Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

Meet Coach Tessa Webb

21 February 2018

Special Olympics BC – Abbotsford coach Tessa Webb says helping young athletes develop skills, have fun, and be active is an absolute pleasure.

Webb is the Head Coach of SOBC – Abbotsford’s Active Start/FUNdamentals program. She got involved with Special Olympics because she was looking for an opportunity to volunteer with children, and she says watching young athletes develop physical and social skills has been very rewarding. Webb says her most memorable Special Olympics experience was seeing how a fun game at one of her early sessions brought joy to the faces of athletes, caregivers, and volunteers.

Webb says SOBC youth programs are important because they help young people with intellectual disabilities develop skills and habits that will help them in all aspects of their lives. Webb says SOBC – Abbotsford’s fun, friendly youth programs teach kids to be active for life, and she hopes more young athletes get involved.

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

I started in September 2016 and have had two seasons of Active Start running in Abbotsford. I got involved as Head Coach after some experience I had working with the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre in Abbotsford. Once I finished a summer position there, I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer with kids. I had a connection to Tom Norton, the Coaching Coordinator for SOBC – Abbotsford, and gave him a call. He said SOBC – Abbotsford was looking for a coach that could work with some kiddos and that my experience working at the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre would benefit the program! I got organized in October and started my first Active Start session in January 2017.

What has been your most memorable Special Olympics experience?

My favourite memory with the kids is probably the first time we played “Duck, Duck, Goose.” It seems like such a simple game, and one that we all grew up playing, but for many of my kids it was the first time they had played. The smiles that they had on their faces for the whole game brought so much joy to all the volunteers and the parents. We now make it part of every session. Having the opportunity to give our kiddos a chance to play and be active is such a pleasure, and I am so lucky to be able to watch as they improve from week to week.

What is your favourite thing about being involved with SOBC?

Similar to above, my favourite part of being involved in SOBC is getting the opportunity to watch as the kids grow. The skills they learn through Active Start focus on developing gross motor movement, but they are also learning social skills as they interact with other kids their age and follow routines set by someone other than their parents. It is such a privilege to have the opportunity to watch as they evolve both physically and socially. Truly it is the little things that make it such a wonderful experience, like when I see someone catch a ball for the first time or figure out where their nose is at the end of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.”

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

I would like for more people to know about the opportunity to join the Active Start program. There is a huge need for affordable programs that are available to kids with special needs. Getting involved early is so important and the more kids learn early on the more they will succeed later in life. In Abbotsford, there is a great opportunity to set kids up to be active for life, and as more people get involved, the program will only continue to get better. At the program we teach more than just skills for sport, we are teaching kids how to play, how to make friends, and we are helping them develop fine motor control and introducing routines. We are here to help and would love to get more youngsters involved in the program!

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