SWFL Special Olympics coach honored with Florida’s ‘Coach of The Year’ award
Every day, everywhere, thousands of people with intellectual disabilities get in the game through the Special Olympics program and that includes right here in Southwest Florida where one woman is being recognized for her impact.
Sue Mellentine serves Lee County Special Olympics athletes because she is passionate about working with people who have to play sports differently.
“I got involved in Special Olympics about 18 years ago when Meghan was in middle school at the time,” Mellentine said.
Mellentine’s daughter Meghan is the reason she started coaching.
“I love it, I love her as a coach and as a mother,” Meghan said.
And over the past two decades, Mellentine’s special family continues to grow. David Johnson is also a Lee County Special Olympics athlete coached by Mellentine.
“I love Mrs. Melllentine as a coach and also as a friend,” Johnson said.
Mellentine was just named the 2019 State of Florida Special Olympics Coach of The Year. Despite being honored, she doesn’t like to talk about herself. She said she’s here just to create opportunities and smiles for the athletes.
“I’m giving the time in my life so that they can have the time of their lives, and in doing so, I get so much more in return and that’s what it’s all about,” said Mellentine.
Mellentine will be coaching in the Special Olympics North American Championships this October. She invites everyone to watch the Lee County Special Olympics games this Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lightning Strikes.