News & Events

Eastern District Training Squad - 2020 Provincial Spring Games

posted 14 Nov 2019, 07:32 by Webmaster Ottawa

Please find attached the first round of announcements for the Eastern District Training Squad for the 2020 Provincial Spring Games. There are still a number of athletes that will be added to this list as documents are submitted/completed, and updates will continue to come out in the coming months.

Congratulations to all of the athletes who have been named to the team so far!

Annual Members Meeting: Location Announcement

posted 18 Oct 2019, 12:41 by Admin Chair   [ updated 18 Oct 2019, 13:15 ]

The location for this year's AMM is Confirmed and it's a great one!

This year we'll be hosting our AMM at the Canada Science and Technology Museum!

And we have an added bonus: FREE MUSEUM ADMISSION for our members during the day of the event! Please not the Museum will close at 5 PM and attendees will be allowed to return for access to the event hall at 6:45 PM. 

Access the Museum Website Here:

Location: Canada Science and Technology Museum
Address: 1867 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 5A3
Time: Auditorium Doors Open 6:45 PM

Transportation: Parking is available after 5pm for a flat fee of $4.00

The museum is accessible from various bus routes, use the OC Transpo Planner here:

Water will be provided at the event, but no food or drink. Food or drink is not permitted in the Auditorium for the event.

Looking forward to seeing you all out there!

Athlete Leadership Program Workshop - October 5th

posted 27 Sep 2019, 18:45 by Admin Chair

Annual Members Meeting 2019

posted 12 Sep 2019, 19:39 by Admin Chair

We are inviting all volunteers, athletes, community members to join the Special Olympics Ontario - Greater Ottawa's Council for our Annual Member's Meeting on October 23rd, 2019!

We will be providing a general overview of SOO Greater Ottawa's strategic and financial position, along with a question and answer period with our Council Members.

We'll be talking about some great news including exciting announcements on Coach Training and Development, Volunteer Recognition, Competitive Opportunities for Athletes, and more!

We will also be hosting a discussion on this year's changes to our registration policy and asking for community feedback on the following areas:

- Single Sport Athlete Exemptions

- Ranked Sport Preferences

- Support Workers as Volunteers

- Program Capacity and Development

We currently have five positions that are up for election on our council team. If you believe you have the skills and the interest to run for these positions, please send an e-mail to Kyle Dowd before October 23rd, 2019 (see contact information below).Positions up for election this year are as follows:

1. Programs Chair/Community Coordinator - Currently Running Lindsay McPhee

2. Treasurer - Currently Running Nigel Van Dalen

3. Volunteer Lead - Vacant

4. Facilities and Transportation Lead - Currently Running Adam Chmiel

5. School Programs Liaison - Currently Running Dwight Rudisuela 

Nominations can be made any time up to and including on the floor at the Annual Member's Meeting (AMM) on October 23rd, 2019 by submitting them to Kyle Dowd (

Friends and family are welcome! We look forward to seeing you there!

Registration FAQs and Waitlist Notifications

posted 9 Sep 2019, 13:58 by Admin Chair   [ updated 9 Sep 2019, 14:47 ]

Hi Everyone!

Please see the attached FAQ document for questions about registration!

All notifications for waiting lists have been sent out. If you have not received an email with the subject, Registration Notification, regarding details of a waitlist, this means you have been successfully registered in your program.

If you have not yet heard from your coach, please be patient as all coaches are volunters, and some team rosters have as many as 85 Athletes! That's a lot of people to contact!

Please note, that we will not be releasing the details of registration related to any other athlete i.e. "did my friend get in?" the details of everyone's registrations are personal and confidential information!

We remain hard at work on solutions for all programs affected by waitlists and have already eliminated some! We will continue to work right up until programming starts and even after that to ensure everyone hoping to be included in our programming has an opportunity to be a part of this community!

Team Rosters and Waitlists released this Weekend

posted 7 Sep 2019, 07:00 by Admin Chair

Good Morning SOO - Greater Ottawa!

This weekend our coaches will be receiving their finalized rosters! Each program coach will then be reaching out to athletes regarding the specific details of their program.

If you are on a waiting list for a program, you will receive an email directly from council. All impacted athletes will be contacted this weekend.

If you have not heard from your program coach by the end of the weekend please be patient as we are all volunteers!

Only a small number of programs remain affected by wait lists at this time. If there is alternative for a program in which you are waitlisted, we will include those details for you.

For programs where there are not alternatives, we are actively working with our coaches and facilities to try to find solutions to eliminate wait lists before the start of programs.

We will be posting here again shortly once the FAQ's and guidelines are posted to the website!

