When I was 15 years old my history class had this small and rather plain looking poster hanging on the cork board that everyone walked past to get to their seats. It was a photo of a woman running in the rain, her back was to the camera and the scene was dark, almost dingy. But in bold letters it said “Winners are ordinary people with EXTRAordinary determination”.
I have searched, and searched, but never found out who said these words but they spoke to me; they spoke to me at 15 and they speak to me now, 15 years later.
Sport provided me with a vehicle to try and do something extraordinary, at a relatively young age. Sport provides many people with opportunity to learn, to grow and to give back. This is something I have always kept at the forefront of my appreciation for what sport can provide – it provides the opportunity to do something more; More in terms of athletic pursuits but also more in one’s community.
As an athlete I was a member of my provincial sport speakers’ bureau, the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Adopt-An-Athlete program and a few other organizations that helped me meet members of my community and give back. Although I am no longer an active athlete the opportunities to give back and engage with the community have not disappeared.
Recently, My colleagues and I from Sask Sport Inc. and the Canadian Sport Centre Saskatchewan volunteered at Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon. We hosted a Home for Dinner night for the families staying in the house. Our 6 staff members were joined by local athletes who have competed at the Olympic Games and/or are members of the University of Saskatchewan Huskie Volleyball program.
It was amazing to have everyone interacting, sharing and playing together; there were babies being rocked so that both mom and dad could eat with TWO hands, card games that allowed for a momentary escape from some of the more trying issues families are going through and crafting until parents pulled their kids away for bed.
In that evening, I was reminded of my favourite quote and how applicable it is to every single life, every single day. We all have the ability to be extraordinary!
Kia Schollar (nee Byers)
Sask Sport, Sport Consultant
Pan American Games, Gold and Bronze, Medalist