Several Swift Current residents were recognized for their contributions to Special Olympics at the annual provincial awards banquet.
The Special Olympics Saskatchewan SaskTel awards banquet took place at the Gallagher Centre in Yorkton, Sept. 21.
Swift Current's Theo Lautsch won the 2018-19 Junior Coach/Volunteer of the Year award. This award is presented to Special Olympics Saskatchewan's most dedicated coach or volunteer under the age of 21. Award recipients are chosen based on their contribution to sports, coaching effectiveness, development and leadership.
Theo has volunteered with the curling and bocce programs in Swift Current. We wish Theo well as he attends post secondary school in Moose Jaw this year. Below is the award statement about his contribution:
“Theo not only coaches curling, he is an active curler himself. He is able to work with athletes and adapt his training methods to meet their particular skill level. Theo completed the Special Olympics Competition Coaching Program and understands the importance of meeting the athletes at their level to give them confidence and a good feeling about the level they are competing at. He feels Special Olympics gives the athletes a voice in the community and is always willing to go above and beyond to make sure the athletes have a positive experience through sport.”
Several Special Olympics Swift Current coaches and volunteers received years of service awards at the provincial awards banquet.
Five years of service recipients are Lori Grainger (basketball coach), Ruth Kitchen (volunteer), Kim Passmore (board member and bowling coach), Shirley Wengel (bowling volunteer).
Ten years of service recipients are Marion Giverhaug (bowling coach), Cynthia Phillip (volunteer), and Tiffany Powell (swim coach).
Swift Current offers a range of different sports programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities, including swimming, bowling, basketball, floor hockey, curling, slo pitch, and bocce. All our programs are coordinated, coached and operated by volunteers.
To ensure that all programs are safe for everyone, we maintain a ratio of one volunteer for every four athletes. So we have a lot of volunteers and there is always a need for more. For us to have seven volunteers that have received recognition for years of service speaks well to the dedication of our volunteers.
Youth volunteers add so much to our programs and we have been very fortunate to have had Theo as part of our programs for a few years and he has been a great asset to our programs and athletes. We have had some students get involved with us as they complete service hours as part of high school classes, and then some have stayed for years afterwards. If anyone would like to get involved, they can contact us on our Special Olympics Swift Current Facebook page.
Jackie Powell is the Program coordinator - Special Olympics Swift Current)