Thank you everyone!

Important Update Regarding Lottery Registration and Exemptions

posted 31 Aug 2019, 15:46 by Admin Chair

To All Members of the Special Olympics Ontario - Greater Ottawa Community,

First of all we wish to thank you for your patience and understanding regarding the set up and implementation of the lottery system. Over the past few weeks, many of you have provided feedback, both positive and constructive regarding the switch from the First Come, First Serve system that existed before, to the lottery system being implemented now.

It is important to note, that this decision was not at all taken lightly, and while some have expressed concerns about the lack of consultation prior to making the switch, we can assure you that we have had consultation in the form of feedback and discussions with many of our community members and stakeholders over the past few years regarding the challenges posed by the First Come, First Serve system.

Everyone in this community knows and understands that Special Olympics is truly a unique organization, we offer our programming to individuals with all forms of intellectual disability as well as many with physical disabilities and we do not limit our programming based on what type of intellectual disability someone may have. But Special Olympics also exists at a crossroads that many other sports and community organizations do not, in that our programming is both offered for community participation, but also allows our athletes to train and challenge themselves by competing at the local, provincial, national and international levels.

In recent years, as our profile in the community has grown, and as the City of Ottawa reached a great milestone of a population of 1 million, demand for our programming has continued to increase. This rise in awareness and desire to participate is great news that we should all celebrate. With those demands however, comes an increasing pressure on our existing infrastructure and sometimes our sport capacities are necessarily limited. This may be due to a limitation with a facility, or with the number of volunteers available to serve athletes.

Our primary focus as a community is now, and always has been on delivering quality programming to individuals with intellectual disabilities within our community. Over time however, under the First Come, First Serve system, challenged in light of increased demands for programming, had begun to create a separation, between athletes who had strong familial or support networks, who were able to arrive early to registration and secure a spot in line on registration days and those who could not. We also had many athletes and their family alike, who could not come to stand and wait in registration for such long periods of time due to health and mobility issues. Existing athletes and prospective ones have regularly missed out on programming opportunities because they lacked the capacity to attend in person, or because Para Transpo was unable to deliver them on time, or because they were unable to secure the assistance they needed in form of a proxy to attend our registration. We have also had athletes who have participated in past years, but then subsequently been unable to participate due to being unable to arrive at registration the following year to secure a position. 

Our goal as a community is to continue to work towards a future where we will not have to deal with wait lists at all, and that we will have sufficient volunteers, funding, and access to facilities to ensure everyone hoping to participate in Special Olympics has that opportunity.

Below you will find answers to key questions many of you have raised in the past weeks. In the coming days, an FAQ will also be posted to our website addressing some additional questions you may have. If after this, questions still remain, please feel free to reach out to either of our Chairs, Kyle Dowd or Lindsay McPhee to discuss your questions.

How is the Lottery Being Applied

The lottery system is ONLY being applied to sport programs where registration has exceeded capacity, and is not being applied to all sports. Please note that some sports listed, many only have short waitlists, in some cases as little as one or two athletes. We remain fully committed to helping head coaches secure additional volunteers to address capacity issues and where necessary based on demand, look at the set up of an additional program. 

At this time, the following sport rosters will be decided by lottery (after exemptions are accounted for) due to over-subscription:
  • 5 pin bowling - Orleans
  • 5 pin bowling - Ottawa
  • Basketball - Ridgemont
  • Basketball - Roberta Bondar
  • Basketball Kanata Tuesday 
  • Curling Ottawa
  • Swimming Barrhaven 
  • Swimming Orleans 
  • Indoor Soccer - Ottawa
If an athlete finds themselves waitlisted in one of the above sports, but an alternative is available in the same sport within Ottawa which still has space and the athlete is willing to travel, they are absolutely entitled to switch their registration request to the other program. Please note that this will not take place automatically. 

Attendance at Lottery

As the lottery is an administrative function supporting registration, it is not intended to be a public event. In order to ensure transparency and accountability with the process we have taken these steps:

1. We will be asking 3 witnesses to attend the lottery in addition to the council members listed below - one athlete, one volunteer, one family member. Please let me know if you would like to attend. Spaces will be filled on a first come, first serve basis. You can only take one spot ie you can't ask for spot for yourself and an athlete.

2. The following members of council will be in attendance to conduct and witness lottery: 
  • Programs Chair - myself 
  • Admin Chair - Kyle Dowd
  • Athlete Registrar - Lise Lebeau
  • Provincial rep - Jason Hussak 
The lottery will be taking place Sunday (tomorrow) at 4 pm. Location will be provided to witnesses. 

