Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

2014 Recipient: Deborah Carter

Known for her exceptional ability to inspire athletes to greatness through her attentive and caring coaching, Special Olympics BC – Surrey athletics Head Coach Deborah Carter was the deserving winner of SOBC's 2014 Howard Carter Award.

Throughout her more than 10 years of dedicated and skillful coaching with Special Olympics, Carter has demonstrated her inspiring ability to help athletes to achieve their full potential, employing a winning combination of firm leadership and genuine caring for her athletes. Carter is professional and firm when she leads training, but her excitement and joy for her athletes shines through when she’s watching them in action.

“She motivates all of her athletes to be the very best that they can be,” one parent of an athlete coached by Carter wrote in her award nomination. “She celebrates their victories as enthusiastically as they do. Every personal best achieved is a victory for the whole group. She knows her athletes well and does what is necessary to get the maximum performance from each one.”

Carter “places a lot of focus on personal bests and helps athletes realize their own growth rather than comparing themselves to others,” her nominators wrote. “Track is a sport with such a varied level of skills that some can become discouraged if they are always the slowest – she finds opportunities for them to feel successful. She knows the athletes well and finds ways to develop strengths and overcome weaknesses.”

Carter is known as an outstanding coach of athletes both locally and at National and Provincial Games levels and has also given of her time to coach SOBC athletes at BC Games; currently she is a member of Team BC 2014 and will serve as Head Coach for the SOBC athletics team at the Nanaimo 2014 BC Summer Games. Carter also supports the most dedicated athletes who want to train year-round beyond the program weeks, building training plans and giving generously of her time to track their performance and help them see they are making progress.

Carter goes above and beyond to support athletes in their endeavours, and always puts the best interest of the athletes first. She demonstrates deep caring and attention both on the tracks and fields and off, working with the athletes on ways they can improve their performance between practices and being attentive to extra pieces such as encouraging concerned parents to allow their child to take a bit of a risk through which they can grow and feel the joy of accomplishment.

While excelling in her support of athletes, Carter also does an excellent job of leading efficient, well-organized practices and creating an environment where other coaches can grow and take on challenges. She sets a strong example of sportsmanship, fair play, and respect for officials and judges.

We’re so grateful to Carter for her outstanding coaching and caring.

Sincere congratulations to all of the 2014 Howard Carter Award nominees:

  • Calvin Dyck (SOBC – Prince George)
  • Nell McGarrigle (SOBC – Elk Valley)