Cole Davis thrives on the smell of chlorine and the sounds of swimming strokes in the pool.
At 62 years old, Cole Davis is spreading the power and joy of sport to people with intellectual disabilities. Each week he dives into the Lakeside Leisure Centre to teach the importance of water safety and swimming skills to Special Olympics athletes.
“I hold fast to my belief that safety comes first then fun is second priority. If athletes learn to become competitive swimmers that is a bonus,” says Davis.
Being legally blind didn’t stop Davis from volunteering with Special Olympics.
He was introduced to the opportunity at a workshop for people with disabilities. He had the time, knew how to swim and had a knack with people. That was 17 years ago and Davis has become an integral part of the Special Olympics swim program in Brooks. He has proudly represented Alberta as a swimming coach four times at various Special Olympics Canada Summer Games and has created a generation of swimmers who are more confident and healthier.
With all the experiences and memories Davis has made with Special Olympics, his proudest achievement has been the impact he has made through volunteering and the confidence he instills in the athletes.
“There was one time that a reporter had come to one of our practices to interview athletes. The reporter asked one of our athletes what is the thing you enjoy most about swimming. One athlete’s response was ‘being able to stand and walk in the water’. No amount of medals or ribbons won can equal the pride as a coach you have been a small part of that gift!”
Special Olympics is fueled by the kindness, commitment and passion of volunteers like Cole Davis. Without volunteers, Special Olympics would not exist. Special Olympics would like to thank Cole Davis for his commitment and all the outstanding volunteers through out Alberta. Together, we are opening the world of sports to over 3,000 people with intellectual disabilities in Alberta.