Karen Stevens

Years involved with Special Olympics: 2 1/2

Sport(s) you coach: 5-pin bowling

How you became involved: I worked part-time at the SOBC office from Nov. 2006 – March 2007, providing administrative support to Lois McNary and the program managers.  I asked about programs that needed a volunteer and I was given Ray Bales’ contact information, as the 5-pin North Shore bowling team needed assistant coaches.  I have had the delightful pleasure of being an assistant coach for the North Shore 5-pin bowling team for the past two seasons.

What do I like about coaching Special O athletes: The SOBC team!  They are such a joy to be with, and their friendly, upbeat demeanor is truly inspiring.  My association with our 64 athletes has made me a better person, and this personal growth has caused me to appreciate their many gifts.  The athlete’s enthusiasm for the sport and for their team mates is contageous.  It is truly remarkable that these fine folks remember my every absence, and how inquisitive they are about the lives of the volunteers — and each others!  The team atmosphere is so positive and welcoming that they have become to feel like an extended family.  I look forward to being able to spend time with them, and it is truly an honour to be able to serve them and give back a small fraction of what they have given to me.

Best accomplishments: In February 2007, I had the good fortune of accompanying the SOBC head office to the Winter Games in Kelowna.  From start to finish, it was one of the most positive, valuable and invigorating experiences of my life.  It was truly awesome in every sense of the word, and it inspired me to begin the process of getting my coaching certification, which has been extremely rewarding.  I would like to thank each and every athlete, coach, and volunteer who has supported me in this great journey that will continue for many years to come.