Family exemption 

There have been some concerns raised about the inclusion of an exemption from the lottery for athletes who have family members who volunteer in a sport and so we wished to address those concerns:

1. The policy of granting exemptions to athletes with family volunteers previously existed, including under the previous First Come, First Serve system;
2. Many of our longest tenured, and skilled volunteers began their work with Special Olympics as a result of having a child or sibling with Special needs (our Admin Chair and many council members included)
3. We recognize that without the exemption, we risk the loss of much of that experience and knowledge from those volunteers if a space is not available for their family members
4. Special Olympics is not immune to the challenges facing all community sports organizations, including publicly run and privately volunteer run systems, and like them, we rely heavily and with compassion on the hard work done by parents, grandparents, and siblings in making our programming a success.

At the time of the launch of the Lottery system, we expanded the family exemption to formally include not just parents, but legal guardians (step-parents, court appointed guardians, foster parents etc), and also siblings and grandparents in an effort to ensure many different family relationships could be recognized.

We have also received some feedback from a few of you regarding whether support workers could be considered under the family exemption. Due to the unique relationship between workers and those in their care, and the potential liability associated with this (i.e. a paid worker which supervises an athlete is meant to focus their attention on that athlete directly) we were not prepared to implement a policy that recognized these options. We will be consulting with relevant stakeholders including athletes, their workers, group homes and their employees, and parents who employ support workers in the coming months in the hopes of finding conditions under which this system could operate. 

Competitive Sport Exemption

Based on the current competition cycle for Winter/Spring Sports, only those athletes that have qualified for the upcoming National and Provincial games as applicable to their sports will receive an exemption under the Competitive Sport Exemption Criteria.

The future use of the competitive sport exemption will be further clarified in the FAQ's to be published as it will be subject to the current competition cycle 

Final rosters will be sent out in the coming days and athletes will subsequently be notified of their registration status no later than Sunday September 8th. 

Thank you all for your continued engagement, feedback and support! We look forward to a successful winter/spring season and to seeing many of you in the coming months.

Lindsay McPhee                                        Kyle Dowd                                                                                                                                                                      

Community Coordinator, Programs Chair | Community Coordinator, Admin Chair

Special Olympics Ontario - Greater Ottawa

Floor Hockey Officials Clinics

posted 6 Jan 2019, 13:30 by Webmaster Ottawa

Special Olympics Floor Hockey was one of the original sports of Special Olympics Worldwide. It is a combination of ice hockey, ball hockey and ringette- played on a gym floor. Just like hockey, it requires certified officials to conduct the games. To ensure our Special Olympics athletes to have the best competition experience, we are looking for individuals who are interested in becoming certified officials.

Special Olympics Ontario is hosting clinics to provide you with the training and knowledge to safety and competently officiate floor hockey games of all calibers. The clinic is one day and includes a classroom theory session in the morning followed by a practical training session in the afternoon.

Once fully trained as an official, Special Olympics Ontario offers a $20 per game honorarium. Most games are played in a tournament format in several locations across Ontario.

Clinic Dates:
Saturday, January 19, 2019 8am – 4pm at the Toronto Police College 70 Birmingham St. Toronto. (Register by Jan 17th)

Saturday, March 30, 2019  8am- 4pm at the Toronto Police College 70 Birmingham St. Toronto. (Register by March 28th)

Clinic Registration Fee:  $20.00

What you will need to bring: Notebook, Pen, Whistle and Non-marking Running Shoes.

Once you are registered for the clinic, you will receive a copy of the rules to review prior to the clinic.

Please contact Samantha Damiani if you have any questions regarding the clinics.

2019 Invitational Youth Games

The 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games will play host to over 2,500 student-athletes and coaches from May 14-17th, 2019 within the City of Toronto. Athletes aged 13-21 both with and without an intellectual disability will compete in basketball, bocce, floor hockey, soccer, or track & field. Participating teams will include athletes from Ontario, Canada, the United States, and various International countries.

The floor hockey competition will take place at The International Centre in Mississauga.

We are currently recruiting Floor Hockey Officials for this tournament.  Please contact Samantha Damiani if you are interested

Update Oct 31 - 2019 Provincial Winter Games Training Squad Announcement

posted 31 Oct 2018, 08:50 by Webmaster Ottawa

Congratulations to the volunteers who have been named District Team Managers for their District Teams for the 2019 Provincial Winter Games!

Update Oct 5th - Provincial Announcement

posted 27 Oct 2018, 08:56 by Webmaster Ottawa

Please view new attachments for the Provincial 5-Pin bowling, floor hockey and winter games training squads. 

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