A longtime volunteer with Quesnel Special Olympics was recognized for her tireless work.

Ellen Martz was chosen as this year’s Special Olympics BC’s Grassroots Coach award winner.

Rick Prosk, Program Coordinator for Quesnel Special Olympics said in her 28-years she has stepped up and helped out every time they were in need of a coach.

Prosk said this spring they were looking to re-start their soccer program but needed one coach for every athlete that was participating because of the COVID-19 protocols

“We had about 12 athletes that were interested in participating and that meant that I needed to find 12 coaches. We didn’t have 12 soccer coaches so again I went to Ellen and I asked if she would be willing to help out and she stepped in and volunteered and so with no experience she supported the soccer program so that another athlete would be able to participate.”

Prosk said that was just one of the many reasons why he nominated Martz for the Special Olympics BC’s Grassroots Coach of the year.

“She will do whatever she can to support athletes participating in Special Olympics,” Prosk said, “If we’re looking to start a new program or keep a program going and there’s some way that she can step in and help out then she’s prepared to do that.”

Prosk added that Martz even learned how to administer insulin so that one athlete with diabetes could participate at the National Games.

In nearly three decades, Ellen Martz has coached 5-pin bowling, club fit, track and field, rhythmic Gymnastics, golf, soccer, even snowshoeing.

She was also been the local’s treasurer for 26 years and helped with important fundraising.