A New Chapter for Special Olympics Ontario, A message from the new President & CEO, Cody Jansma

Dear Special Olympics Ontario Community, 

I am honoured and excited to address you as the new President and CEO of Special Olympics Ontario. As I step into this role, I am filled with profound gratitude for the incredible community that has been built over the years, and I am eager to continue the legacy of excellence, inclusion, and empowerment that defines our organization. 

First and foremost, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you—athletes, coaches, volunteers, supporters, and staff. Your dedication and passion are the driving forces behind our mission to enrich the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities through the transformative power of sports. 

As we look to the future, my vision is to build upon our strong foundation and explore new opportunities for growth and innovation. Together, we will: 

1. Enhance Athlete Experiences: We will continue to provide top-tier training and competition opportunities, ensuring that every athlete has the chance to reach their full potential and experience the joy of sport.  We will continue to create equitable opportunities for ALL athletes at the local level and beyond. 
2. Expand Community Outreach & Partnerships: By strengthening our current partnerships and forging new ones, we aim to extend our reach, bringing the benefits of Special Olympics to more individuals and communities across Ontario.  Let’s think outside the box and meet our volunteers and athletes where they’re standing, and where their interests lie. 
3. Promote Inclusion and Awareness:  We will amplify our efforts to advocate for inclusion, breaking down barriers and fostering understanding and acceptance within our society. 
4.  Support Our Volunteers and Coaches: We recognize the vital role our volunteers and coaches play in the success of our athletes. We are committed to providing them with the resources, training, and recognition they deserve.  We will simplify systems to create an easier entry-point and overall experience for our dedicated volunteers. 

5. Continue to Grow and Transition School-Aged Athletes:  Working with the Ministry of Education and the already successful School Programs, we will offer quality Unified and Traditional sporting opportunities in every School Board in Ontario, and in turn, create a pipeline of future community athletes, volunteers and sponsors. 
I am truly inspired by the remarkable stories of triumph and resilience within our Special Olympics community, and I am committed to ensuring that every individual has the opportunity to shine. Together, we will continue to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create a world where everyone is included. 
In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to meeting many of you personally and learning more about your experiences with Special Olympics Ontario.  I hope to participate in many events, programs and qualifiers this summer to interact with as many athletes and volunteers as possible.  Beginning in September, we will host Virtual Open Houses to connect with every single community and offer further opportunities for engagement and discussion. 
Thank you once again for the warm welcome and for your continued support of Special Olympics Ontario. I am eager to embark on this journey with you, and I am confident that together, we will achieve great things. 
With warmest regards, 

Cody Jansma   
President & CEO   
Special Olympics Ontario