The reason that I became interested in Special Olympics Texas is [because] my daughter, D'lene, wanted to become involved.  She was 12 at the time.

I have been coaching, assistant coaching and doing many parent things for 40 years for Special Olympics Texas.  I love working with the athletes, also.

I started coaching in Lubbock with a group of Smiley Wilson Junior High athletes.  We participated in athletics and bowling.  At the time I started, we didn't have to be certified in the sports.  Our book of rules was a very small book compared to our SIG today.  We went to state in both athletics and bowling.

When we moved to Big Spring in 1979, I worked as a parent volunteer.  We had many athletes at that time, most of them school age.  In 1986, I was certified to coach.

I have coached softball, athletics, bowling, bocce and basketball skills.  At one time in Big Spring, I had 40 athletes.  I was head coach and Head of Delegation for Howard County.  I also trained the coaches for the school’s Special Olympics program.  Over the years, I have had many wonderful assistant coaches, one of which, is my husband, Robert Wylie.

We moved to Ropesville in 2006 and I have been an assistant to my niece Sherry Airhart James for the last six years. Sherry is head of delegation for Friendship Schools.

These years have gone by so quickly and I have enjoyed them all.  I love watching the faces of the athletes.  Even though most of the athletes have been in Special Olympics Texas for years, it seems they enjoy every meet and every medal as if it were the first.

I will continue to help with Special Olympics Texas as long as I can and keep on cheering the athletes.

**Kaye Wylie was recently honored at the  South Plains area Spring Games with a 40-year pin for volunteering.