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British Columbia Blind Sports and Recreation Association

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BCBSRA_Runner_imageInsight - The Newsletter for the Membership of BC Blind Sports Spring 2007 Issue

Table of Contents

Sports Funder Lottery BC Blind Sports
Volunteer Appreciation
Membership Dues
Run for Light
BC Disability Games
Dragon Boating
Lawn Bowls
Sport BC President’s Award
Premier’s Athletic Awards
2007 Juan Antonio Samaranch Disabled Athlete Award
Mike Lonergan Inducted into Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame
In Memory of Frank Reynolds
Announcing the Early Intervention Healthy Active Lifestyle Project
Calendar of Events
Board of Directors


The SportsFunder team had a pleasant surprise for a number of Provincial Sport Organizations at Sport BC’s Roundtable session on Friday, February 23.donation_Photo.png

David Chung, Financial Manager at BC Blind Sports, is photographed above with the presentation cheque.

Both BC Blind Sports and Special Olympics BC received $10,000 donations allocated by recent Homegrown Heroes ticket winners, part of the SportsFunder Instant Win Share the Dream lottery prize.
Four other PSOs – Baseball BC, BC Hockey, BC Soccer and Football BC – took away cheques for $1000.

The Share the Dream prize is a unique feature on SportsFunder Instant Win tickets, where players have the chance to win money for themselves and direct an equal amount of money to the amateur sports organization of their choice.


The staff and members of BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association appreciate the invaluable contribution of all of our volunteers. Thank you all for your enthusiasm, dedication and time committed to our programs in 2006. We look forward to continuing to work with you.


The new membership year begins on April 1, 2007. Please complete the form and mail it to BC Blind Sports with your membership fee, or bring it to our office. To go to the membership form page, please click here.

Membership fees are as follows:
Athletes: $15.00
Supporting members (sport guides, volunteers, etc.): $5.00

If you have any questions, or require assistance with completing the membership form, please call Susan or Kristy at 604-325-8638.

Whether you are renewing your membership or trying one of our programs for the first time, BC Blind Sports wishes you a very healthy and active year.


Get ready to put this unusual winter behind you by participating in the 27th Annual “Run for Light Fun Run. This year’s 4.3km, family-oriented event is on May 25, 2007 in Stanley Park, at Lumberman’s Arch.
Whether you run, walk or wheel the course, all participants receive a glow-in-the-dark t-shirt and lightstick.

We invite everyone to create a path of light along the Seawall We invite everyone to create a path of light along the Seawall to raise awareness of BC Blind Sports programs. For more information, or to be a “Run for Light” volunteer, call us at 604-321-1638.


The 2007 BC Disability Games will be held in Powell River from July 11-15.
More information on events and registration will be circulated as it becomes available. Please contact BC Blind Sports if you are interested in participating.


The dragon boat programs in Greater Vancouver and Kelowna kicked off the 2007 season in February. See the calendar for event dates.
Contact BC Blind Sports for information on joining the fun.


Thursday and Sunday practices in the Greater Vancouver area are in full swing, attracting youth and adults, male and female.

The senior men and women competed at the Montreal Open Goalball Tournament in January, which included eleven men’s teams and eight women’s teams from across Canada and the United States. The next stop on the schedule took the youth players from Vancouver to Victoria on February 22 for a goalball training session and mini tournament with their Vancouver Island counterparts.

In Calgary, from March 3-4, the senior men’s team, along with youth players from Vancouver, Victoria and Kelowna, competed at the Alberta Blind Sports Invitational Tournament. Teams from
Saskatchewan and Alberta participated as well.

BC was represented by a men’s and a women’s team at the Canadian Goalball Nationals in Winnipeg from March 24-26.

BC will send a team of youth to the Canadian Junior Goalball Championships in Brantford, Ontario in April.


The 2007 BC Provincial Lawn Bowls Championships will take place at the BC Disability Games in Powell River. The Canadian Lawn Bowls Championships is planned to be held in Ontario.

BC Blind Sports extends our heartfelt condolences to John Owens whose wife, Margaret, passed away on January 1, 2007. John and Margaret Owens have been dedicated lawn bowls directors in Nanaimo for more than ten years.


BC Blind Sports was pleased to present Al and Vi Hanet with the Sport BC President’s Award at the 41st annual Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards banquet on March 14 at the Hyatt Regency.

Both Al and Vi are being recognized for their many years of support to the lawn bowling program and for promoting BC Blind Sports.

