Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Special Olympics BC has decided to cancel the 2021 SOBC Summer Games that were scheduled to be held in Surrey next July.
The organization said Monday that it does not expect to be able to safely hold an event with the anticipated more than 1,000 participants next summer.
“Under ordinary circumstances, now is when we would have been ramping up work with a volunteer Games Organizing Committee to plan the 2021 Provincial Games,” says a news release posted to specialolympics.ca.
“It takes months and years of work to plan these multi-sport events. Even if the situation changes early next year, that would still not allow enough time to finish planning the details, raising the funds and recruiting the volunteers necessary to hold the safe, high-quality, life-enriching Provincial Games that our community deserves.”
This “difficult decision (was) made with a lot of thought and consideration, and now we are focusing our efforts on how to bring safe sport back to Special Olympics athletes across B.C.”
The 2021 Summer Games were announced during an event at Surrey City Hall last November.
The 2021 Special Olympics BC Summer Games would have been the qualifier for the 2022 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Medicine Hat, which have also been cancelled.
“The City of Surrey and School District No. 36 have been outstanding partners who are truly committed to creating inclusion and empowerment for individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport,” says the news release.
“While we will be unable to host the SOBC Summer Games in Surrey in 2021, we consider Surrey a great advocate and partner, and will continue to work with the city on enhancing the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through sport, both in the life-changing year-round SOBC – Surrey programs and in future opportunities.”