FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH
  7. TENNIS
  8. MEMBERSHIP 2021 – 2022
  9. KEEP ACTIVE AND STAY SAFE

 

1. NEW WEB SITE AND FACEBOOK LAUNCHED

As we continue to do more work on our website, we are pleased to have launched a new look and feel. Please check it out here! One of the new and exciting additions is that you can now apply and pay for your new or renewed membership online.

2. INSIGHT IN SCHOOLS

Last year’s virtual sports day program was a wonderful success with students from all ages and through out the province participating. This year we hope to reach even more students and communities. We will again sponsor a virtual sports day for all interested.

The outline is on our website as well as available through PRCVI’s site, along with 8 weeks of motor skill development ideas, 2020’s version is still up as well.

We continue to work with the vision teachers and be in frequent contact with schools for personal consultations to assist and promote students to be physically active.

Adult are welcome to try these activities and have some fun as well, see the article below on An Opportunity for All.

Please contact Mike at 604-325-8638 anytime for further information

3. BC ACTIVE LIVING NETWORK FOR ADULTS, OUR NEWEST VIRTUAL PROGRAM

SAVE THE DATE! The BC Blind Sports Active Living Network for Adults goes live on Monday, June 7th at 2:00 PM!

Please join us on Zoom to kick-off our Virtual trip to wherever in the world we decide to go. Whether your favourite walk is around your home, your neighbourhood, or further afield, your activity will get us to our virtual location! And who knows what fun and happenings we’ll enjoy along the way! So come and help us create the plan to get us all moving more while having a blast together!

If you haven’t signed up yet, or if you are hearing about this group for the first time, please read below for all the details. In short, we will need your name, email address and phone number, and the only requirement is that you are or become a member of BC Blind Sports.

Our first virtual gathering will be an informal conversation for all participants to meet each other and share ideas to create a plan to accomplish our activity goals together. In addition, we will determine frequency of meetings as well as presentation topics to promote health and wellness through the pandemic and beyond.

There is still time to get your name on the list to receive an invitation to the June 7th meeting. You can contact either Marilyn at mrushton@shaw.ca or Susan at the office or by email susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca

So spread the word! And we hope to see you all at 2:00 PM on Monday, June 7th

This program celebrates all levels of physical activity in daily routines. There is no competition or comparison of individual achievements, and only the combined total weekly activity amount is shared with the whole group.

For more information, please see the Active Living Network section on our website.

4. AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL

Please checkout the new materials in An Opportunity for All – a virtual motor skills program appropriate for all ages.

5. ATHLETICS – FROM, CBC ABOUT A RUNNER WHO IS BLIND

Check out this CBC article and radio clip about runner Peter Field and his struggle to find guides and keep running during the pandemic.

6. BLIND ICE HOCKEY FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Canadian Blind Hockey is providing a Children and Youth Virtual Blind Hockey Camp presented by AMI and brought to you by the CNIB Foundation. The camp is free to attend and takes place on Saturday, June 5, between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm eastern. The camp is aimed at existing children and youth Blind Hockey players of all ages and at all levels of experience, as well as children and youth who are interested in joining the rapidly growing Para sport of Blind Hockey. In addition to players, children and youth volunteers, coaches, administrators, parents, etc. are all welcome to participate!

For more information please see the Canadian Blind Hockey website.

7. TENNIS

Tennis continues in a limited way as public health orders permit. It is still offered on Wednesdays from 3:30pm to 5:00pm, for information to participate or how to register, please contact Mike at the Blind Sports office 604-325-8638 or email him at mike@bcblindsports.bc.ca Information on return to sport is also available on our website.

8. MEMBERSHIP 2021 – 2022

If you are a member and have not updated your membership please do so by trying out our new online membership application. We would welcome any feed back from you as to how the process went for you. If you require help with the new online membership, please email susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca

Payments can be made:

From our new website – on line by credit card through paypal.
Credit Card payment by calling the office.
E transfer to David at david@bcblindsports.bc.ca
Or mail in the form with a cheque to the office.

Please do not send cash in the mail.

Please do not drop into the office without speaking to us first due to the current public health restrictions.

9. KEEP ACTIVE AND STAY SAFE

The schedule of virtual fitness activities in on the main page of our website in the bottom centre square. Contact us if you want to try one of these.

More in person sport opportunities will resume shortly – please stay tuned!

THANK YOU to all of our volunteers for your continued support.

