Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Meet Coaches Bill and Judy Zmaeff

23 June 2017

Bill and Judy Zmaeff say coaching 5-pin bowling and bocce with Special Olympics BC – Revelstoke is the most fun they have ever had.

Bill and Judy first got involved with Special Olympics through their bowling league, and they soon discovered they are a great coaching team. Since then they have developed many meaningful friendships with SOBC – Revelstoke athletes, who they think of as family. The Zmaeffs say it is a pleasure to coach SOBC athletes because they always try their best, are very appreciative, and get a lot out of the experience.

Bill and Judy say it has been very rewarding to build trust with SOBC athletes and grow as coaches. They would like to thank the brave, hardworking athletes in their Local for accepting them as coaches and friends.

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

We got involved with Special Olympics in kind of a roundabout way. Judy is one of two ladies who manage our seniors’ bowling league, and one day about a year and a half ago, the bowling proprietor asked if anyone would be interested in coaching Special Olympics bowling. We looked at each other and I guess both of us knew we would like to get involved. That is how it all got started. As SOBC – Revelstoke is relatively new, and so is our Local Committee, we fumbled our way through trying to get things right. Judy and I soon discovered that we are most effective working as a team.

We started with 10 athletes, two teams of five, and taught them bowling basics. Judy and I concentrated on their abilities and not their disabilities. That is very important for a successful relationship to grow between athletes and coaches. They don't "work" for us, and we are not their "bosses." We are first and foremost FRIENDS. We trust each other and work towards being the best we can be as athletes and as coaches.

What has been your most memorable Special Olympics experience and what is your favourite thing about being involved with SOBC?

Our most memorable Special Olympics experience is when we recognized that the athletes learned not only bowling techniques, not just the mechanics of bowling, but they were consciously analyzing how they felt when they delivered the ball and could tell us as coaches what they did right and what needed improvement. That is a very difficult bridge to build, and Judy and I are pleased that we have succeeded in this way. We are friends with the athletes. It is even deeper than that, we are collectively more like family. It is always a happy occasion with greetings of joy all around when we meet up with them in town or anywhere else. That has got to be the most rewarding and our favorite thing about being involved with SOBC.

Judy and I have moved on after the bowling season to coaching bocce. We just set up our court at a local city park and play two or three games on the grass. Nothing fancy, but it is good enough to practice on until we can play on a proper court. We have five athletes, either two teams of two or one team of four with one spare.

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

Our Local in Revelstoke may be on a small scale compared to large centres with finer facilities, but our athletes are the same as anywhere else, brave and always willing to give it their all. You will not find more loyal friends than Special Olympics BC athletes. Judy and I as coaches, and Eddy Ross as a volunteer assisting us, wish to thank the athletes for accepting us and being our friends.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <b> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.