Meet Coach Jennifer Knoll

Coaching for Special Olympics is the best thing that SOBC – Port Alberni’s Jennifer Knoll feels she has ever done. She has been involved with SOBC for over 14 years and finds much joy in developing relationships with her athletes.

“It is so rewarding how the athletes look up to you for advice on their sport,” Knoll says.

A recent highlight in Knoll’s coaching career was being the 5-pin bowling coach for the Port Alberni Grizzlies at the Special Olympics Canada Winter Games Calgary 2024

Group photo of bowling team at bowling alley

The team gave it their all in Calgary, as they bowled their way to a bronze medal! Port Alberni Grizzlies athletes Jenna Domovich and Cody Booth also received medals for their individual results. The team’s achievements were truly a united effort that saw over nine months of training pay off.

“It means the world to me to be a Special Olympics coach because I love seeing the looks on the athletes’ faces when they participate in a tournament – how much fun they have and all the new people they meet,” Knoll says.

Aside from competition, one of Knoll’s favorite memories is from the very beginning of National Games when the team first arrived at the hotel.

“The hotel gave us a fanny pack with a whole bunch of stuff in it. One thing that we got was a homemade bracelet and a card that said, ‘good luck.’ The other side of my card said, ‘just remember if you’re feeling sad, there are always people who believe in you and remember how far you came. You got this’. The bracelet I got said, ‘be happy.’” 

“I later found out that every single athlete and coach received a different bracelet and a different message on their cards. The best part was that they were made by elementary school students. Seeing these messages gave the athletes the incentive to be all they could be.”

For Knoll, being a Special Olympics coach is an opportunity to make an impact on and off the playing fields for athletes with intellectual disabilities. You can join Jennifer today and the thousands of other coaches, volunteers, and athletes of the SOBC community to change lives including your own!

“If anyone is thinking about becoming a coach, the only thing I say is "DO IT". You won't regret it,” Knoll says. 

“It is so much fun, you meet so many great people, and you develop a family with everyone that is around you.”

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