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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Wade Williamson, Lori MacVittie

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Special Olympics Canada Happily Accepts Increased Annual Support from the Government of Canada

TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Special Olympics Canada is pleased with today's announcement by Minister of State (Sport) Bal Gosal of an increase in ongoing annual funding by the Government of Canada. This $1-million increase will bring Sport Canada's annual funding for Special Olympics Canada to more than $2.8-million per year. As Minister Gosal stated in his announcement, this additional funding will help Special Olympics athletes excel in sport and achieve their dreams.

In 2012, Special Olympics Canada launched a five-year strategic plan which aims to broaden the delivery of high-impact, cost effective, community-based programs for athletes with an intellectual disability. Currently, approximately 5% of Canadians with an intellectual disability are registered with Special Olympics in Canada. Special Olympics Canada and the twelve provincial and territorial Chapters are committed to significantly increasing this number. Additional funding such as that promised by Sport Canada will go a long way in helping Special Olympics achieve its objectives.

"Special Olympics Canada is thrilled with today's announcement by Minister Gosal. The commitment to provide this funding on an ongoing basis allows Special Olympics Canada and the twelve provincial/territorial Chapters to deliver sport programs to even more Canadians with an intellectual disability," said Sharon Bollenbach, CEO of Special Olympics Canada. "The support of our federal government is integral to the ability and success of Special Olympics to positively impact the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through sport. We thank them for their support on behalf of our athletes and their families, our volunteers, and our coaches."

About Special Olympics Canada

Established in 1969, the Canadian chapter of this international movement is dedicated to enriching the lives of Canadians with an intellectual disability through the transformative power and joy of sport. Operating out of sport clubs in 12 provincial and territorial Chapters, this grassroots movement reaches beyond the sphere of sport to empower individuals, change attitudes and build communities. From two-year-olds to mature adults, close to 37,000 athletes with an intellectual disability are registered in Special Olympics year-round programs across Canada. They are supported by more than 17,000 volunteers, including more than 13,000 trained coaches.

For more information, visit www.specialolympics.ca or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@SpecialOCanada).

SOURCE Special Olympics Canada

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