For National Volunteer Week, April 19 to 25, we are thanking our 22,000 volunteers across Canada by sharing some of their stories. Their unwavering support helps Special Olympics athletes and their families build the confidence, determination and strength to take on any challenge in sport – and in life.
Meet Special Olympics Nova Scotia's Donna Hoar
Donna Hoar has been a Special Olympics Nova Scotia volunteer in Dartmouth for 10 years. She’s held many roles including Regional Coordinator for Dartmouth, Provincial Games Chef de Mission, Provincial Leadership Council member, mission staff, NCCP Coach Evaluator and also coaches her regional softball team. She’s attended two National Games (Antigonish 2018 & Thunder Bay 2020) and believes that National Games is the best platform for athletes to recognize their success. Donna is a leader among her peers, not only in her community but also in her province. Find out why she volunteers below.
1. When and why did you get involved with Special Olympics?
I got involved with Special Olympics about 10 years ago. A friend of mine, who I used to play fastball with, was coaching the softball team and asked if I could help – I have been addicted to our athletes ever since.
2. What is your favourite Special Olympics moment/memory?
There are so many favourite memories; but the one that portrays Special Olympics athletes true spirit is the one from my first time as a coach at the Special Olympics Nova Scotia Provincial Summer Games. Our team lost every single game, I don’t even think we scored a run, but after the last out of the last game every one of our athletes congratulated each other and the other team and thanked the umpires for their great weekend.
3. Why should other people get involved with Special Olympics?
For me it is one of the most fulfilling things I do in my life, the purity of our athletes and the true happiness is contagious.
4. How has Special Olympics changed your life?
I have learned too many things to list; one of the biggest things I have re-learned is the simplicity of joy!
5. Why do you volunteer?
I volunteer for ME! The pure joy and love of life experienced through interacting with our athletes is unmatched anywhere else.