Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

2018 SOBC award nominations for amazing athletes, coaches, and volunteers

24 April 2018

We are excited to congratulate the 2018 nominees for Special Olympics BC’s five annual awards! These accomplished and inspiring athletes, coaches, and volunteers have been nominated by their peers in recognition of their outstanding achievements, spirit, and contributions to Special Olympics.

Please join us in congratulating these 38 deserving nominees!

The winners of the 2018 SOBC awards will be announced over the coming weeks on the SOBC website and social media accounts.

Athletic Achievement Award

The Athletic Achievement Award is presented annually to a male or female athlete who has demonstrated outstanding athletic skill both in practice and competition. This athlete works hard to develop their abilities and to excel in their sport(s). In addition to athletic ability, this athlete must act as a role model for other Special Olympics athletes.

Becki Allen, SOBC – Delta

“Becki is very focused on setting goals and achieving them. Every week she takes her coaches’ notes and feedback, and she diligently practices at home every single day on her own, each week focusing on a different skill or move and watching videos of her practice to continue improving.”

Linda Careless, SOBC – Comox Valley

“She has been very consistent with her training and remembers her training book for coaches to sign – and hers is the most complete training log book we see!”

Sheryl Jakubowski, SOBC – Fort St. John

“Sheryl sets her mind on a goal, sees all the little pieces that need to make that goal happen, and then goes full force towards achieving the goal.”

Michael Langridge, SOBC – Victoria

“Michael is never shy about asking for feedback or clarification for a drill, showing that he wants to comprehend what is being asked of him as best as he can. Knowing him for the past three years now, I am continually impressed by how he can continue to develop as an athlete and an individual as a whole.”

Nicholas LeBlanc, SOBC – Surrey

“In 2010 Nicholas trained for nine months getting ready for the 2011 Special Olympics World Games in Athens, Greece. In that nine months he lost 51 pounds…Nicholas was in great condition.”

Dennis Lynch, SOBC – Nanaimo

“Dennis showed considerable growth in his self-discipline after being selected to Team Canada.  He took it upon himself, with guidance from his coach to integrate fitness training in all of his day to day activities. Dennis was personally responsible for making the choice on a regular, consistent basis to walk or run everywhere he went and he had the self-discipline to keep this up for months at a time in addition to his other more sports-focused training.”

Glenda Melnychuk, SOBC – Quesnel

“Once she had been selected to attend the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games as skip of her curling team, Glenda committed to attending an additional practice on Wednesday nights. As the designated skip, she sought opportunities to learn more about the game, whether that involved engaging in conversations with her coaches and teammates, playing in generic league games, or watching curling on TV.”

Grassroots Coach Award

The Grassroots Coach Award is presented to a coach who works tirelessly to ensure that all athletes, regardless of their ability level, are provided with opportunities to train, improve and compete. This coach emphasizes fair play and good sportsmanship and ensures that all athletes feel included and valued. This coach recognizes the unique gifts of each athlete and has the ability to form an exceptional bond with the athletes who require a unique approach from their coach.

Greg Bodin, SOBC – Coquitlam

“Greg insists that all the athletes are to respect their coaches and fellow players. All the athletes have the highest respect for Greg. He has a special connection with the athletes, even those with extreme challenges look to Greg for guidance and affirmation.”

Larry Cagna, SOBC – Comox Valley

“Larry has a very positive way with the athletes he coaches. He is very relaxed, jokes around but also remembers the little things that go on in athletes’ lives…inquires after, shows concern…he’s very good for athletes’ self-esteem.”

John Campbell, SOBC – Nanaimo

“John’s coaching is known for using his patience and humour to solve problems as they arise as well as always treating athletes, caregivers and other coaches with respect and fairness. There is always lots of laughter in John’s practices.”

Edna Clifford, SOBC - Abbotsford

"Edna is an inspiring and inclusive coach, finding ways to ensure all athletes in her Local can participate in sport. This has included support for athletes who need extra care at Games, and adding the little extras, the nice touches to social events for athletes who count on Special Olympics as their social circle."

