Janis Malone – A Coaches Journey
Volunteer Cycling Coach – Special Olympics Scotland West
I have been involved in Special Olympics since around 2006 and for the past 5 years, in a formal capacity, I’ve been one of two coaches for the cycling team. We currently have around 14 cyclists in the Scotland West cycling team. Our athletes vary widely in range of cycling ability, fitness levels and learning disabilities and as coaches we strive to make the training suitable for everyone. This often means adapting the training sessions on the spot to make sure that everyone understands and can participate fully and to the best of their abilities.
Coaching Special Olympic athletes is incredibly rewarding and is a constant learning experience. It is so satisfying and heart-warming to watch our athletes develop in both their sport and their personal lives.
Of great developmental significance is that for some athletes this may be the first time
they’ve ever been part of a team or travelled away from home without their family.
The motto of Special Olympics is “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”.
Watching one of your athletes give everything they can during a race, whether they win or not, is such an amazing personal experience and by far, the best return for giving up a few hours a week to volunteer support for these truly special individuals.