motionball is a national non-profit organization that empowers young Canadians to be leaders in their communities, raising funds and awareness of the Special Olympics movement through inclusive social and sporting events.
The motionball University program was established to give Canadian university students the opportunity to create meaningful, relevant ways to support Special Olympics through their own on-campus initiatives and events.
motionball events are putting the fun back into giving, one campus at a time.
All motionballU events are purposeful, fun, and inclusive – bringing together university students and individuals from the community with intellectual disabilities who participate in Special Olympics programs.
Students are able to give back to a great cause while building meaningful relationships with the very individuals who are benefiting from their support: local Special Olympics athletes.
motionball now donates over $2 million to Special Olympics Canada Foundation annually, with a significant amount of this funding being generated by passionate university students.
Interested in getting involved? Start your own motionballU chapter at your university if there isn’t one already! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get started!
Want to participate? Click on your university name below to get involved! There are lots of ways to help out including joining a committee, volunteering, or putting in a Team for Marathon of Sport. Join today!
motionball events put the fun back into giving across Canada.
Meet our national leadership council 2022/2023
Meet this year’s National Leadership Council (NLC). This council is made up of 10 passionate, dedicated, and enthusiastic past and present student leaders who work alongside motionball’s National Office to help enhance the motionball University program.
Each of these leaders serve as mentors to our current motionballU Event Directors across Canada, providing them with guidance and support throughout the school year.
Callista TsangarakisCouncil Member
Hi Everyone! My name is Callista and I am currently in my last year of Athletic Therapy at Sheridan College. I previously was on the Queen’s motionball committee and on the 2022-2023 NLC committee last year! My favourite part of motionball is getting to meet everyone who is part of it and supporting Special Olympics in such a meaningful way. I love to think and collaborate with others of new ways to help motionball grow and look forward to continuing to meet motionballU students across the country!
Olivia McLellanCouncil Member
Olivia is from Vernon, BC, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Science at Thompson Rivers University. Throughout high school, she volunteered as a coach with Special Olympics, igniting her passion for inclusive sport. Olivia has now been involved with motionball for five years, founding a motionballU chapter at TRU and acting as Event Director. This is her first year on the NLC, and Olivia cannot wait to empower other young leaders—especially in Western Canada!
Ethan MerlinCouncil Member
Ethan is a returning member of motionball's NLC along with the previous co-Event Director for motionballU Dalhousie and one of the current Event Directors for motionball Cape Breton. Since 2018, Ethan has been all about motionball and is continually looking for new ways to get himself involved. With aims of helping motionballU reach new heights, he is excited to get things underway this upcoming school year and hopes that his experiences can be of use to those involved. Fun Fact: In efforts of raising money for motionball, Ethan alongside his co-Event Director (Melanie Clayton) created the fundraising initiative to get our NoGoodWay logo tattooed on his arm!
Charley WingCouncil Member
Charley is a current Event Director at Bishop's University, who became involved with motionball back in 2020, joining the Bishop's committee in her freshman year. Since then, Charley has helped plan and run various events on the Bishop's campus. She is a goaltender on the Women's Hockey Team and will be graduating with a degree in Neuroscience at the end of this school year. Charley's favourite thing about motionball is seeing her fellow students participate alongside local Special Olympics athletes, in an event filled with fun and excitement. This is Charley's first year on the NLC and she is excited to be able to mentor fellow Event Directors, and help make this motionball season the best one yet!
Catherine RinaldiCouncil Member
I am excited to be back on NLC this year! Now finishing my university journey with a degree in occupational therapy, I knew I had to stay involved with motionball anyway possible! Having been involved with motionball for just over 5 years, the magic of a motionball event never wears off. I'm looking forward to meeting event directors and committees from across the country and supporting their Marathon of Sports to inspire inclusion within university students.
Erin HeideckerCouncil Member
Erin, previously an Event Director at Western University, is transitioning into her role as a city Event Director for the Oakville motionball chapter. As someone who cannot get enough of motionball and the amazing people involved, she hopes to inspire the next generation of motionballers to be as passionate about integrated sports as she is! Currently, Erin is continuing her studies as a prosthetic and orthotics technician, while embracing her role as a sports coach year-round to provide the magic of sport and community to everyone!
Kyra SimmonsCouncil Member
Kyra is a master's student at Bishop's University. She has been involved in motionball since the first year of her undergrad, although her ties with Special Olympics extend long before this as she proudly watched her late uncle compete in Special Olympics from an early age. As a first year on the NLC, Kyra is excited to bring her strong work ethic to the team and get to know more amazing motionballers!
Melissa PenningtonCouncil Member
Melissa is a current Bachelor of Education student at Western University and first joined motionball as an Event Director at Wilfrid Laurier University in 2022-23. She helped to kickstart this chapter and hosted their first-ever Marathon of Sport event. During her time at Laurier, she studied Kinesiology and also coached a local Special Olympics basketball team. Her favourite part of motionball is sharing her love for sports, having fun and meeting other passionate motionballers!
Emily VanBerkelCouncil Member
Emily has been a part of the motionball family since 2020, and is a former Event-Director for motionball McMaster. Ever since the first event she attended, Emily was hooked on the heart-filling, dance-party loving, inclusive and celebratory organization that motionball is. motionball was such an integral part of her university experience, and Emily hopes to instill this passion in other university students, while also continuing her involvement in motionball across the country as a university graduate. She is so excited to join the NLC for the 2023-24 year!
Cassidi NotherCouncil Member
Cassidi has been involved with motionball in various capacities over the past three years. Starting as a team captain in 2020, she then furthered her passion for motionball by joining the committee at Western University. Most recently Cassidi led the committee as an Event Director for Western’s 2023 Marathon of Sport. Cassidi is looking forward to collaborating with members of the National Leadership Council to continue the momentum that has been generated through our yearly events.
Timothy MontgomeryCouncil Member
Timothy is a current student at Western University pursuing a Master's degree in International Business. He has been a part of motionball for four years and is always finding new reason's to why he loves it. Tims favourite thing about motionball is meeting so many amazing people and making lasting connections.
Melanie ClaytonCouncil Member
Melanie is a recent BSc Kinesiology graduate from Dalhouise Universty. She first got involved with motionball at Dalhousie as an event director for 2 years. Melanie has since moved to BC and is launching a new chapter of motionball in Revelstoke! She is so excited about bringing her love and passion for motionball and Special Olympics with her to BC and can't wait to see how the community comes together to celebrate inclusion through sport. She is also excited about the many new friendships with local SO athletes. Fun fact, Melanie made a bet with her co-event director at Dal (Ethan) that if they hit their fundrasing goals (they did) they would get tattos, so Melanie has a motionball tattoo on her arm!