Volunteer’s are the heart of the sports community

By: Erin McHarge a student reporter from Bishop tonnas

Throughout her career, Helen has played many sports and taught physical education to thousands of students; however nothing has been as rewarding as coaching teams and athletes to spark an interest sports and physical activity.

“I wish I had someone when I was in school who would give back to the students. I wasn’t a star athlete, I was an average athlete. I had to encourage myself to play sports. And as I would have wanted as a kid, I try to encourage kids when I coach or teach saying, ‘Hey, maybe you should try out for something’, hoping that they listen because kids could be a lot more than they are with a little bit of motivation” explains Downey.

Throughout her lengthy career, Downey has coached many sports such as, basketball, volleyball, track and field, cross country, curling and gymnastics, to name a few. Each sport and its athletes hold a special place in her heart. Even though she has led many athletes to championships in the past, coaching is not about glory or winning, but rather encouraging others to become active.

Downey states, “I am quite honoured to work with the variety of kids and sports I have dealt with over the years. I have had many successful teams and I love them all. I want to inspire kids and bring them from nothing, upwards.”

When coaching, Helen has realized that the knowledge of knowing you have given back to your community and truly making a difference is all the incentive she needs to continue her long career of coaching.

“I love what I’m doing, I enjoy what I’m doing and I hope I’ve instilled enough values and motivated enough kids that someday that they’ll do the same thing. And that they contribute and do something positive to keep people active, engaged and feeling good about themselves.”

Helen Downey is a valued member of the amateur sport scene, inspiring hundreds of athletes over the years and being a coaching role model for years to come.