Volunteer Spotlight: Tammy and Bree-Ann Jubinville
Volunteer Spotlight: Tammy and Bree-Ann Jubinville
Tammy and Bree-Ann Jubinville are a powerful mother-daughter duo who have each contributed countless hours to Special Olympics for a decade now. Tammy became a volunteer 10 years ago, and Bree-Ann, her daughter, joined her around half a year later. They have both played huge roles in the growth and success of the St. Vital Olympians basketball team and their hard work and dedication does not go unnoticed, especially by the athletes.
JOURNEY TO SPECIAL OLYMPICS
From a young age, Tammy has had a passion to be around individuals with intellectual disabilities. From her experience as a volunteer at St. Amant, she knew she enjoyed being around individuals with intellectual disabilities and helping in any way she could. So, once hearing about Special Olympics Manitoba from St. Amant, she later found herself applying to become a volunteer with our organization. Within a short amount of time of Tammy joining, there was a need for a head coach for the St. Vital Olympians basketball team. Although it was not Tammy’s initial plan to take on such an important role, her kind heart could not decline this offer as the club would have most likely been shut down without a head coach. As it came to a surprise to her, she was in desperate need of volunteers and Bree-Ann was more than willing to help. Ten years later and they are still changing the lives of their athletes every day.
EXPERIENCE THUS FAR
When asked about their experience thus far, it was evident that there is a mutually beneficial relationship between themselves and the athletes. Of course, Tammy and Bree-Ann are incredible for their contribution to this organization and the great responsibilities each of them holds, but it is particularly fascinating to see the impact the athletes have had on their lives as well. To sum up her experience, Bree-Ann described it as “rewarding”. She explained that seeing the athletes be as happy as they are, grow as much as they do, and continuously demonstrate what they are capable of, is rewarding to be a part of. Tammy highlighted that it is especially rewarding to see the athletes grow as individuals, beyond their athletic abilities. Bree-Ann further explained that it has been incredible to learn about various disabilities and gain so much experience in particular athlete needs.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT
Despite having several memories in their several years of experience, when asked about their most memorable moments, they both included individual experiences with an athlete. Tammy said her most memorable moment involved one athlete in particular. When he first joined, it was very difficult to get him to join in on the activities. She never wanted to force him, but instead wanted him to actually want to participate. With a great amount of patience and thinking of new ways to get him involved, he eventually started to participate. She said this was her most memorable moment because it was incredible to see the progress he made from when he started, and it was rewarding to know she played a role in that. Bree-Ann’s most memorable moment also involved a memory with an individual athlete. She said when they were at an outdoor track meet a few years ago, she was cheering on one of the athletes at the finish line. She said this athlete had been so happy the entire event, even while she was running. At the finish line, to Bree-Ann’s surprise, the athlete ran right into her arms. Bree-Ann said she will always remember how happy and carefree this athlete was in that moment and that it was incredible to experience how proud the athlete was of herself.
WHY SPECIAL OLYMPICS?
In relation to joining as a volunteer, Tammy and Bree-Ann listed several reasons why individuals should sign up and why parents should encourage their children to volunteer. Tammy mentioned that there is so much ignorance and negativity regarding individuals who have intellectual disabilities that an experience such as volunteering would truly change their perspective of the athletes and of society as a whole. Bree-Ann added on by saying that in today’s society, people often set barriers on individuals who have intellectual disabilities. She continued to explain that when being involved as a volunteer, “instead of seeing what these individuals can’t do, you start to see what they can do”. They both agreed that being a volunteer for Special Olympics is one step closer to breaking the stereotypes surrounding individuals with intellectual disabilities. Tammy added on by saying when in the position of a volunteer, you have the privilege of seeing the athletes in a different light. In relation to joining as an athlete, Tammy and Bree-Ann said they have seen significant changes in their athletes’ self-esteem while being supported for their abilities. They continued to explain that Special Olympics is an incredibly positive environment where athletes are supported by their coaches, staff, families, but most importantly, they are supported by each other. With this tremendous amount of support, allows the athletes to discover what they are passionate about and what they are capable of doing.
Thank you, Tammy and Bree-Ann, for all that you do!