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Swim coach from Carstairs area honoured with Special Olympics award

Teena Wilks received that honour earlier this month
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MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY — Teena Wilks has had a very exciting spring so far.

Earlier this month the Carstairs-area woman was named Special Olympics Alberta Coach of the Year.

Wilks has been with the Olds & District Special Olympics (ODSO) swim program since 2015, first as an assistant coach then co-coach. She is now the program’s head coach.

“Teena has been able to relate well to all of our swimmers; from the swimmer who starts off with no confidence at all in his ability in the water who now only uses one floating device and swims the length of the pool over 30 times each time we are in the water, to the accomplished swimmers who have been able to go on and compete in provincial and national Special Olympics competitions as well as Alberta and Canada Games,” ODSO chair Karen Mengersen says.

She notes that every year, Wilks hosts a swim meet in Olds that attracts Special Olympics swimmers from across Alberta plus an affiliate in Saskatchewan.

Wilks is also a music teacher. Mengersen is grateful to her for finding the time to coach swimming as well.

“We are quite proud of her accomplishments and the honour she has received in being named Special Olympics Alberta 2024 Coach of the Year,” Mengersen wrote in an email.

Wilks is humbled to have received the award.

“It’s pretty special,” she said during an interview with the Albertan.

“There's a lot of coaches in the province for Special Olympics,” she added, noting they’re a very dedicated bunch.

Wilks has been coaching for 10 years.

She has also coached athletics, but lately has been focusing on Special Olympics swimming now that she’s the head coach of that sport.

Wilks has done quite well in swimming herself, having obtained swimming gold, silver and bronze placements in the master’s category as recently as this past April.

“Actually my son taught me how to do all the technical swimming,” Wilks said. “I love swimming.”

Her son Wesley is a coach with the Olds Rapids swim club.

Doug Collie

About the Author: Doug Collie

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