Michel Elshof, SOBC – Surrey

“Mike spends time with the athletes and teaches them that they can be a good bowler. He listens to their needs which helps them believe in themselves. He enjoys being a coach.”

Meghan Jamieson, SOBC – Richmond

“As the rhythmic gymnastics Head Coach, Meghan has planned very effective practices that served to meet the individual needs of the athletes. She is always conscious of each personality and tries to adapt activities to include favourite themes that will motivate and make it extra fun for the athletes. She really takes the time to know each athlete.”

Vivian Marsh, SOBC – Fort St. John

“Besides being always ready with a smile and a high five, the most important thing Vivian has taught her athletes is how to continue to strive towards a goal without feeling like they are failing in between. It is such a crucial balance because she wants to make sure that she continues to help each of the athletes improve to the best of their abilities but not for them to feel inadequate at what they do. So she is always ready with a smile and a compliment but also a new idea for how they can improve as well.”

Ellen Martz, SOBC – Quesnel

“Ellen has a positive, friendly, outgoing personality. She is a team player, and sees her role as supportive of the head coach. One head coach described her as ‘our girl Friday.’ Over the past eight years, Ellen has actively supported the increase in Quesnel’s program offerings by stepping up whenever needed to actively support that program as assistant coach.”

Misty Pagliaro, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook

“Misty loves to have fun with her athletes. She is able to be playful and joke with the athletes while ensuring that her interactions are respectful. Misty has a lot of sport knowledge to pass on to her athletes and she does so in a way that is appropriate to the athlete that she is working with.”

Howard Carter Award

Howard Carter was an upstanding member of the automobile business community and a great friend of Special Olympics BC. Mr. Carter recognized the value of coaches and as such this award is presented in his memory. The winner of the Howard Carter Award is a coach who provides exceptional training to the athletes and ensures that they are prepared to beat their personal bests and deliver high-calibre performances at competitions. This coach is a creative problem solver and always is developing new ways to improve strength and conditioning of the athletes.

Nikki Apps, SOBC – Comox Valley

Nikki’s rapport with the athletes encourages them to WANT to improve. Her work in the water results in immediate improvement and the joy on the athletes’ faces when they master a skill because of her is amazing to see.”

Penny Coyle, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook

“Penny spends a lot of time encouraging the athletes to do their best and has been in the pool working on a particular skill with the athletes. She is able to see the best in our athletes, and she is always encouraging and praising them for their efforts.”

Courtney Keith Motz, SOBC – Delta

“Prior to Courtney, the Delta rhythmic gymnastics program had never sent athletes to Provincial or National Games. In addition, Courtney herself was selected as the Head Coach for Region 4 rhythmic gymnastics at the 2013 Provincial Summer Games in Langley. Two athletes from Delta qualified for the 2014 National Summer Games in Vancouver, which was a first for the Local. Courtney has personally inspired individual athletes by encouraging them to set goals to do their best, and has facilitated extra practices and performances to help achieve these goals.”

Wilma VanHage, SOBC – Prince George

“Wilma encourages improvement in athlete self-esteem through her positive and uplifting comments to athletes during their training. She has a happy attitude that athletes enjoy.  Wilma is always encouraging athletes to do the best they can no matter what their ability level is.”

President’s Award

This non-coaching volunteer is dedicated to planning, organizing, and operating sport programs, fundraisers and/or competitions. This volunteer is an asset to the Local’s Executive or sub-committee and is always willing to take on a leadership role to ensure that the athletes and volunteers have the best experience possible. This volunteer donates countless hours and always has the best interest of Special Olympics BC in the forefront.

Jo Buck, SOBC – Terrace

“Jo is the local coordinator in Terrace. She has her hands in everything. She runs an effective meeting and executive committee by helping with getting athletes to competition, helping with fundraising, and ensuring everything runs smoothly throughout the year.”

Shannon Dempster, SOBC – Victoria

"Shannon is well-known to athletes of the Special Olympics in Victoria. They are eager to tell her their stories, especially as they relate to recent competitions. The executive committee welcomes Shannon’s participation at each meeting and values her engagement as she comes with over 18 years of experience with Special Olympics BC." 

