Meet our dedicated 2017 Team Canada Mission Staff. These staff members ensure that our athletes and coaches are well prepared for World Games.
Allison has been involved with Special Olympics for the past 5 years. She is a proud coach of the Toronto Seals swim team. She is thrilled to be embarking on her first World Games experience as a part of the communications team. In her spare time, Allison loves to spend time with her family and friends and play as many sports as she can.
Goal for Austria: To take in all the Games have to offer and support our incredible athletes on their personal journeys.
Chelsea started working with Special Olympics Saskatchewan as the Director of Marketing and Development in 2013. With a background in Marketing and Public Relations, she is very excited at the opportunity to be a member of the Communications Team for Team Canada 2017. She is looking forward to meeting and working with this dedicated group of athletes, coaches and Mission Staff, as well as being able to share exciting stories about Team Canada 2017. Chelsea lives in Regina with her husband, Jakub, and their two dogs. In their spare time, they enjoy travelling, camping, and working on various home renovation projects.
Goals for Austria 2017: To make connection and develop relationships with major Canadian media outlets and inform them of the 2017 World Games, while establishing first point of contact to disseminate releases.; To find exciting and meaningful stories about our athletes and coaches to feature in communications.; To promptly report on goings on at Games, including social media.; To hit all deadlines as lined out by SOC/Team Canada.; To learn and have fun along the way!
Darlene’s involvement with Special Olympics Saskatchewan and Special Olympics Regina started as a volunteer in February 2007. She was one of the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Regina from 2007 – 2013. As a volunteer/staff she has had the honor to be Chef de Mission for Team Sask for the 2010 & 2016 Special Olympics Canada National Games. In February 2013 she was hired as the Director of Programs with Special Olympics Saskatchewan. Being involved with Special Olympics means she gets to spend time with the amazing athletes, watching them compete to achieve their goals and dreams. This will be her first World Games experience and she is looking forward to cheering on Team Canada and being part of Team Canada at a higher level.
Goal: To ensure that the two floor hockey teams bond and have a great experience as part of Team Canada, to enjoy the experience, to create lasting memories with our athletes, coaches and mission staff. To be a great mission staff and help wherever needed prior, during and after the games.
In 2001 Darren began volunteering in the SOBC Vancouver floor hockey and snowshoeing programs as a coach. Over a decade, he coached a wide range of both summer and winter sports. Starting in 2012 he stepped away from coaching taking on the role of regional coordinator helping to organize an area covering Vancouver, North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Whistler and Squamish. “Special Olympics has given me much more than I could ever give back, the quality of people and the adventures we go on have produced some of the best moments in life, truly stories of a lifetime.” This is Darren’s first World Games and he couldn’t be more excited about supporting the athletes and coaches journey’s to Austria. A fan of the life enriching power of sport Darren is most looking forward to sharing in the stories of training successes and coming together as a team in the months leading up to games.
Goal for Austria 2017: My goal for World Games is to help provide the resources, support and encouragement for every athlete and coach to have the performance and experience of a lifetime at World Games. I’d also like to make the journey fun, memorable and full of new friendships for the team.
Dr. Carmel Casey has been involved with Special Olympics for 18 years. Her involvement began when her sister Denise became a Special Olympics athlete, competing in bowling and bocce. Her love for the movement grew and since then, she has provided medical support to Team Canada in four previous World Games and is thrilled to be joining the team again for the 2017 World Winter Games in Austria. Dr. Casey credits Special Olympics with allowing her to meet some of the most wonderful people, not to mention bringing joy to her life and allowing her to travel to parts of the world she otherwise would not have seen. Dr. Casey hopes Special Olympics grows and reaches as may athletes as possible in the future.
Neil previously coached Special Olympics for 10 years, throughout his high school years, university, and the first part of medical school. Unfortunately, he had to give it up during the latter portion of med school, and his residency training, due to time constraints and travel for his various placements. During this hiatus, Neil dearly missed the Special Olympics community. It was such a positive, life-affirming, fun-loving, and inspirational environment that brought him so much joy, satisfaction, and perspective. He was delighted to be invited back to the Special Olympics family as a physician for Team Canada.
Goal for Austria 2017: This will be my third world games, and I am hoping to use my skills and training to ensure our athletes are at their peak level of health and wellness, so that they can compete with their full potential.
Jill hails from Edmonton, AB and she is the Mission Staff for Speed Skating. She’s been involved with Special Olympics for 10 years, 4 years as a Coach for Athletics and the last 6 years as staff with Special Olympics Alberta. She’s been a part of 3 National Games, but this will be her first World Games! This year, she is most excited to watch the athletes grow physically and mentally leading up to the games. After all the hard work and dedication the athletes are showing in their training, she’s looking forward to watching all Team Canada athletes compete on a global scale and bring their best selves to competition. Representing Canada on a World Games scale is an amazing accomplishment for our athletes and coaches, and she is so proud of everyone!
Josh is a proud father of 2 children; Adah (3) and Reid (1), and lives in Fredericton with his wife Katherine. He has been involved with Special Olympics New Brunswick as their Executive Director for 5 years. Josh is devoted and passionate about the movement and is extremely proud of the work of all staff, volunteers, and athletes. He has attended 2 National Games with Team NB and is excited to continue his commitment to the Cross Country Ski team for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria!
Kirsten started with Special Olympics Ontario in 2012 as a student intern with the Healthy Athletes program. Since then, she has held multiple roles as an employee and is currently the Senior Program Developer for School Programs, overseeing the growth and development of programs for school-aged athletes across the province. Special Olympics Ontario has had a profound impact on Kirsten’s life. Being able to go to work every day and witness the power of sport firsthand as she is able to work with a talented and passionate team of staff and volunteers to provide opportunities for sport participation where once there weren’t any. Outside of work, Kirsten is a proud Special Olympics coach for a youth-based basketball team in Toronto. Although she has had the privilege of attending many SOO Provincial Games and now two National Games during her tenure, this will be her first World Games and she couldn’t be more excited to be a member of Team Canada!
Goal: Support and enable Team Canada athletes to perform to the best of their abilities and embrace the full Games experience.