While athletes are at the heart of our organization, our volunteers are its backbone. That’s why each year at State Summer and State Fall Games, Special Olympics Florida honors the coaches who have inspired others to reveal their inner champions. Called the Inspirational Athlete & Coach award, it is a chance to celebrate the dedication and passion that our volunteer coaches bring to Special Olympics Florida.
Coach Lenora Deonath from Marion County
In the ten years since her son began competing, Lenora Deonath has dedicated her time to improving the lives of Special Olympics athletes. Lenora has numerous sports under her belt, including Bowling, Aquatics, Basketball, Golf, Softball, Volleyball, Cycling, Athletics, and the newest – Stand-Up Paddle. Lenora says her favorite part of Special Olympics is working with athletes, teaching them new skills, and practicing with them throughout each season. She’s considered a competition veteran, having been to the State Summer Games four times. However, this year was her first time as head coach of the Volleyball team and as Lenora explains, “each time at State Summer Games has been a unique experience”. Special Olympics has drawn Lenora’s family together, allowing each member to support one another whenever someone needs it. As Lenora mentions, “Special Olympics has been the best thing to happen in my life, not just because of my son but because all the athletes that I get to work with.” Read More