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

The Kildonan mansion at 931 Foul Bay Rd. is part of the Oak Bay heritage registry. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay declines Kildonan House permissive tax exemption

Council briefs include new transformer for Oak Bay Rec., strata policy

A mature Garry oak fell onto Richmond Road on Oct. 13 near Camosun College Lansdowne campus. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Garry oak crashes down onto Richmond Road

Saanich responded to 59 tree-related calls

A woman was injured cycling, prompting road closures in Oak Bay on Oct. 16. (Twitter/Ray Bernoties)
‘Erratic’ cyclists potential cause of rider injured in Oak Bay

Female cyclist was reportedly injured at Hampshire Road and Bowker Creek Avenue

The Better Business Bureau is warning people of scammers posing as Amazon customer support. (AP File Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Watch out for Amazon imposters, says scam expert

Better Business Bureau is warning of a rise in Amazon scammers as people online shop more

A 23-foot sailboat that broke free from its anchor was smashed against Cattle Point during the early October south-easterly storms. (Ron Geezin Photo)
Storm-smashed boat pulled off rocks of Cattle Point in Oak Bay

Sailboat a casualty of last week’s big storms

Conservative member of Parliament Pierre Poilievre speaks during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberals say Tory effort to set up COVID-19 committee will be a confidence matter

The Tories were originally proposing an ‘anticorruption’ committee

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Investigators work at the Sagmoen farm in Silver Creek. - Image credit: Observer file photo.
Sex workers allegedly called to farm of Okanagan man convicted of assault, RCMP investigating

Curtis Sagmoen, convicted in relation to assault of sex trade workers, is prohibited from soliciting escorts

(Black Press Media files)
Early voters more likely to favour NDP, but overall B.C. election is tightening: poll

According to Elections BC, 383,477 people cast a ballot during advanced voting days

(Pixabay)
Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

Most Read