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 Lois Simpson-Leino from Manatee County
Lois Simpson-Leino began participating in Special Olympics Florida in February 2013 after researching online and deciding that it was a great way to share her love of sports, especially volleyball, swimming and basketball, with others. The people she has met along the way have been Lois’ favorite part of coaching with Special Olympics Florida. As she puts it, “Every moment with Special Olympics has been full of laughter and excitement. Win or lose, every athlete and coach knows that as long as we tried our best and had fun, that is all that matters.” Lois even recently started learning sign language in order to communicate with one of her hearing-impaired athletes. Read More