Tina Giesbrecht

Special Olympics Team BC 2020 Snowshoeing Mission Staff
Tina Giesbrecht

When and how did you get involved with Special Olympics?    

Six years ago I began teaching Special Education at our local high school, after many years at an elementary school, and was asked if I’d consider coaching Special Olympics snowshoeing. I wholeheartedly agreed and have not looked back since.  

Will this be your first Special Olympics Canada Games? If not, which other National Games were you part of and in what role(s)?  

In Newfoundland 2016, I was a coach on the B.C. snowshoe team. Leading up to Nova Scotia 2018, I was mission staff for bocce, but unfortunately, a few days prior to Games, I got very ill, and was not able to attend. I watched the live streams and felt very much a part of it. 

What does it mean to you to be part of Special Olympics Team BC 2020?    

Being part of such a positive group of athletes and coaches, one cannot help but feel part of a bigger movement of inclusion. 

What is/are your goal(s) for these National Games?

To have fun as a B.C. team, stay organized, and to help our athletes be the best they can be.

What is your favourite Special Olympics experience to date?

Something that really made me smile was watching the Newfoundland volunteers trying to drain the snowshoe track of puddles after a heavy rain while teasing us that they thought of getting a dory and setting it in the big puddle with a fisherman sitting in it. Another amazing experience in Newfoundland was the night guard at our hotel, hosting a Kiss the Cod ceremony for us. Such fun!

What does competing at National Games mean to your athletes? (or, if this is your first National Games, competition in general)

This gives our athletes a tremendous opportunity for showcasing their amazing talents to their family, to their friends, and to Canada. 

What storylines are you excited to see develop in your Team BC sport team leading up to the National Games?     

I am excited to see athletes making personal-best times, overcoming travel challenges, making new friendship connections, and taking in a part of the country never seen before.   

What would you say about Special Olympics to encourage someone to get involved? 

Volunteering with Special Olympics is such a rewarding experience. I get so much more than I give. More joy. More friends. More excitement. More happiness. Did I say more joy? I absolutely love every minute volunteering for this amazing organization!