Betty Coleman is passing the torch virtually this year as the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run raises funds for Special Olympians. (Eric J. Welsh/ The Progress)

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

With an enthusiastic grin a mile wide, Betty Coleman runs toward the camera with a cardboard torch and says, ‘I’m Betty Coleman from Chilliwack and I’m passing the torch to you!”

The whole thing takes no more than 10 seconds, but Betty has just provided one piece of a much larger puzzle.

Her clip will be combined with many more just like it in a video collage, showing torches being passed across the province virtually where they would normally be passed physically.

The 30th Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics will look and feel different, but RCMP spokesperson Krista Vrolyk believes the spirit of the event remains.

“Normally we all gather at Sardis secondary school and we run together – police officers, Special Olympics athletes and other supporters – we run along Vedder road and we finish at the Pacific Region Training Centre where we showcase our local athletes and celebrate our partnership.

READ MORE: Chilliwack RCMP support Special Olympics athletes

READ MORE: Torch run for Special Olympians comes through Chilliwack

“Running side-by-side with the athletes is an event that we (RCMP) look forward to every year, and I know it’s a highlight for the athletes as well. But because of the pandemic we’ve had to change things up.”

Coleman is all-in on the torch run, no matter what form it takes.

She competes in a long list of Special Olympics sports including bowling (her favourite), bocce ball, swimming, club fit and family fitness.

A lot of what she does might not be possible without the funding that is generated by the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which pays for things like transportation, uniforms and facility rentals.

“The RCMP helps us out a lot,” Coleman says. “The torch run is awesome. I’ve never been able to hold the torch before, but it’s been really cool watching Derek (Trainor) do it last year was cool.

“When they asked me to do it this year, I was like, ‘It’s awesome! It’s so cool!’”

Doing it virtually instead of physically isn’t what Coleman had in mind, but she’s the type of person who sees the upside in any scenario.

“It’s different, but we’ll be getting more funds this year because some people are donating by the kilometre (for each km athletes run on their own), and some people are just donating,” she said. “I’ve raised $300.”

Vrolyk said the Law Enforcement Torch Run, virtual edition, has raised $30,000 so far across B.C. and there is still time to donate.

For more info see specialolympics.ca/british-columbia/ways-give/law-enforcement-torch-run


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusRCMPSpecial Olympics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Schubert Centre reopens with new chef, menu to serve Vernon

Farm-to-table focused chef aims to serve up more local eats to seniors, diners

Petition wants ‘aggressive dogs’ banned from Vernon-area parks

Local woman starts online petition to urge RDNO to change bylaws after reported dog attack

Interior Health continues to tackle COVID-19

IH president Susan Brown says don’t become complacent about pandemic

Cops for Kids to pedal through Vernon Saturday afternoon

Supporters are encouraged to cheer on their local RCMP participants at 3:30 p.m.

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

‘This is a very difficult sentencing’; Judge delays Okanagan manslaughter trial to next week

The courts heard Friday that Bourque “did not intend to cause harm” but that her actions were “reckless”

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read