Dorothy Franson, SOBC – Chilliwack

“Dorothy is constantly encouraging athletes in all sports to reach their full potential. She is an active member of the executive committee, offering to volunteer when needed at events (swim meets, registration, etc.)”

Brian Hansen, SOBC – Delta

“His easy, open communication style keeps all facets of our Local in touch with each other. He is an essential linchpin between coaches, volunteers, our executive board, our parents, and well as our community.”

Karen Hart, SOBC – Surrey

“Through involvement at our annual walkathon for the past 10 years, Karen balances funds received to athletes’ pledge sheets ensuring accurate tax receipts are able to be issued. This is a major fundraiser for the Local which ensures all athletes can afford the programs offered.”

Sheila Hawton, SOBC – Trail

"She can be counted on to follow through with any task she takes on and is able to maintain a level demeanor and help be a voice of reason in times of conflict. She is not afraid to step up no matter where she is needed."

Beverly Inglis, SOBC – Elk Valley

“She is always first to arrive and last to leave, saying ‘I am just a phone call away if you need me.’”

Sally Masters, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook

“Anyone who meets or works with Sally will immediately recognize her kind, loving nature. She is extremely patient and always willing to give her time to SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook. She is always loving and accepting of our athletes, and her interactions with volunteers are always respectful and genuine.”

Lisa McPhedrian, SOBC – Richmond

“Lisa is always around to help and ensures that everyone gets what they need. She can often be seen at competitions helping to set up, make lunches, and organize concessions. If there is something that needs to be done – Lisa is there to do it with a smile.”

Dale Redford, SOBC – Grand Forks

"Dale has a positive relationship with all volunteers and athletes. He takes the time to acknowledge when athletes have birthdays and spends a lot of 'down time' with the athletes. He is a valued executive member and is calm and reasonable during board meetings. He is always ready to lend a hand to coaches, athletes, or board members." 

Rick Stanley, SOBC – Nanaimo

"Rick is exceptional at dealing with difficult situations and always listens with a compassionate ear before thoughtfully providing a solution to any issue he encounters.  Rick is a wonderfully reasonable person and always approachable and makes time for everyone in our community."


Spirit of Sport Award

This award is presented annually to an athlete who exemplifies the true meaning of sportsmanship. The Athlete’s Oath states, ‘Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.’ This athlete lives by our Athlete’s Oath and is an inspiration to fellow athletes and coaches. This athlete shows dedication and enthusiasm, and always gives their best effort.

Matthew Lai, SOBC – Richmond

“The other athletes look up to Matthew as a role model especially with the ease and grace he displays on the ice. Matthew never seems to give up. He practices hard and is always willing to try new things.”

Jason Pappas, SOBC – Grand Forks

“Jason accepts and learns well from coaching direction and assignments. He is always striving to become a better athlete, and is a better athlete. He is well-liked by his fellow athletes and received full acceptance as a relatively new athlete to our Local.”

Michaela Robinson, SOBC – Surrey

“Michaela always shows a keen interest in others she meets at practices or out in a public setting. Michaela always greets you with a smile and is sincere with all of her comments.”

Adrian Rosen, SOBC – Prince George

“Adrian is a phenomenal leader. In Club Fit he displays leadership by demonstrating the exercises, and counting out the repetitions. He leads the group with confidence, and pride during our group runs! Adrian continues to work at his full potential regardless of illness, injury, fatigue. We could not be prouder!”

Brad Smith, SOBC – Delta

“Brad can always be relied upon to be at every practice and game, and he always gives 100 per cent to his teammates, so everyone can achieve their best.”

Kendall Salanski, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook

“Kendall is always willing to work her hardest at practice; she shares her lane well and is always encouraging others and Kendall exudes sportsmanship at any program”

Pauline Shaw, SOBC – Victoria

“Apart from being a long-time athlete involved in various sports she has always made it her goal to include every athlete and to make sure that everyone is having fun no matter what. This past winter season in the figure skating program, Pauline often spent a lot of her ‘free practice time’ to work with brand new athletes to Special Olympics to cheer them on and offer words of encouragement when they were not able to learn a new skill quickly or were finding a new skill tricky.”

SOBC logo

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.