Award season is upon us once again. Special Olympics Nova Scotia is proud to present the 2017 winners their awards at the upcoming Inspired Gala. Our congratulations go out to the following:

Female Coach of the Year: Maura Hunter (Cobequid)

Maura Hunter is deeply committed to her athletes in swimming and snowshoeing and to Special Olympics as a whole. Maura can always be counted on to have an open mind and level-headed. She is the epitome of the athletic health and lifestyle, modelling healthy eating, regular exercise and healthy mind to all.



Male Coach of the Year: Cyril MacDonald (Cape Breton)

Cyril has been a coach and volunteer with Cape Breton Special Olympics for 8 years. During that time Cyril Coached Track and Field, Bowling, Curling, Bocce and Speed Skating. Cyril treats all the athletes with respect and because of this, they work very hard for him. He is a dependable and conscientious coach who expects great things from his athletes and they are very happy to oblige him.





Official of the Year: Lisa Hopper

Lisa has been involved in Rhythmic Gymnastics since the young age of 4, and has since been coaching the sport for 20 years. Lisa has helped with the organization of Summer Games for the last three years. She is currently working towards training judges and officials to assist in fair judging of Special Olympic competitions within Nova Scotia.






Volunteer of the Year: Francis Sampson (Cape Breton)        

Francis Sampson has been involved with Special Olympics for 15 years. Francis has held many jobs in our region, including, but not limited to, Regional Coordinator, which he recently stepped down from after 12 years. Francis is an amazing volunteer, and believes in the Special Olympic movement more than any person we have ever met. He makes decisions with our athletes in mind, and isn’t scared to speak his mind when athletes are at stake.




Law Enforcement Torch Run Award: Sgt. Kim Robinson

As a member of the Halifax Regional Police Service, Kim has taken over the role of  Zone 1 representative for the Law Enforcement Torch Run Committee. Kim initially joined Special Olympics Nova Scotia when her daughter joined the Special Olympics organization as an athlete. Since then, Kim has participated in Summer Games, Awards Gala, Halifax Polar Plunge, Truck Convoy, and many more Special Olympics NS events.


Male Athlete of the Year: Daniel Martin (Pictou)

Daniel Martin joined Special Olympics Pictou County 7 years ago in the swim program. In 2011 he tried the sport of Snowshoeing, taking home medals. His success at National and World games was largely due to his hard work learning to pace himself in distance running. He trained 4-5 days a week and the results showed.  In 7 short years, we are so proud of all Daniel has accomplished with Special Olympics.





Female Athlete of the Year: Aimee Gordon (Cape Breton)

Aimee Gordon, has been involved in Special Olympics for more than 25 years, and has participated in Softball, Track and Field, Swimming, and Speed Skating. Aimee has overcome so many barriers – she was never supposed to be able to talk, or walk.  Today, any one that knows Aimee has been poisoned by her infectious laugh, and has been hugged and has heard “You’re my old buddy aren’t ya?”



Dr. Frank Hayden Award: Terry Black (Amherst)

The Dr. Frank Hayden Award winner, Terry Black, is an absolute asset to his team. He is a go-to guy, as his team can always count on him to score that much needed goal, pull one more shift on the soccer field in the blazing sun, or to rally his teammates to perform to the best of their ability. No matter how hot, tired, sore or beaten down Terry might be, he never gives less than 100% and he never gives up.






Dr. Elizabeth A. Chard Chairperson’s Award: Terry Richardson

Beginning in 1987, Terry has began fundraising for his local Pictou county Region as someone who wanted to just lend a hand. He has volunteered on the local committee for 14 years before becoming an active member on the local Pictou County Board of Directors. Within two years he became the Regional Coordinator and then to the Provincial Board Chairperson in 2015. He has also worked on the Provincial Summer Games Organizing Committee, as Transportation Chair. This is where he earned the title of Mr. T! He helps with the Truck Convoy as well as the Inspired Gala. Terry is a committed member if the 2018 Special Olympics Canada National Summer Games Organizing Committee and a friend to everyone he meets.



Team of the Year – Pictou Curling

At the 2015 Provincial Winter Games in Aldershot, the Pictou County Curling Team showed their coaches their long practice paid off. The team played in the Gold Medal Game, coming down to the last rock without the hammer. The other team prevailed leaving them with a very hard fought came for 2nd place but in the eyes of their coaches they were Champions! Once again in 2017 they found themselves in the gold medal game – this time with the hammer. They captured the Gold Medal without having to throw their last rock. This team is one that has worked hard under the guidance of their coaches to become a competitive team all the while welcoming new team members each year.