Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

SOBC receives $10,000 grant from Canada’s Volunteer Award winner

19 January 2018

Tim Nusse, a longtime volunteer coach for the Valemount Secondary School Senior Girls’ Basketball Team, says his experiences with Special Olympics athletes and individuals with intellectual disabilities have given him the gifts of joy, appreciation, sportsmanship, commitment, positivity, and so much more.

In December 2017, Nusse was the recipient of the Canada’s Volunteer Awards’ Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award in recognition of his many years of remarkable basketball coaching, mentorship, and community service in Valemount. As the winner of this national award, Nusse was invited to designate a $10,000 grant to a non-profit of his choice, and he had no hesitation in choosing Special Olympics BC. He says he has received so much from Special Olympics BC athletes and individuals with intellectual disabilities over the years, “why would I not use this opportunity to give back to them?”

An Employment and Social Development Canada initiative funded by the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program, Canada’s Volunteer Awards recognize the contribution volunteers make in communities across the country. The Thérèse Casgrain Lifelong Achievement Award is a national award, honouring a dedicated individual who has volunteered for at least 20 years and has inspired other volunteers, led volunteer groups, or made other exceptional achievements through volunteering.

Riette Kenkel, Assistant Coach for the Senior Girls’ Basketball Team in Valemount, told the Rocky Mountain Goat she immediately thought of Nusse when she read the description of the award.

“Tim has been a coach, first aid attendant, bus driver, chaperone, joke-teller, friend, confidante, and more for 23 years,” said Kenkel, who brought the award to the attention of the both the senior and junior girls’ basketball teams. The students loved the idea, and submitted the application after receiving more than 20 letters of support for Nusse’s nomination.

In addition to his long volunteer coaching career, Nusse also served as a finish line official at track meets in Prince George, where Special Olympics BC athletes would often compete.

Nusse told SOBC he was inspired by the camaraderie and team spirit of the Special Olympics athletes, who were “giving each other hugs and high-fives and wishing each other a good race.”

He also saw that it was pure joy and love of sport that drove the athletes. Nusse described an example of this at a Special Olympics awards ceremony, where “the winner of the gold medal, who had already won a gold and a silver medal, asked the bronze medallist to trade medals because he did not have one that colour.”

He describes a range of experiences with Special Olympics athletes and individuals with disabilities that have deeply inspired him.

“Positive attitude – joy – appreciation – sportsmanship – encouragement to peers – performing your best in everything you do – involvement – take the job seriously but not yourself seriously – commitment – being a team. These were the gifts I received from [those experiences]. They taught me so much,” Nusse wrote.

His kind gift will help provide important travel opportunities for Special Olympics BC coaches and athletes, helping to connect our province-wide community and give more athletes the chance to enrich their lives through positive sport experiences.

We are so grateful to Tim Nusse for choosing Special Olympics BC as the recipient for this grant, and to Canada’s Volunteer Awards for recognizing and celebrating the incredible difference volunteers make in our communities. 

Tim Nusse (middle) receiving the award at a ceremony in December. Photo credit: Employment and Social Development Canada

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.