Berwick’s Scott Turnbull, left was named Special Olympics Nova Scotia’s male coach of the year at an awards ceremony held Jan. 29 in Halifax.The presentation was made by his longtime friend and athlete, Andrew MacEachern. - Submitted
Scott Turnbull says it was “a big honour” to be recognized as Special Olympics Nova Scotia’s male coach of the year at an awards ceremony held recently in Halifax.
“In Nova Scotia, there are so many quality people who coach Special Olympics, it really was an honour just to be nominated,” added Turnbull.
The Berwick resident, who is employed as an education assistant at Horton High School, has been a Special Olympics volunteer since the mid-1980s. A former track athlete, Turnbull’s coaching focus is on athletics and, during his time as a Special Olympics volunteer, he has trained and travelled with athletes to national events across Canada and to Greece for international games.
Presenting the award to Turnbull was longtime friend and Special Olympian Andrew MacEachern.
“It was a very special evening because Andrew was there,” said Turnbull. The two have shared a friendship for “almost 30 years,” dating back to Turnbull’s early days in Halifax, when he became a buddy to MacEachern.
“When I learned Andrew was going to make the presentation, I was afraid I would get emotional. We have been friends a long time.”
Turnbull’s involvement in Special Olympics evolved out a lifetime interest in sport and desire to work with people with special needs.
“Sports have always been a very big part of my life and I understood the value of sport to everyone, so it kind of fit together.”
Volunteering with Special Olympics has also become a family affair, with his wife, Janice, and children, Kyle and Kelsey, also taking an active role in a variety of sport initiatives through the Kings branch of Special Olympics, which nominated Turnbull as coach of the year.
Despite holding down a full-time day job and operating his own sports equipment business, Winning Edge Sports, in the evenings and on weekends, Turnbull continues to make volunteering with Special Olympics a priority. He credits a “very supportive wife” and the fact that he “likes to keep busy” for making it all happen.
He also admits the personal satisfaction he continues to receive by coaching the athletes drives his involvement.
“Special Olympians have a pure love of sport and I take great joy in that,” added Turnbull.