My Brave Attempt: Being a Coach
Most of us are familiar with the Olympic Games held every four years. However, how many amongst us have actually heard of the Special Olympics, which showcases the abilities of athletes with intellectual disabilities?
Personally, I jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Special Olympics. I volunteered to be a coach to our beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries of MINDS MYG will be participating in Bocce and Soccer. Over the past two months, we have conducted both individual project trainings and combined trainings. It is especially heart-warming to witness our athletes as they put their best foot forward during practices. During these trainings, we have learnt to overcome challenges that were new to us.
Since the functionality of each athlete varies, it becomes crucial for us to divide the beneficiaries accordingly. In all honesty, it is more challenging to conduct practices for the lower-functioning athletes. There are times when we have to chase hyper-active athletes, and other moments when we have to coax athletes who refuse to cooperate. In short, for the challenges encountered, you name it and we must have faced it in one way or another.
I vividly recall coaching an athlete to play Bocce against another participant during a practice. She did not fare as well as the other contestant, but I spotted the determination written all over her face to outperform her opponent. In response, I tried to encourage her by reminding her that the trainings had just begun and she would only get better with practice. She persisted and continued training.
That instance made me realize that our beneficiaries take each and every practice session very seriously. This reaffirmed my decision to volunteer as a coach and to join our beneficiaries on this amazing journey of self-discovery.
If our beneficiaries are fully capable of dedicating and have already dedicated so much effort into this event, who are we to deny them of the opportunity to compete in similar games like normal athletes do?
About the writer
Wan Ling is a 24-year-old Accounts Assistant. She has been volunteering with Ang Mo Kio Project under MINDS MYG since March 2016. Despite being a relatively new volunteer, she volunteered to be a coach for the Special Olympics trainings. She lives by the wise words of her father, the kind begets the kind.