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BCBSRA_Runner_imageSummer 2002
Insight - The Newsletter for the Membership of BC Blind Sports Volume 6, Issue 6 - Summer 2002 Edition

Available as a .pdf file (219KB 16 pages.)

Table of Contents
Message from the President
BCBSRA Annual General Meeting 2002
Run For Light Stanley Park May 31, 2002
The BC Dairy Foundation's 24th Annual Milk Run!
Canadian part of the "JOURNEY OF FIRE"
Athletes Fundraising
Athlete of the Year Awards
It's That Time of Year! Membership!!!!
Thanks to the Volunteers!
Calendar of Events

(Return to Newsletter Index)

Volume 6, Issue 6 - Summer 2002 Edition

Message from the President
Members and other Newsletter readers are by now probably aware of our move from 5050 Kingsway to 5000 Kingsway. Not far in distance, but a challenging relocation for our hard-working staff. The move is almost complete and our Office is looking good. Our move to larger quarters was made possible, in part, by the understanding and support of our landlord, W.P.J. McCarthy and Company. They continue to give us consideration as a charitable association, and they willingly negotiated a reasonable rent for the larger space. My special thanks to Jane, Susan, Mymy, David, and Mike (and the Board members and athletes who pitched in) who worked long hours boxing and carrying equipment and files, assembling furniture and computers, and cleaning and cleaning again!

Members may also know, and as discussed at the 2001 AGM we have advanced the AGM from September to June. This was done at my recommendation and with the support of the Board of Directors and staff. In previous years, considerable time elapsed between the end of the budget year and the conduct of the AGM. Our budget year ends as of March 31st and David, our Financial Manager, is able to have the year-end records completed by early June. It is important for B.C. Blind Sports and Recreation Association to be "quick off the mark" with our financial planning and reporting for legal, fiscal fundraising, and strategic planning purposes.

Besides THE MOVE, B.C. Blind Sports and Recreation Association has been very busy over this past year. Members and Newsletter readers are informed on some changes and activities over this past year, and the June AGM will report in detail on program planning and evaluation, strategic plan goal achievement, new directions, issues and problems, finances and fundraising, and regional development.

Our June AGM will see the election of a new President. After serving two years as your President I have chosen not to stand again, but to move to Past President and allow a new candidate to take on the Presidency. As I make this move I wish to thank our Board of Directors for their excellent support over what has been a very busy two-years. Our treasurer, Frank Reynolds is chairing a Nominations Committee for the President and other positions subject to election in 2002.

I'm looking forward to the 2002 June AGM and to addressing our Delegates and Membership again at that time. One of our June 2002 AGM events will be a visit and reception or "office-warming" in our new facility at 5000 Kingsway. In the meantime, I appeal to all Members to support our Membership Drive by re-signing past members and signing new members. (One each would double our numbers!) It is extremely important for BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association to increase our membership numbers to reflect our growing B.C.-wide program activities. Sincere thanks for any efforts you can bring about in our membership growth.
by Dr. Phil Moir, President

BCBSRA Annual General Meeting 2002

Notice is hereby given to all members of the British Columbia Blind Sports and Recreation Association (BC Blind Sports) that the ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Association will be held:
At 2:00 p.m., on Sunday, June 9, 2002 At the Bonsor Recreation Complex 6550 Bonsor Avenue Burnaby, BC Light refreshments will be provided. Please call the provincial office to confirm your attendance (or to have your regrets noted) and to assist us with catering.
The nominating committee is seeking assistance in identifying individuals to stand for election within BC Blind Sports for the positions of President, Vice-President and member at large. These are 2 year terms. Nominating committee chair Frank Reynolds can be contacted through the executive director. The deadline for receipt of nominations is 4:00 Monday June 3, 2002.
Again, please contact the provincial office to confirm your attendance at the meeting. Please also contact Susan, or Mymy, if you have any questions. We look forward to your attendance at the AGM.

Run For Light Stanley Park May 31, 2002
2002 is the 22nd annual popular "Run for Light " fun run held in support of BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association. This is a 4.3km family oriented run that starts at sundown in Stanley Park at Lumberman's Arch.

