Special Olympics BC – Kamloops coach Tamara Turner says she is inspired by the skills and selflessness of Special Olympics BC athletes.
Turner is the Assistant Coach for the SOBC – Kamloops floor hockey team, the Kamloops Silvertips. She also serves as a speech coach, supporting the Local’s athletes as they participate in SOBC Athlete Speakers Bureau sessions and helping them develop speeches so they can represent Special Olympics in their community.
Turner says she enjoys spending time with SOBC – Kamloops athletes, and she leaves every practice feeling great.
When did you start with Special Olympics, and how did you get involved?
I started with Special Olympics in the fall of 2015. I had been working at a non-profit organization teaching a life skills program to young adults. I couldn't help but be so interested in the various Special Olympics sports and events that they were always chatting about! When I decided to move to another organization to work with younger children, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to become involved with Special Olympics and stay in touch with the individuals I had enjoyed working so much with. So, you could say the athletes recruited me themselves. :)
What has been your most memorable Special Olympics experience?
My most memorable moment was on the floor at practice one night, commending one of our very skilled athletes on his great performance. He wouldn't accept the compliment on his own and replied with something along the lines of, "We are all working so hard and doing great tonight." I always admired the attitude and ability of this athlete and his humble response reminded me of why I chose to spend my free time coaching these wonderful athletes.
What is your favourite thing about being involved with SOBC?
I enjoy spending time with the athletes. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with fitting Special Olympics commitments into a busy schedule; however, I always leave feeling so inspired and refreshed that I know my time was spent doing what I was meant to do. In practice, I enjoy interacting as a teammate but also having a respectful coach/athlete relationship. I think it is so important to have a great relationship where you can have fun together and still respect each other's roles.
What would you like others to know about SOBC – Kamloops?
Something of note about our Local is that we have the privilege of having several very knowledgeable and experienced Special Olympics volunteers on our Local Committee who have been with Special Olympics for decades! This definitely helps new volunteers feel inspired, supported, and dedicated when they join.