BC Blind Sports board member, Tami Grenon, will also be a President’s Award recipient. Tami was selected by BC Disability Sports to receive the Sport BC President’s Award.


Congratulations to BC Blind Sports athletes Shawn Marsolais and Brian Cowie, who were recipients of Premier’s Athletic Awards at a luncheon on February 12, 2007. Both Shawn and Brian are Paralympic athletes in tandem cycling.

A commemorative plaque with each athlete’s photograph and list of achievements will be displayed at the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and Museum for one year.


Ljiljana Ljubisic, a longtime BC Blind Sports athlete, five-time Paralympian and Chairperson of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Athletics Committee, was honoured by the United States Sports Academy (USSA) for her outstanding sports career.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ljiljana said, “I am grateful that I was born at a time when the world began to encourage athletes with a disability to openly pursue their sporting ambitions. I am a very proud Paralympian who has been blessed with incredible opportunities and the freedom to achieve a dream that otherwise might not have been possible.”


Mike Lonergan, Program Director at BC Blind Sports, has been inducted into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame at the Induction Ceremony for 2006 Inductees. Mike was recognized in the coach category.

Mike has won numerous athletic coaching excellence awards, including Coach of the Year at Simon Fraser University in 1995 and a two-time BC Athletics High Performance Coach of the Year.

He has coached national running teams on 10 occasions from 1990 to 2001, as well as taking Canadian varsity teams to 25 NAIA national championships.


On behalf of the Members, the Board of Directors and the Staff of BC Blind Sports, we extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Frank Reynolds.

Frank passed away on December 28, 2006. He
served as Treasurer on the BC Blind Sports Board of
Directors from 2001-2005. The following was submitted by Ryan Ollis, a BC Blind Sports athlete who is Deafblind and who was coached by Frank Reynolds:

I have known Frank for over ten years, ever since I first entered the Norwesters Track and Field Club. He was an encouraging and dedicated coach who had a lasting impact on the Norwesters athletes.
Frank struggled with cancer for the past two years. His illness did not prevent him from being active and involved in the community. Because of his strong spirit and positive attitude, he continued to live a full life right up until three weeks before he died.

A biography and summary of Frank’s accomplishments can be found on the Norwesters website and includes the following:

Frank coached many teams during his career, most notably several BC Athletics Provincial teams, National team assignments and his highest honour, coaching Canada’s National Blind Athletics team at the 2003 IBSA World Championships in Quebec.
Frank was a good club middle distance athlete in his early career and more successful as a masters athlete in the 1980s. His favourite moments in track and field included winning the Canadian Masters 800m Championship 1981, setting a Canadian High School record on King Edward’s 4x440 relay team in 1958 and beating Bob Schull, the 1964 Olympic 5000m champion, over 1500m in 1984. The overriding benefit he cited of his involvement in the sport of athletics was all of the friends, colleagues and athletes he met over his fifty-year involvement in our sport.


BC Blind Sports has expanded its programs and services to meet the physical activity needs of pre-school children who are blind, visually impaired, deaf blind, or are blind/visually impaired and who may have an additional disability; and the families of these children. Over the past few years, Blind Sports has provided educational workshops and individual coaching and consultation in early development skills emphasizing healthy and safe participation in physical activity. Feedback from parents confirmed the need for individual support and guidance so that children are active and ready for formal physical education upon school entry.

The next phase of the Early Intervention Project may be the most exciting of all – the creation of an Early Intervention Healthy Active Lifestyle Resource Kit and DVD. With the wisdom of individuals through the recent establishment of a Parent and a Professional Advisor Group, the knowledge and skills of BC Blind Sports program staff, and the permitted use of materials published by internationally recognized experts, this colorful, practical, and user-friendly Kit will help families across BC learn about topics such as; principles of healthy active living, enhancing play, recreation and sport activities, selecting toys and equipment to meet their child’s specific needs, advocating for their child to participate in physical activity programs, planning and preparing for entry into physical education programs at school, and much more! The DVD will demonstrate some appropriate, healthy and safe physical activity techniques featuring BC families. These demonstrations will be supported by some of the content that is published in the Kit. BC Blind Sports is committed to developing accessible resources in order that family members who have limited or no vision can use the materials independently. The goal is to release the Resource Kit and DVD by the fall of 2007.

Are You Interested in Being Involved?
Here are some ways that you as a parent/ professional may become involved.

