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Airdrie swim coach to take part in Summer Games

By: Lucas Punkari

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jul 24, 2014 10:48 am

Special Olympics Airdrie swim coach Tammy Hnatiuk, far right front row, was part of Team Alberta's swim team during the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver earlier this month.
Special Olympics Airdrie swim coach Tammy Hnatiuk, far right front row, was part of Team Alberta's swim team during the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver earlier this month.
Submitted/For Rocky View Publishing

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For Special Olympics Airdrie Swim Coach Tammy Hnatiuk, the chance to help out at the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games was something she couldn’t pass up.

The 32 year old from Airdrie served as an associate coach for Team Alberta during this year’s Games, which took place in Vancouver from July 8 to 12.

“Having helped out at the Alberta Summer Games in Lethbridge two years ago, to be involved in a national event like this was something that I really wanted to do,” Hnatiuk said.

“I received an email about a year ago that they were looking for applicants for this event, and I was lucky enough to be chosen to be a part of Team Alberta,” she added.

Hnatiuk, who has been the swimming head coach for Special Olympics Airdrie for the last two-and-a-half years, was involved in a number of activities in her role as an associate coach during the Games, with the majority of her time being spent timing the swimmers’ run for the head coaches.

“The coaches were basically at the pool all day long, so if you wanted to explore the town, being a swimming coach is probably not the best thing for that,” Hnatiuk said.

“However, I knew that before I signed up for the job.”

“One of our biggest things was to make sure the athletes were in the right spot for their races, and I think we did a good job of that,” she added.

“That meant getting up in the morning around six every day and being at the pool until that night, but that’s all part of the experience of being a part of the event.”

Hnatiuk, who will be helping out at the Alberta Summer Games in Airdrie this week as part of the Zone 2 swim team, said the experience of helping out at the Special Olympics Canada Summer Games was something that she would recommend to anyone.

“When I was in Vancouver, I spoke with a volunteer there who hadn’t been involved with anything like this before, and he couldn’t believe what a neat experience it was,” Hnatiuk said.

“The event is such a neat experience to watch the athletes grow and succeed, and it’s a big reason why I do what I do here as a coach.”


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