The run is an awareness event for BC Blind Sports.
All participants are provided with Glow in the Dark T-shirts and Light Sticks. The event begins with entertainment and recognition of the role sport and recreation play in our lives. At precisely 9:32 p.m., the run begins, with runners and walkers, young to old, make their way through Stanley Park to the seawall, guided by their glowing light sticks.

This is a family-orientated event with participants from throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond.

Pledge prizes will be awarded based on the amount of support raised for BC Blind Sports. Draw prizes will also be randomly awarded to participants at the post-run gathering.

We wish to extend our gratitude to our major sponsors, Hamilton Sportsware, Polaris Water, The Fitness Group, and Graphlink Printing Service, and would like to acknowledge our appreciation for their invaluable support of BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association.

For additional information regarding the run, or to register or volunteer for the event, contact BC Blind Sports at (604)321-1638 or info@bcblindsports.bc.ca.  

It is the beginning of May and all the clubs on the coast are holding their official openings. In Nanaimo we had our first session for our V.I. bowlers on Tuesday. We had 2 men come to the green for their first try at rolling a bowl. Both promised to come back for more next week.
1. The NANAIMO INVITATIONAL PAIRS EVENT is scheduled for Tuesday, May 28. Bowlers and support people should ride the 07:45 ferry from Tsawwassen or 8:30 from Horseshoe Bay. Play should start at 10:30, followed by lunch and a second game. Greater Vancouver area people will return on the 5:00 ferry to Horseshoe Bay or the 5:45 to Tsawwassen. We are able to make billet arrangements if bowlers from the interior wish to participate. Please let Donn & Madeleine know who is going to come (email sherrymd@island.net)

2. BC CHAMPIONSHIPS WILL BE HELD AT Abbotsford in July. The organizers have been working hard and everything seems to be falling into place. You should be receiving your registration forms shortly and we hope you will return them to BC Blind Sports office promptly.

3. TRAINING FOR DIRECTORS AND MARKERS - Just a reminder if you have individuals who want to become directors and/or would like to learn how to act as markers for our game please contact me and we will set up a training session.

4. SPECIAL THANKS to Al Hanet who attended meetings and looked after matters that came up during the winter while Madeleine and I were away.

by Donn

Interest in the sport of dragon boating continues to grow, as evidenced by the formation of a second Vancouver-based team of blind, visually impaired and sighted paddlers. Joining the Eye of the Dragon, formed in 1994, is Blind Fury, formed in March of 2002. A dragon boat crew consists of 20 paddlers, a drummer and a steersman; 18 of the current 44 members are blind or visually impaired. A third visually impaired team, Sonar Dragons, is based in Kelowna. Sonar Dragons currently has a complement of 7 blind or visually impaired paddlers.

Dragon boating is the perfect sport for those with vision problems. It requires commitment and hard work, but not eyesight, and it allows them to participate with and compete against their sighted peers with absolutely no adaptations or modifications. The team environment provides avenues for recreation, exercise, camaraderie and socialization, as well as the building of team spirit, self-confidence and lasting friendships. There is also a very strong public awareness aspect.

Most of the teams' members may not be able to see the finish line, but they all have a vision: work hard, have fun and maybe win a race or two!
Submitted by: Dianna Johnston Sport Commissioner


The 2002 Tandem Cycling Program has begun in earnest with two teams traveling to Montreal to compete in a series of races at Defi-Sportif. This annual event draws teams from Europe and North America. National Team member Brian Cowie and his pilot Gary Alexander and Gene DellaSiega with his pilot Murray Solem made an impression on the visiting teams from Spain, France, and Switzerland. Races were held over 3 days at 4 different locations around the Montreal area. Cowie/Alexander finished 3rd overall and DellaSiega/Solem 5th in the four-event tally. Della Siega/Solem had a 3rd in the 40k Classic with Cowie /Alexander having two 4th places in the four races. The races were held in a wide variety of weather, ranging from bright sunshine to cold and windy evening to a snowstorm! The level of competition was very high with a number of Paralympic and World Champions taking part. Hopefully we will be able to send more of our developing tandem teams to this event in the future, as it is great introduction to International Tandem Cycling. Defi Sportif has been held for 19 years, with this edition being the largest with over 2000 participants from around Canada, the US and Europe. There are events for all ages and includes a variety of disabilities in the program.

