Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Meet Volunteer Jonathan Loong

24 May 2017

Special Olympics BC – Richmond’s Jonathan Loong is an enthusiastic volunteer who loves being part of his Local’s fun and welcoming community.

As SOBC – Richmond’s Volunteer Coordinator, Loong works hard to connect people who are interested in getting involved with his Local with positions where they can make a difference. One of his favourite things about his role is collaborating with his Local’s phenomenal coaches, who he says inspire him with their dedication.

Loong started with SOBC – Richmond on a temporary basis and stayed on because he believes in SOBC’s mission and loves the spirit of unity in his Local. He wants others to know that the members of SOBC – Richmond’s Local Committee are caring, accommodating individuals who are devoted to supporting athletes, coaches, and volunteers.

When did you start with Special Olympics, and how did you get involved?

I started around February 2015 when the previous Volunteer Coordinator could not continue in her role anymore due to sudden circumstances. I spoke with her about her experiences in the position and she had great things to say about SOBC, particularly about SOBC – Richmond. I joined the Local Committee on an interim basis and I’ve stayed on ever since because I believe in the goals of SOBC and I enjoy the unity of the Local.

What has been your most memorable Special Olympics experience?

Despite being the Volunteer Coordinator, I haven’t had the chance to regularly volunteer for any programs. I do drop by various programs occasionally just to see our Local up close. I’ll never forget the first time I dropped by a program, which was the track and field program. The Head Coach was very friendly and greeted me. I observed the athletes during their drills and they were all laughing and having a great time. I spoke with a few of them and they were cool and cracked a few jokes with me and it was just an amazing opportunity to see what SOBC is all about! I was just a random dude dropping by, but everyone welcomed me with open arms and it reinforced the fact that our Local is very welcoming and fun!

What is your favourite thing about being involved with SOBC?

Part of my job as Volunteer Coordinator is to connect volunteers with coaches. Another responsibility is to keep an updated list of current volunteers, which also requires communication with coaches. Thus, I get a lot of opportunities to connect with all the coaches in our amazing Local! I always get to learn a little more about a particular coach when we collaborate on program-related topics, and it’s just a great feeling to see how dedicated our coaches are to the programs. Without them, our programs wouldn’t run, and getting to know the SOBC – Richmond coaches is one of my favourite things.

What would you like others to know about SOBC – Richmond?

I would love others to know that we have a very hardworking Local Committee that does its best for the athletes, coaches, and volunteers. I can confidently say that without certain members, our Local would be toast. We have members on the team that are going above and beyond what their positions entail to cover open positions, and they do it in the best interest of our Local. The team is also very open and caring. Whether a coach brings up a proposal, or our amazing athlete representatives bring up an idea that athletes pitched, our team will openly discuss it and find a way to accommodate the Local. Our team looks out for everyone, whether it’s a coach, volunteer, or athlete, and that’s why SOBC – Richmond is so united: Everyone matters.

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