  • If your son/daughter is between one and five years of age and you are interested in participating in the DVD please contact us at the email address below.
    We are planning to have a facilitated semi-informal parents’ discussion group on early healthy active living to be included on the DVD
  • As a parent who is raising or has raised a child who is blind or visually impaired and has promoted physical participation, we invite you to send in a brief story about your experiences to encourage new parents
  • If your son/daughter is between the ages of 8 and 25 years and has a story to share about their involvement in recreation or sports for enjoyment through competition, we encourage them to share their experience as well.

Please contact Susan at the Blind Sports office for more details.

bcbsralogo_3c.jpgBC Blind Sports and Recreation Association Announces the Creation of

The Early Intervention Healthy Active Lifestyle Resource Kit and DVD
For Parents of Children who are blind, visually-impaired, deafblind and may have additional disabilities

Coming this fall 2007

Topics will include:

  • Principles of healthy active living
  • Advice on enhancing participation in play, game, recreation and sporting activities,
  • Tips in choosing toys, games and equipment to meet your child’s unique needs,
  • Advocacy skills that can increase success,
  • Planning and preparing for school entry, and

This practical and fully accessible resource kit and DVD will be the first of its kind. With the assistance of internationally recognized early intervention professionals from the fields of blindness and vision loss, deafblindness, multiple disabilities, recreation and sport, this new resource will support and enrich the lives of parents raising children during their early years.


2010 Legacies Now logoWithout the funding received through 2010 Legacies Now, our vision, the creation of these resources would not be possible. For further information about other initiatives of 2010 Legacies Now, please visit their website at www.2010legaciesnow.com
We welcome your questions, comments, suggestions and ideas. Please contact us at:

Email: janet.earlyintervention@bcblindsports.bc.ca
Phone: 604-325-8638
Website: www.bcblindsports.bc.ca

Information and updates on this project will be on our website soon.

BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association, Board of Directors and Staff are excited about this project and are confident that the lives of children and their families will be enhanced as a result. We are proud to be on the leading edge of this Early Intervention initiative in BC by making a positive difference once again.

BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association requests and acknowledges the contributions of international experts and we will obtain written permission before including any copyrighted material in our publications.

Thanks to the Vancouver Foundation, Vancouver Sun Childrens’ Charity and the Victor and Anna Kern Foundation for their support of this project.

Victor and Anna Kern foundation logo Victor and Anna Kern


March 3-4
ASRAB Invitational Goalball Tournament
Calgary, AB

March 24-26
2007 Canadian National Goalball Championships
Winnipeg, MB

April 1
BC Blind Sports Membership Due

April 13-15
Canadian Junior Goalball Championships
Brantford, ON

April 27-29
Defi Sportif (Goalball, tandem cycling, swimming)
Montreal, QC

May 25
Lumberman’s Arch, Stanley Park

June 2-3
Alcan Vancouver Dragon Boat Regatta
Vancouver, BC

June 16-17
Alcan Vancouver Dragon Boat Festival
Vancouver, BC

Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival

July 11-15
BC Disability Games
Powell River BC

July 11-17
IBSA Youth and Student Championships and Games
Colorado, USA

July 21
Richmond Dragon Boat Festival

July 28-August 8
3rd IBSA World Championships and Games
San Paulo, Brazil

July 29-August 1
2007 Western Canada Blind Golf Tournament
Westlock, AB

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

August 11
Provincial Time Trial Championships (Road, tandem cycling)
Squamish, BC

August 12-19
Para Pan-American Games
Rio de Janiero, Brazil

August 18-19
BC Track Provincial (Cycling)
Victoria, BC

Brian Cowie – President
Tami Grenon – Vice President
Tom Ollis – Treasurer
Doug Ripley – Athletes Rep
Al Hanet – Chair, Commissioners
Doug Stoutley –Past President
Larry Walsh – Member at Large
Bruce Gilmour – Member at Large
 Elaine Todd – Member at Large 
Athletics – Don Steen
Dragon Boating – Dianna Johnston
Goalball – Doug Ripley
Golf – William Hamilton
Hockey – Brian Cowie
Lawn Bowling – Al Hanet
Showdown – Patrick York
Swimming – Hugh Tildesley
Tandem Cycling – Brian Cowie
Triathlon – Brian Cowie
Jane D. Blaine Executive Director
David Chung Finance Manager
Mike Lonergan Program Director
Susan Flanagan Coordinator of Member Services
Kristy Kassie Office Coordinator


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British Columbia Blind Sports and Recreation Association

#330 - 5055 Joyce Street, Vancouver, BC V5R 6B2  Canada
Phone: 604 325-8638
Fax: 604-325-1638
Email: info@bcblindsports.bc.ca

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