Joanne Fevens

Years involved with Special Olympics:  8 years in New Brynswick and 2 in British Columbia

Sport(s) you coach:  Head Coach Active Start, Assistant Coach Track and Field

How you became involved:  I was working at a group home in University and many of the residents were involved in Special Olympics.  A few coaching positions became available and I jumped at the chance to volunteer with such an amazing organization.

What do I like about coaching Special O athletes:  Not only the determination and dedication of the athletes but knowing that you are helping individuals to lead a healthier and more independent lifestyle.  I believe that Special Olympics is an amazing support system for all athletes, parents and guardians and that it truly changes lives.

Best accomplishments:  Although I have been fortunate to coach at Provincial and National games, my greatest accomplishment has been coaching the very first Active Start program in Canada.  British Columbia now has 13 Active Start programs running and it has already grown to Alberta and Yukon.  I believe that this program is going to make a huge difference in terms of long term athlete development, growth and skill level of our athletes as they grow over the years.  If we can get athletes in training and their families thinking about nutrition and activity at age 2, just think how far that could take them in their lives.  When I see a 3 year old who has been working for months to jump over a bar and they finally do it…the whole class just errupts in applause and cheers and I see the look of pride on their parents’ faces…there is no better feeling in the world.