The BC Dairy Foundation's 24th Annual Milk Run!
In April of this year, the BC Dairy Foundation along with BC School Sports held its 24th annual Milk Run for Member Schools. BC Blind Sports and the CNIB together received a portion of the generated funds. The money raised from the milk run will be used for the development of the Bowen Island Kids Camp. BC Blind Sports was well represented at three of the schools across the Province. Thank you to those volunteers that went out to represent us. They were Elaine Todd, in Victoria, Al and Vi Hanet, in Kelowna and staff member Susan Flanagan in Surrey.

Canadian part of the "JOURNEY OF FIRE"
Let the Games begin! As the Journey of Fire wound its way throughout the streets of SaltLake City, a small but boisterous Canadian crowd cheered on five-time Paralympian Ljiljana (Lilo) Ljubisic (Vancouver, BC) who carried the torch in the official relay.

Accompanying Ljubisic were Jasmine Northcott (Ottawa) who is a representative of AthletesCan; Todd Nicholson (Ottawa) the captain of Canada's Sledge Hockey team and Carla Qualtrough (Ottawa) who was the Canadian Athlete's representative on the mission staff.
Amid cheers of Go Canada Go, the Canadian relay team was among the 102 torchbearers traveling throughout the city.

"It was hard to control my feelings today," said Qualtrough, a three-time Paralympic medallist who has won four World Cup medals in swimming. "It's very personal with me. If it wasn't for sport I would not be the person I am today and would not have achieved what I have personally or professionally. I was a funny looking kid with a funny disability so it was tough growing up. But when I found a program that included athletes with a visual disability through BC Blind Sports, I grew as a person.

A lawyer by trade, Qualtrough recently began her position as Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State for Amateur Sport, Paul DeVillers. For three years before that, she practiced as a human rights lawyer focusing on fairness and equity. Her law background helps in her role of the Athlete Advocate for Team Canada.

"Equitable treatment does not always mean the same treatment," added Qualtrough. "For you and I to be treated equitable, I would need a 21-inch television while you may need a 13 inch television. Equity is the lens through which I see a lot of things."

Congratulations Carla & Lilo

Athletes Fundraising
One of the biggest problems facing amateur athletes is finding enough money to maintain both training and competition. It often seems to be an uphill battle trying to get the Funding. It may be difficult but not impossible to find enough money for your particular sport. As athletes competing in disabled sport, we are not usually the most visible athletes. We do not always get as much media coverage as sighted athletes. The media coverage is what usually attracts the sponsors. A high profile athlete such as say Donavan Baily is very attractive to Adidas for example. Companies involved in their sport often sponsor athletes of this stature. I have found that for myself it is better not to limit my sponsorship requests to companies/organizations who are involved in my particular sport, which happens to be cycling. I have ventured outside the cycling community. Often a potential sponsor is not looking for what you can so for their public exposure, often they just want to help. So, don't limit your inquiries to those involved in your particular sport. It is not unusual to receive a small sponsorship/donation from a company completely removed from your sport. One big sponsor to cover all your expenses is very difficult to find, however, ten smaller sponsorships are much more realistic.

Once you have several sponsorships, what does your sponsor expect from you? Well, they do not always expect front-page coverage or a spot on the primetime television. If they have hats, tee shirts, decals etc. that display their name or logo, they appreciate it when you wear them during training and competitions. Sponsors really appreciate up-dates during your season. Send a picture occasionally from your completions. Please remember when soliciting donations, or donations in kind, that it is important to acknowledge the support you already receive. This will ensure your prospective donor that you will acknowledge their support as well. Please ensure that BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association is acknowledged for the support you receive from them. This will help you, and future athletes within BC Blind Sports. I use sponsor logo's including BC Blind Sports' logo on my package (with their permission of course).

