Volunteer Spotlight: Dena Lund

For National Volunteer Month, we would like to highlight one of our amazing coaches, Dena Lund! Here is Dena’s story: 

Twenty-two years ago I began as an assistant bowling coach volunteer in Special Olympics Oregon Clackamas County. The first day, I walked into the bowling alley full of athletes, coaches, caregivers and parents. It was total chaos! Suddenly thoughts came to mind that this may not have been such a great idea. I made my way over to the head coach, who directed me to pick a lane and work with the bowlers there. I was so underprepared and unsure of myself but found a group. 

The bowlers surrounded me to greet me. Then it happened—in less than five minutes, I was in love with them! They were so genuine and were eager to make me feel that I belonged. I was hooked and was determined to do everything to make their practice the best. That determination never left me; my goal is still to make every practice the best. 

Over the years, our county team has become more than a team—we are family supporting each other. In twenty-two years, I have received so much more than I could ever give. They have taught me so much about what life is about—friendships, laughter, hard work, rewards, sportsmanship, support, love, and so much more! I count it as a privilege to be able to be their coach and friend. 

Coaching Special Olympics athletes has enriched my life and has made me a better person. 

If you would like to become a coach like Dena, you can find out more about coaching with SOOR by visiting our website: www.soor.org/volunteer