|Athlete Dan Kolb from Chester County is presented the Sheetz Award during the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Summer Games closing ceremony by Ashley Sheetz. Photo: Abby Drey-Centre Daily Times|
The Sheetz Family Award of Excellence recognizes the athlete whose determination and effort can only be understood by the power of the human spirit to overcome obstacles and inspire greatness. The award distinguishes the athlete who may not win, but whose courage, sportsmanship, effort and determination is award winning.
Our 2013 winner is Dan Kolb from Chester County, a 52 year old athlete who has been participating in Special Olympics since its beginning. He is helpful, kind, considerate, serves as a mentor, and is an outstanding member of his program’s tennis team.
He plans for the Summer Games throughout the year by not only preparing to play physically, but also by preparing to help other athletes in his sport by purchasing or acquiring rackets and other items for equipment maintenance and improvement.
When his local program arrives at Penn State, Dan steps up and kicks things into high gear. This “Tennis Pro” helps his fellow teammates and competitors by offering his services and tips for improving their game. He encourages every player to do their very best and encourages the youngest members of the sport. Dan also is on the “look out” for players who need upgrades in equipment and will provide new or used rackets to those who need upgrades. He works at a racket club and when members get new equipment, he encourages them to donate to our sport.
Anxious to contribute to the sport and help improve the Special Olympics experience for his fellow athletes, Dan currently serves as an athlete on the sports management team, The Athlete Input Council, and was most recently selected to serve as a regional representative for athletes on the state level.