Stay safe and stay active everyone!

From your BC Blind Sports Staff:
Jane, Mike, David, Linda, and Susan.

Insight Newsletter – April 23, 2021

In this Issue:

New Web Site and Facebook pages Coming Soon
Celebrating Our Volunteers
Our Newest Virtual Program BC BLIND SPORTS Active Living Network for Adults
Insight in Schools
An Opportunity for All
Tennis
Membership 2021-2022
In Memory of Carolyn Gunn

NEW WEB SITE AND FACEBOOK PAGES COMING SOON

We are looking forward to the launch of our new Website and new Facebook page. Watch for an announcement coming soon and check out our new look and feel. One of the newest additions on the site will be that you can complete your membership application and payment online. Check out the many ways to enjoy physical activities when we send you the link!

CELEBRATING OUR VOLUNTEERS

This past year has been very challenging for all. However, we had some very resilient volunteers. They came out to programs and continued to work with individual athletes on their workout plans and adapted to new ways of doing things such as virtual fitness and training, all this while following all public health restriction and protocols.

Our volunteers remain our greatest resource. We at BC Blind Sports take this opportunity to give a big THANK YOU to all of our volunteers. We celebrate the commitment, and enthusiasm you bring to our programs. Thank you for your valued time, dedication and support of our athletes and programs. From across BC, and beyond, our VOLUNTEERS have a tremendously positive impact on our athletes, programs, and the communities they live in.

Whether it is at the grass roots, community, high performance or Paralympic level – our VOLUNTEERS give their all. They help athletes reach their goals in their sport.

Our Board of Directors, athletes, and staff; thank our volunteers for everything they do. We hereby recognize all of you for the role you play by saying THANK YOU!

OUR NEWEST VIRTUAL PROGRAM – BC BLIND SPORTS ACTIVE LIVING NETWORK FOR ADULTS

This new program is based on the cross-Canada Women’s Active Living Engagement Network, an idea conceived by Marilyn Rushton from BC, and sponsored by the Canadian Blind Sports Association. Marilyn is a recently retired Vision Teacher and blind from birth. She learned the benefits of everyday walking and body movement in a fun and supportive way and is excited to share the fun with others.

Program purpose: To bring people together to support each other and celebrate the value of all daily physical activities, whether walking to the mailbox with a white cane or guide dog, moving around home, climbing stairs, going for a bike ride, or going for a relaxing stroll with a friend.

How the Program works – The first virtual gathering will be an informal conversation for all participants to meet each other and share ideas to create a plan to accomplish our activity goals together. For example, someone has expressed interest in walking from Vancouver to London.

In addition, we will determine frequency of meetings as well as presentation topics to promote health and wellness through the pandemic and beyond.

Between meetings, Network members will send in a weekly activity log of a physical activity of their choice and level. Marilyn will crunch the numbers and send out the weekly combined total to the group. It will be fun to see how far we can go and how many interesting places we can visit along the way. FYI: the Canadian women’s network is currently on a virtual cruise from Vancouver to the Hawaiian Islands, with members planning daily cruise activities and port excursions to sample different foods and cultural events.

This program celebrates all levels of physical activity in daily routines. There is no competition or comparison of individual achievements, and only the combined total weekly activity amount is shared with the whole group.

If this opportunity for some virtual travel and fun appeals to your sense of adventure and to learn more about this program please contact us by email info@bcblindsports.bc.ca

INSIGHT IN SCHOOLS

We continue to be in frequent contact with schools for personal consultations to assist students to be physically active. Read more…

AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL

Please checkout the new materials in An Opportunity for All – a virtual motor skills program appropriate for all ages.

TENNIS

Tennis continues in a limited way as public health orders permit. It is still offered on Wednesdays from 3:30pm to 5:00pm, for information on what you need to know to participate or how to register, please contact Mike Lonergan at the office 604-325-8638 or email him at mike@bcblindsports.bc.ca Information on return to sport is also available on our website.

MEMBERSHIP 2021 – 2022

Memberships are now due. Once our new website has been launched, you will be able to submit your membership and payment online. You fill the form out on line and have four choices to pay your membership. If you require help with the new online membership, please email susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca

Payments can be made:

  1. From our new website – on line by credit card through paypal.
  2. Credit Card payment by calling the office.
  3. E transfer to David at david@bcblindsports.bc.ca
  4. Or mail in the form with a cheque to the office.