If you have questions regarding solicitation of donations for which the donor wished to receive a receipt for income tax purposes, please contact David at the BC Blind Sports office. There are restrictions on how this money can be used, and on how monies received from gaming events may be used. Please call David for clarification.

Good Luck, and please let us know how successful you were and what worked and what didn't.

by Brian Cowie

Athlete of the Year Awards

Congratulations to the recipients of the Sport BC's 36th Annual Athlete of the Year Awards. The winners in each category were announced at a gala ceremony on March 13th, 2002 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

Athlete with a Disability
Sponsored by Global TV
Brian MacKie, Sailing, Victoria

Sport BC's Athlete of the Year Awards - President Award

This year we are please to tell you that Gerry York was the recipient of the annual President Award that is held at the Sport BC athlete of the Year Banquet. Gerry was a dedicated volunteer for over 25 years. Our President Phil Moir was on hand to present the award to Patrick York, (Gerry's son) on Gerry's behalf, as she was not able to attend.
Thanks Gerry!


(Words from a former summer student)

I was in a work camp renovating heritage structures for local communities with a group of 14 international volunteers. Living, cooking, and working with a group of people from different parts of the world has really broadened my cultural awareness of other people and customs and helped me make many meaningful friendships. I also thoroughly enjoyed the close contact with the local people as we often organized dinners, dances, and sports days for local youth. Sitting on the beach, I came to realize that it is interactions with other people that I find very rewarding. A career in medicine would certainly combine this with my interest in science for me. Furthermore, traveling has broadened my horizons and has fostered a more open and inquiring mind that I intend to bring to medicine. Experience like this has played a decisive role in my life and in my decision to pursue a career in medicine.

I have been interested in medicine and computer science for a long time. My interest in medicine started early with an enjoyment of science, especially human biology. I have always been fascinated by the intricacy and harmony of the human body. At the same time, I also enjoy the logic and the problem-solving process found in computer science. So, I decided to major in computer science in University while taking some physical therapy courses to keep my options open. While studying and working in the computer science field were certainly intellectually challenging and stimulating, I knew something was missing. Something that I found through travel, volunteer work and other experiences, whether it be holding an elderly woman's hand and talking to her at nursing homes or riding a tandem bike with a blind athlete behind me.

To test my interest and commitment for a medical career, I have volunteered at various places including nursing homes and BC Blind Sports. Volunteering at BC Blind Sports involved organizing different kinds of sports and activities for the blind community and participating with them. One of my favorite events was tandem cycling where I would pilot a tandem bike with a blind athlete riding behind me. The strength within many blind people has inspired me to become a stronger person and to pursue my personal goal with the same commitment. Tandem cycling and other interactions with blind people have also helped me to develop communication skills without the help of hand gestures and facial expressions. The smiles from those I helped reinforced my commitment to invest my time and energy in the lives of others.

Nathan Ma - Words from a former summer student who came back to be a summer VOLUNTEER.


( Written in 1999 ) In this, the International Year of the Older Person, I present My Tribute to the Seniors I have had the opportunity to work with over the past few years.

Seniors who are Visually impaired, or blind, are actively participating in the sport of Lawn Bowling. Over the past five years I have watched many of these seniors meet the challenges that this sport has to offer. Many have come and gone, some have since passed away. Still there are those that faithfully anticipate the Spring opening of the Lawn Bowling Greens.

Seniors Helping Seniors
Special training and coaching is required to assist someone who has little or no sight, and there are many sighted experienced seniors who volunteer countless hours to helping people who are blind or visually impaired enjoy the sport. At the 1999 BC Gamed for Athletes With A Disability (July 7 to 11 in North Vancouver) most of the medal winners were coached by seniors. Many of the volunteer markers (officials), hosts and other helpers from the Lawn Bowling Club were also seniors. The BC Games for Athletes With A Disability are held in a different community each year.

