Torben “Turbo” Schuffert (17) competes in the 200-metre snowshoe race at the Special Olympics national championship in 2019. He won gold. (Contributed photo)

Torben “Turbo” Schuffert (17) competes in the 200-metre snowshoe race at the Special Olympics national championship in 2019. He won gold. (Contributed photo)

Special Olympics athletes stay active

A combination of local and provincial programs are keeping competitors connected and in shape

Opportunities to train with teammates and compete may still be a distant prospect, but Smithers Special Olympics athletes are still finding ways to stay in shape and remain competitive.

These include a number of local and provincial initiatives incuding the Smithers Move and Meet, a biweekly workout and social event conducted via Zoom.

National snowshoeing gold medalist Torben Schuffert is one of the athletes participating and said his favourite part is “hanging out with my friends and staying healthy.”

Coach (and Torben’s mom) Sandra Schuffert, said it has been very important for all the kids’ mental wellbeing.

“Most of our athletes feel very isolated, so I think they need have some time to actually chat and catch up with everyone,” she said.

The program itself is an online adaptation of the Special Olympics Club Fit program, an exercise regimen designed specifically for Special Olympics athletes, but featuring many elements familiar to all athletes for cardio, strength, flexibility and

“I would almost desribe it as a boot camp,” said Sandra. “I can tell you, after the last time we did it, my muscles were sore the next day.”

Additionally, Special Olympics BC has a number of other online resources available to keep athletes fit and socially connected. These include online workouts and sports activities, yoga, even a dance club.

For Torben, though, his favourite thing so far has been the Winter Warrior Challenge, he said.

The challenge is a seven-week program that involves daily wellness, nutrition and hydration goals, which runs until the end of February.

Athletes are asked to participate in one fitness activity per day, as well as, eat a prescribed five servings of fruit and vegetables and drink 2.5 litres of water.

The program suggests dozens of “Get Moving” activities and provides a number of healthy recipes. Participants are asked to document everything they do on a handy chart provided and submit videos and photos for a chance to win prizes.

Torben said he is really enjoying the challenge, but ultimately is just looking forward to the pandemic being over so he can get back to the face-to-face camaraderie and competition.

“What I think is quite amazing, is what you actually can do during the pandemic,” Sandra said. “I would have never thought that Torben could participate in a program throughout the year with everyone in BC.

“I think we have to look at some of the positive things that are happening right now.”

Sandra said if she could turn back the clock, she would in a heartbeat, but going forward there could be a place for both the pre- and post-pandemic programs.

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

Just Posted

Smithers Local Health Area reported just one new case of COVID-19 from Feb. 14-20. (BC CDC graphic)
Local weekly COVID infections drop to one

The Smithers Local Health Area (Houston to Witset) reported a single case between Feb. 14 and20

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Smithers Weekly Police Blotter: Feb 12 – 19

Smithers RCMP open 83 new files including 15 property crime cases

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

(Black Press file photo)
Charges laid against two suspects in pre-Christmas home invasion

An 88-year-old woman was hospitalized after being bear-sprayed in the face Dec. 18, 2020

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read