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

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

UPDATED: Interior Health to add 495 long-term seniors care beds

Nelson, Kelowna, Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton to receive new facilities

No changes coming to Fernie’s Second Avenue

Following a public survey, council holds off on repurposing Second Avenue

Tourism ramps back up in the Elk Valley

Heading into phase three, Tourism Fernie kicks off various inititives supporting local businesses

Business Beat

Coal Valley Boxing reopens to public Fernie and Sparwood’s Coal Valley Boxing… Continue reading

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

Trudeau apologizes for not recusing himself from WE decision

He says his and his family’s longtime involvement with the WE organization should have kept him out of the discussions

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

New comet appears in pre-dawn sky above Cranbrook

Neowise can be seen without a telescope over the next couple of weeks

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Washington’s NFL team drops ‘Redskins’ name after 87 years

The franchise was given the name back in 1933, when it was still in Boston

Most Read