Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

2011 Recipient: Zak Klein

A multi-sport coach known for his boundless dedication to athletes, SOBC – North Shore’s Zak Klein is a deserving recipient of the 2011 SOBC Grassroots Coach Award.

Heartfelt comments prove the significant impact that Zak has had in his six years as a coach and volunteer with SOBC – North Shore. “It was Zak who first initiated my daughter’s daily exercise program,” one parent said. “This caused a complete transformation, including a weight loss of 89 pounds, improved self-esteem and, once lethargic, she is now an athlete who runs the 1500m, 3000m and 5000m with ease.” Another explains that Zak “has aided my son and other athletes in improving their limited mobility and overcoming phobias and insecurities.”

Zak, 21, is the passionate Head Coach for SOBC – North Shore’s thriving basketball program. He also serves as the softball C Head Coach, Assistant Coach for Active Start and FUNdamentals, and Scorekeeper for the 5-pin bowling.

Zak is known for his adaptable coaching style, in which he hones his approaches to suit each athlete’s needs, and his commitment to collaboratively creating goals and plans for individual athletes and teams that truly help them grow. He was involved in 10 different programs this year, and he was still known for his thorough communications with everyone involved, and his enduring willingness to step up and help absolutely anywhere there is a need.

Evidence of Zak’s dedication is everywhere. He’s the person who took note of a particular athlete’s behavioural difficulties and put a plan in place to help her succeed, to the point where she became the team’s “Most Improved Player”; he’s also the person you’ll see stepping up to carry two giant tents at once to set up an event so the athletes will have adequate shade on a sunny day.

Congratulations and many thanks, Zak!

Special Olympics BC salutes all of the 2011 Grassroots Coach Award nominees:

  • Coleen Cole, SOBC – Dawson Creek
  • Jeannie Cramer, SOBC – Smithers
  • Mary Erb, SOBC – Vancouver
  • Ed Gerhardt, SOBC – Victoria
  • Joan MacKinnon, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook
  • Pat Oldershaw, SOBC – 100 Mile House
  • Katherine Smith, SOBC – Vancouver
  • Karen Truesdale, SOBC – Vernon