Guest blog post from Benefits by Design’s Marketing Assistant, Jacob Irwin
When I was a kid, my parents put me into a lot of different sports: soccer, hockey, karate, and a brief stint in gymnastics. Some stuck, while others (gymnastics) didn’t. No matter the sport I was playing, I was a member of a team – whether we played together or just trained together. I was too young to realize it but I was picking up essential life skills like teamwork and cooperation by participating in sports.
The skills I learned playing sports and the camaraderie you have with others when playing are skills that I use every day in my position at Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc. I work in a team, I cooperate, take the lead on some projects and help others. These skills help a person throughout their life. motionball brings the opportunity to practice those skills in a single day of fun for everyone while raising funds for the Special Olympics Foundation of Canada (SACF).
motionball and the Marathon of Sport
motionball is a not-for-profit organization that raises funds and builds awareness for the SACF by targeting the next generation of supporters. One of the ways that they do this, and which I was able to participate recently, is the motionball Marathon of Sport.
motionball Marathon of Sport is an annual event that takes place in cities all across Canada. motionball teams fundraise and compete alongside Special Olympics athletes in a variety of different sports and activities over the course of the day. Each of our three BBD offices participated in their local event, and this year in Kingston I got the opportunity to play alongside some truly incredible Special Olympics athletes! We played soccer, football, kickball, tchoukball and much more. It was incredibly rewarding to see the athletes competing and to see the joy on their face.
One particular memory from this year that stands out is when one of our athletes, Lindsey, started break-dancing because she liked the song that was playing so much. People from different teams clapped and cheered her on and you could just see that she was thrilled!
A First Timer’s Experience
Since I had never participated before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It had been a while since I’d played any team sports, but I quickly remembered how much I had enjoyed them once we started playing! There were a lot of people at the Kingston motionball event (BBD actually had two teams) and everyone was welcoming, friendly and all around having a great time. The day was filled with fun and joy and renewed my love of sports! So much so that I am looking into local sports clubs here in Kingston for the summer.
Together, Kingston exceeded our fundraising goal of $40,000, totaling $54,000 raised! Likewise, teams in Toronto raised $405,000 and $160,000 in Vancouver!
I wanted to capture others’ first time experiences as well, and so I interviewed some of the other BBD team members who attended motionball with me. Here’s what they had to say:
It was a great experience getting to work with the Special Olympic athletes. They put in such hard work and never quit for a minute. It was a great thing to see.
– Shane Clarke, New Business Specialist
For me it was a very humbling experience. There is no reason that I cannot have a smile on my face each and everyday like all of the Special Olympians did at motionball.
– Ryan Kennedy, New Business Quoting Specialist
All in all, motionball was a fantastic experience, and one I am eager to participate in again next year! Not only was it incredibly rewarding for me personally, but I could tell that it meant a lot to the Special Olympic athletes and their families.