BC Blind Sports and Recreation Association provides a wonderful mentoring program for many different sports. Local fun and provincial competitions are the stepping stone for some who move on to world and international competitions. The BC Blind Sports component of the team that attended the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics (parallel to the Olympics, for people with a disability) did very well.

Many lawn bowling clubs throughout BC have greens available for use by people who are blind or visually impaired. Club members who are sighted are supportive and encouraging.
Recreation or Competition, it's not whether you win of loose, it's how you play the game. The benefits to being active are numerous, and include meeting new friends, enjoying the outdoors, exercising the body and mind, staying flexible, and having fun.
Through my involvement with the above program, I have learned many things from the seniors who have shared their wisdom with me: commitment, endurance, skill , technique, tactic, and not to dwell on disabilities but to concentrate on abilities.
One day I'll be a senior, and I believe I have been through a wonderful mentoring program. I have learned from the best, and look forward to sharing my experiences with others in the years to come.
My sincere congratulations to seniors; blind, visually impaired, and sighted; who have learned to enjoy the sport of lawn bowling together.
by Trish McNair Lawn Bowls Coach (Level 11 NCCP)

It's That Time of Year! Membership!!!!

Yes, it's that time of year again Folks! Membership fees are now due for the period of April 1st 2002 until March 31st 2003. As a reminder, fees are $15 for athletes and $5 for supporting members. Check for your membership form sent with the Newsletter.

Sunday Night Bingo!
BC Blind Sports holds a weekly Bingo event on Sunday evenings. Thank-you to all volunteers, you have been essential in the operation of this event. We welcome any new members or volunteers wishing to participate on future occasions. For more information please contact the office for details.

Thanks to the Volunteers!

BC Blind Sports could not run without the assistance of a wide range of generous volunteers. Supporting members provide help in all areas of our programs, including Guides, Pilots, Directors, Swim Tappers and Coaches at many of our sports events across the province. Also our volunteers play a large role in making our annual Run for Light a huge success. We also have several office volunteers who provide much appreciated time on a regular basis to help with administration. Currently we are fortunate to have Kathleen from Vancouver Community College (practicum student), Kristy a former Student from VCC, and June a student at BCIT. We also have Kate our summer student from last year back as to volunteer in the office. A very special Thank-you goes out to all our volunteers; we couldn't do it without YOU!

Calendar of Events

May 17-19 IPC Trials for Athletics Victoria

May 31st 22nd Annual Run For Light Vancouver

June 1-2 Dragon Boat Alcan Regatta Vancouver

June 26 to 30 Cycling Championships Nationals - Road Races Edmonton, Alberta

June 21-23 Alcan Dragon Boat Festival Vancouver

July 10-14 Disability Games Abbotsford

July 15 to 20 IPC World Athletic Championships Lilie-Villeneure d'Asoq

August 3-12 IPC Cycling Champs Germany

August 1-4 BC Summer Games Nanaimo

August 6-10 Swimming National Championships Victoria

August 4-12 IPC World Cycling Championships Altenstadt, Germany

August 19-21 World Blind Golf Champs Winnipeg

August 26-27 Western Canadian Golf Saskatoon

Sep. 14-15 Kelowna Dragon Boat Festival Kelowna

October 26 UBC Day of the Longboat Vancouver

Note: Let us know what programs you would like to see on our calendar.

InSight is published by the BC Blind Sports & Recreation Association Address correspondence to: BC Blind Sports 235 - 5000 Kingsway Burnaby, BC V5H 4V7 Phone: (604) 325-8638 or Toll Free: (604) 321-1638 Fax: (604) 325-1638
Email: info@bcblindsports.bc.ca Website: http://www.bcblindsports.bc.ca

Note: Information in this newsletter is intended for general guidance only. Readers are advised to speak with BC Blind Sports staff for more information and with a physician before changing any exercise, diet or other health practices. BC Blind Sports & Recreation Association

Our provincial staff:
Jane D. Blaine Executive Director
Mike Lonergan Program Director
Susan Flanagan Member & Volunteer Services
David Chung Financial Manager
Mymy Vuong 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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