Peggy Koele

Daily Point of Light # 3373 Jan 8, 2007

Peggy Koele is a dedicated year-round volunteer who provides multiple growth opportunities for children and adults in Special Olympics.

For over 28 years, Peggy has been committed to the Special Olympics movement. In 1978 Peggy began coaching both children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Peggy coached athletes how to participate and excel in basketball, bowling and track and field. Peggy continually demonstrates the high degree of technical skill, commitment, and compassion needed to motivate and train athletes for competition and for life. Personal growth, self-confidence and physical fitness are only a few benefits obtained by the athletes through Peggy’s coaching and mentorship.

In addition to coaching, Peggy fulfills the all-important and demanding role of volunteer Area Director for Northwest Iowa. This vital position requires a person with integrity and honesty. As the Area Director, Peggy ensures that quality Special Olympics sports training programs and athletic competitions are available to all eligible individuals in the area. She plans, implements and manages all area competitions while raising funds to support and meet the financial needs of the area.

Over 830 athletes currently compete in Northwest Iowa. These athletes are given an opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents throughout the year while increasing the public’s awareness of their capabilities. Prior to each area competition, Peggy receives and reviews all athlete entry scores. She then creates divisions so that athletes of equal ability compete against each other in any given event, thus providing each athlete with a fair and equal opportunity to not only do well but to excel in their individual competitions.

Peggy recruits, orients and trains volunteers who assist with the sports competitions held in Northwest Iowa. She ensures that all National Governing rules and Special Olympic rules, policies and procedures are followed during the competitions. Peggy also establishes training opportunities for other volunteer coaches so they can and will promote the proper instruction for all athletes.

The first-ever Special Olympics USA National Games were held in Ames, Iowa in July, 2006. Over 3,000 athletes from across the United States participated in this week long competition. Peggy generously served as the Sports Commissioner of the bowling competition for the National Games. As the Sports Commissioner, Peggy completed many duties including the supervision of officials and volunteers. She ensured that equipment was properly set up for the bowling competition and that the schedules were followed. Peggy also addressed any protests made by the coaches.

Peggy Koele treats every Special Olympics athlete with the respect and dignity that they deserve. She whole-heartedly shares her time and abilities with people with intellectual disabilities.