Please do not send cash in the mail. Please do not drop into the office without speaking to us first due to public health restrictions.

IN MEMORY OF CAROLYN GUNN

It is with much sadness that we let you know of the passing of one of our BC Blind Sports Members of the Board of Directors, Carolyn Gunn, Member at Large. Carolyn passed away on April 10, 2021.

Carolyn joined us more than ten years ago. She was a dedicated volunteer and participant in our Fitness class in Nanaimo. She was very connected to many groups and clubs both in the blind community and in the sighted community. Carolyn was able to recruit Brian, our Nanaimo fitness instructor to our program. Carolyn also was a great promoter and advocate for our members and programs. Carolyn will be missed in our programs and at the board table.

Here is a link to a memorial page and guest book. Carolyn Gunn  (arbormemorial.ca)

Stay safe and stay active
Jane, Mike, David, Linda, and Susan

Insight Newsletter – February 20, 2021

Inside this Issue:

  1. We’re Moving
  2. Virtual Programs – Chair Yoga, Sunday night class added, Starting February 21st
  3. Return to Play
  4. 2021/2022 Memberships

1. WE’RE MOVING

– We are pleased to announce we have a new office!!!

OUR NEW ADDRESS AS OF MARCH 1, 2021 IS #606-4980 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4K7

We will be located in the 5000 Plaza on Kingsway in Burnaby. Most of you may remember we had an office in that complex above the Royal Bank for more than four years, before moving into the Joyce street office. Once we are moved in and are able to be open to members and visitors we will send out a notice with detailed directions to our new office via sky train and bus. The office is between the Metro Town Station and Royal Oak station, from either station it is about a 10 min walk or 2 to 3 minute bus ride.

Due to the move the office will be closed on February 26th and it may take longer for staff to return calls or emails during Feb 24th to March 2nd 2021, as we prepare to do the big move on Saturday the February 27th.

2. VIRTUAL PROGRAMS

– Chair Yoga, Sunday night class added Starting February 21st.
We are pleased to announce starting on February 21st, we are adding a Sunday night Chair Yoga class, via Zoom, from 6pm to 7pm
We look forward to having you join us. Please see the full schedule for all classes below and for additional information about any of the classes please contact Susan.

SCHEDULE

Dragon Boat Dryland Training with Cindy – Monday 7:30pm to 8:30pm and Tuesday 9:30am to 10:30am
Fitness with Brian – Wednesdays 2:00pm to 3:00pm and Thursday 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Chair Yoga with Candice – Sunday 6:00pm to 7:00pm and Thursday 12:00 noon to 1:00pm

Zoom Invites for all classes will be sent out no later than one hour prior to the class.
Please join us by replying to Susan’s email susan@bcblindsports.bc.ca and indicate which class(s) you would like to join.

3. RETURN TO PLAY

At this time there are no changes to report. Please contact Mike Lonergan at the office 604-325-8638 or email him at mike@bcblindsports.bc.ca and he will give you the details you need to get back in the game. Information on BC Blind Sports Return to Sport is also available on our website.

4. 2021/2022 MEMBERSHIPS

During the 2020/2021 season a large number of our members continued to support us by renewing their memberships. We hope this will be continued as we work hard to bring new online programs and do our best to bring back our in person programs when the Provincial Health Authorities give us the green light to go ahead.

If you are renewing your membership from last year, you can send Susan an email letting her know and detailing any changes or information updates you may have. New members can register by emailing the attached form to Susan or mailing it to the office. Alternatively, you can email Susan with your Name, address, phone number, email address and the membership category you are applying in.

Membership Categories and Fees:
Blind / Partially Sighted athlete member: $15 and
Supporting member $5

Memberships can be paid by:

eTransfer by emailing David Chung, our Finance Manager at david@bcblindsports.bc.ca
Visa or MasterCard – by phoning the office and David will assist you
Mailing a cheque and membership form or information to the office

We continue to be here to help you remain active as best as possible.
Don’t forget to check out the activities on our website and to share your thoughts and ideas with us.

You can continue to contact us as follows:
Email: info@bcblindsports.bc.ca
Phone: 604 321-1638 or Toll Free: 1 877 604-8638

Sincerely,
Jane, Mike, David and Susan
BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association
#606 – 4980 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC
Tel: 604-325-8638 Toll Free: 1-877-604-8638
Fax: 604-325-1638