Special Olympics Canada Foundation

Special Olympics Canada Foundation
motionball ThreeSixtyFive gala in Toronto

Since its beginnings, motionball has engaged a new demographic and new generation of volunteers and fundraisers in support of the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

Now in its 14th year the not-for-profit organization uses social and sporting events to create relevant and meaningful experiences that attract supporters to their cause.

motionball hosts events across Canada with three annual events in Toronto (The Gala; Marathon of Sport; and Fall Classic Golf Tournament), two in Vancouver (Gala; Marathon of Sport), two in Calgary (Gala and Marathon of Sport) two in Halifax (Gala and Marathon of Sport) as well as a Marathon of Sport in Ottawa, Montreal, Kelowna and Winnipeg.

I got to chat with motionball about their events and the funding for the Special Olympics.

How much money was raised for Canadian Special Olympics this year from the gala?

The motionball Toronto ThreeSixtyFive gala raised an incredible $250,000 net!

What other ways do you raise money?

motionball is a national organization with 15 annual fundraising events across 10 Canadian cities. Our next Toronto event is the Marathon of Sport on May 24, 2014 at the Downsview Hangar, where motionball’s mission – EDUCATE, INTEGRATE, CELEBRATE – really comes to life on the playing field. It’s an intense day of competition that sees 600+ participants play alongside local Special Olympics Athletes in a variety of sports.

How much total is raised each year for Canadian special Olympics from all sources? 

In 2013 motionball proudly donated $800,000 to the Special Olympics Canada Foundation.

Special Olympics Canada Foundation
motionball ThreeSixtyFive Gala in Toronto

What does the money pay for? 

All of the money raised through motionball is sent directly to the Special Olympics Canada Foundation, whose mission is to ensure the long-term financial integrity of the Special Olympics movement in Canada and to fund long-term athlete and volunteer growth. The Special Olympics Provincial Chapters receive 70% of the funds raised from the events in their chapter. The remaining 30% goes to the Special Olympics Canada Foundation endowment fund – now over $6 million.

Funding helps pay for programs, training and Olympic games. The motionball Toronto ThreeSixtyFive Gala hosted an on-site activation that challenged guests to support team Ontario and collectively send over 10 Special Olympics Athletes to the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games, taking place July 8 to July 12 in British Columbia.

How many Canadian athletes are funded through these amounts?

There are currently 36,739 children, youth and adults with an intellectual disability registered in Special Olympics Canada’s programs thanks to the incredible support from its partners and sponsors.

Special Olympics Canada Foundation
motionball ThreeSixtyFive gala in Toronto

How can we reach more potential athletes? 

motionball’s mandate is to raise funds and awareness for the Special Olympics Canada Foundation. We believe that through greater awareness and participation in our events, we can reach more athletes. motionball’s long term goal is to host a Marathon of Sport in every major city across Canada (we’re close!), which will allow us to reach more local Special Olympics Athletes and engage the communities around them.

What are some challenges that Special Olympics face? What needs more funding? What would help get that funding? 

The biggest challenge is awareness of the Special Olympics movement and the athletes involved. There is often a misconception between Special Olympics and the Paralympics. Special Olympics and Paralympics are two separate organizations recognized by the IOC. They are similar in that they both focus on sport for athletes with a disability and are run by international non-profit organizations. Special Olympics welcomes all athletes with intellectual disabilities (ages eight and older), of all ability levels, to train and compete in 32 sports.

What are the biggest challenges for motionball? 

Much like Special Olympics Canada, motionball is often viewed as an organization which hosts events across Canada. However, we are a year-round movement that strives to support Canadians who have an intellectual disability through the power of sport.

How can we help with these challenges? 

The best way to understand the challenges that our athletes and the movement face is to participate in one of our events, which focus on integration between our supporters and beneficiaries, the Special Olympics athletes.


About Joel Levy 2575 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography