Special Olympics British Columbia British Columbia

2017 Recipient: Donna Bilous

Region 3 Coordinator and Special Olympics BC – Abbotsford coach Donna Bilous works hard to help SOBC athletes develop confidence, independence, and skills. A knowledgeable and respected coach who consistently demonstrates honesty and integrity through her actions, Bilous is the deserving recipient of the 2017 Howard Carter Award.

SOBC – Abbotsford’s longtime coach of speed skating and youth soccer, Bilous employs a coaching philosophy that emphasizes mutual respect and lifelong learning. She has a vibrant personality and she encourages athletes to celebrate successes and learn from setbacks. A registered nurse, she also brings her experience in health care to her coaching roles, incorporating mental training, nutrition, and wellness practices into her practice plans.

“Donna’s excellent organizational skills, time management, communication, and human service skills are an asset for all athletes involved in sports programs in the Abbotsford Local. Her enthusiasm and energy are infectious, a motivator for those around her, and her reputation for building on successes in whatever she applies herself to is well known and celebrated,” her nominators wrote.

Bilous has supported athletes as a coach at multiple Provincial, National, and World Games, most recently as Team Canada’s speed skating Head Coach for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. At all levels, Bilous has made a point of collaborating with less experienced coaches to teach them about sport-specific techniques, equipment maintenance, and rules and protocols, and her athletes have delivered impressive performances.

In her role as Region 3 Coordinator, Bilous has helped her Region thrive and her contributions have had a positive impact across the province. Over her time with SOBC, she has played an important role in recruiting, training, and mentoring new coaches and Local Committee volunteers, and some of these individuals have become leaders in the Special Olympics movement in B.C.

Congratulations, Donna, and thank you for all your dedication and hard work!

SOBC salutes all the deserving nominees for the 2017 Howard Carter Award:

  • Nikki Apps, SOBC – Comox Valley
  • Angela Behn, SOBC – Nanaimo
  • Penny Coyle, SOBC – Kimberley/Cranbrook
  • Courtney Keith Motz, SOBC – Delta

Steve Neilsen, SOBC – Victoria