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)

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

Food trucks will be allowed to operate in several Sooke parks beginning May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke’s food truck pilot project under scrutiny

Councillor questions impact food trucks will have on nearby restaurants

A walk for autism awareness. (Black Press Media file photo)
COLUMN: Autism acceptance, not autism awareness

Elizabeth Sparling is the mother of a 24-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
PHOTOS: Vehicle driven into Saanich Walmart removed after two trapped workers rescued

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Tons of bottles were donated during bottle drives in Sooke and Langford on March 27. The funds raised from the drives will help a local family stay with their daughter during her leukemia treatments in Vancouver. (Photos: Glendora Scarfone)
Sooke, Langford bottle drives help cover family’s costs of staying with daughter during cancer treatments

More than $11,900 raised to help Shae Hanilton’s family stay with her in Vancouver

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Organ donation form from BC Transplant. (BC Transplant)
POLL: Have you registered as an organ donor?

They number 1.5 million strong and growing. But their numbers still fall… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 6

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Most Read