First appeared in the Lethbridge Herald on October 6, 2020
Parents in Sport Week 2020 is October 5 to 11 hosted by Active for Life. During the 4th
annual Parents in Sport Week we want to thank and celebrate parents who support their children’s love of sports.
Parents, grandparents, and guardians are key factors in a child’s participation in sport and physical activity. Parents provide financial and emotional support, time, travel, guidance and more for their children to be able to be active in sport. Parents often fill leadership roles with sport organizations such as coach, manager, president, referee, and board member. These parents often become leaders within sport and the community from their involvement as a sport parent.
In the 10 years that the Lethbridge Sport Council has been handing out their Achievement Awards there have been a substantial percentage of sport parents recognized for their involvement, dedication, and efforts in sport. As of the 2020 awards, 95% of the Leadership category award winners are parents and 65% of the Coaching Excellence winners are parents.
Without the generosity and selflessness that parents show for their children to participate and excel in sport, the number of children participating in sport would be far less.
The Lethbridge Sport Council has collected stories about outstanding sport parents in our community. The parents featured include Sheila-Rae Olivieri, a sport parent and volunteer with Tailwind Equestrian, Darren and Deborah Williams, with Lethbridge BMX, and Blayne and Lisa Harvey, parents of athletes from Legacy Tae Kwon-Do.
Blayne and Lisa are parents of athletes that compete with Legacy Tae Kwon-Do. The two of them have been so supportive of the schools. They always volunteer at events, help with fundraising and sponsor all of the endeavors of Legacy Tae Kwon-Do.
Both Blayne and Lisa volunteer at tournaments to help with whatever they can. Often they volunteer to be table officials, work at the entry table and many other tasks to help the tournaments run smoothly. They are always positive and supportive for their own kids and all of the members of Legacy Tae Kwon-Do.
Darren is recognized by his son Troy for his contributions with Lethbridge BMX Association. He runs and manages all of the racing events and also helps with coaching. He is a great coach and always answers questions and gives advice for riders! Darren always helps with track maintenance and renovations with the track whether that be corners or new track builds.
Darren is also the president and a board member of the Alberta BMX Association. He helps with results and registration with Alberta BMX and the provincial races. Along with these roles he is a volunteer assistant coach with the most advanced group at the Lethbridge BMX Association. Tournaments and events are a lot of work and require the assistance from many volunteers to run smoothly. Darren assists with these by organizing racing times, registration for the races, the website, the Lethbridge BMX app, board meetings, open track times and so much more!
Darren volunteers for race nights and for supervising open track times. He helps new riders learn how to ride and get them the right sizes for all of their equipment. Helping with equipment fitting for new riders is a great way to ensure the new riders are welcomed into the association. Darren loves to help people with any bike maintenance and will often fix bikes if needed!
Troy feels that everything Darren does makes him an outstanding parent in sport!
Sheila-Rae is a valuable volunteer at Tailwind Equestrian. She has taken on the responsibility of managing all sponsorship accounts for the Tailwind Equestrian Horse Show Series as well as booking food services for all Tailwind Equestrian events. Sheila-Rae is very organized and helps with the Tailwind Equestrian Travel Team competition schedule and travel arrangements. Through her dedication to the programs, Tailwind Equestrian is able to run a more streamlined organization. Sheila-Rae’s contributions are greatly appreciated.
Sheila-Rae is the head volunteer. She organizes sponsorship, catering, travel and some administrative duties. She helps with scheduling home and away competitions. Sheila-Rae manages the office during home competitions and makes the travel arrangements for away competitions. As well, she assists in the organization of social events at Tailwind Equestrian.
Sheila-Rae is someone who pitches in wherever it's needed. She can be counted on in all aspects from the daily chores and administration at Tailwind Equestrian to assisting and managing home and away competitions. She is very organized and keeps the team running like a well-oiled machine. Sheila-Rae is pleasant and friendly with all clients and competitors. Her lifelong background in horse sport is an asset to the organization!
Deborah’s son Troy wrote about how his mom is such an outstanding parent in sport with her contributions with Lethbridge BMX Association. She always helps people in any way she can, whether its answering questions for new people, helping her riders improve, teaching riders sportsmanship and respect and so much more! She is always there for people to talk to, ask for help and she is always looking to help out!
Deborah is the head coach with Lethbridge BMX Association where she coaches and runs the conditioning training in the winter. She also volunteers to run race nights and volunteers to supervise open track times. As a coach she always makes plans for coaching sessions and ideas for her riders to improve!
Deborah not only focuses on the success of her athletes, she really likes to ensure her riders are good mentally not just physically. She loves to check up on people, ask how their races were and loves to encourage her riders and competitors!