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January 23, 2024

When the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024 athletes compete February 27-March 2 in the Stampede City, they’ll have hundreds of the city’s Grade 4-6 students cheering them on as part of the RBC School Program.

First launched in the fall of 2023 to a group of enthusiastic students at Seven Chiefs Sportsplex, the program has continued to engage local classrooms with activities aimed at promoting the importance of inclusion and unity. Thanks to RBC’s support, participating schools have received activity booklets along with materials that will allow the students to make bracelets and create postcards in support of the Special Olympics athletes. Athletes will be travelling to Calgary from across the country to compete in events such as alpine skiing, 5-pin bowling, cross-country skiing, curling, speed skating, figure skating, floor hockey, and snowshoeing.

We are so pleased to support this unique program,” said Kirk Muise, Regional President of Alberta and Territories for RBC. “Sport has a way of bringing people together, fostering inclusivity, and creating a sense of belonging. We hope the program helps to educate youth to become more inclusive in their classrooms and inspire them to one day, be a contributor to Special Olympics Programs as a coach, participant, volunteer or support.”

To enhance the student’s appreciation for, and understanding of, inclusion through an immersive experience, RBC is making it possible for them to attend Games events and see the athletes compete live, as well as providing livestream access to all events.

Participating classrooms were provided with a Teacher’s Guide to support facilitating the activities, provide information on Special Olympics Canada’s Unified School Program, and support the development of students’ skills aimed at fostering a mindset that’s inclusive of those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Teachers were also given access to Respecting the Game: The Story of Jackie Barrett program available through Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame’s Beyond the Win Education Platform. Barrett is a Nova Scotian powerlifter who retired after setting multiple records at the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games, and the first Special Olympics athlete to be inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.

“A key aspect of bringing the Games to Calgary is to create a lasting, educational impact. This is aimed at raising awareness about intellectual disability and promoting inclusion,” said Cheryl Bernard, a two-time Olympian (curling: 2010, 2018) Games Co-Chair, and the current President and CEO of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. “The partnership with RBC will empower a new generation of Canadian children through Special Olympics. The goal is to share the experiences and passion of Special Olympics athletes, highlighting their strength and determination. By doing so, we hope to inspire children to reach their full potential, foster teamwork, and build a strong sense of community.”

Participating schools are also being encouraged to enter the “Show Us Your Spirit” contest to win a visit from a Special Olympics Athlete Ambassador presented by Pembina, an RBC Olympian or RBC Paralympian, and RBC’s Leo the Lion mascot.

The Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024 promise to be a celebration of talent, resilience, and unity, and we are honoured to have a partner like RBC stepping up to help make a lasting impact in communities across our great nation.

About Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024Calgary is ready to welcome the nation Feb. 27 to Mar. 2, 2024, for the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024. Over 4,000 visitors, including athletes, coaches, and officials, along with their families and friends, will gather in Canada’s winter sport capital.

Participants who qualified through their Provincial and Territorial Games, will compete in eight sports at seven venues throughout Calgary. The Games are a qualifying event for Special Olympics World Winter Games 2025. Together, we will create an experience of a lifetime for these deserving athletes!

For more information about the Games, please visit or follow us on our social channels Twitter / Instagram / Facebook / LinkedIn

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