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Help bring joy to special needs athletes, be a Special Olympics coach

Rewarding volunteer opportunities available in the sports of swimming and FUNdamentals
Special Olympics BC – Campbell River needs coaches for swimming and FUNdamentals. No experience is necessary and training is provided. Photo contributed

Special Olympics BC – Campbell River is looking for coaches for two sports – no experience necessary!

Swimming is one of the areas in need of coaches. This popular sport is available for athletes aged 12 and up. Athletes are trained in a variety of events, and participate in competitions at all levels. The athletes are starting to prepare for summer games in 2024, so it is an exciting time to get involved.

Also in need of coaches is FUNdamentals, which introduces basic movement skills such as running, jumping kicking, throwing and catching to athletes aged 7 to 11. As the practices continue, the athletes move on to basic sports such as soccer, softball, basketball and track and field. Along the way, the program promotes proper nutrition and social inclusion. All these skills will support everyday activities, as well as provide a base for other Special Olympics sports as the athletes grow older.

FUNdamentals, like other Special Olympics programs, helps athletes with development of physical, cognitive and social abilities, as well as contributing to positive self esteem and a sense of belonging. It starts a great foundation for a lifelong love of sport.

David Ell became involved in Special Olympics in the fall of 2021, and serves as Campbell River’s Volunteer Coordinator, as well as coaching 10 pin bowling and golf. He became involved because of Special Olympics’ reputation for providing a variety of rewarding, well run programs for athletes with intellectual disabilities. As a retired teacher, he felt it was a good match for him to get involved and support the community, and has found the experience to be a real joy.

“The athletes are so positive, dedicated and enthusiastic at every practice,” he said. “Special Olympics means so much to them and has such a positive impact on their lives. How can you help but feel that joy with them?”

Special Olympics provides training to coaches at no cost.

Ell encourages others to get involved: “it’s life changing!”

If you would like more information on volunteering, you can contact Ell at