It doesn’t take more than a quick conversation with Jennifer Hall to recognize her enthusiasm for Special Olympics. Jennifer, nicknamed “JLo” by friends and teammates, is a member of our Athlete Leadership Program. In a recent interview, she shared what this role means to her.
With nearly 30 years of experience as an athlete under her belt, Jennifer decided to take her involvement with Special Olympics a step further and become an athlete leader. When asked what prompted this decision, she answered, “Because I like people and I love to encourage people…students, kids, or anybody. I love it, you know – I encourage everybody.”
Jennifer’s encouragement extends beyond the Special Olympics community. While she’s sure to cheer on her fellow athletes with a “come on, you can do it,” she also shares her passion with those who may not yet be involved: “I always tell people about Special Olympics…I love it so much.”
Through her enthusiasm for the organization and her desire to encourage those around her, Jennifer demonstrates ideal qualities of an athlete leader. She lists additional attributes that effective leaders demonstrate: “…having a good attitude, [being] supportive, and just being there for your fellow teammates.”
Jennifer’s piece of advice for athletes reveals her commitment to these qualities: “You know what I tell them? ‘Hey, we’re all winners! You know, it doesn’t matter if you get fourth, second, fifth, anything…as long as you’re doing the best you can, have faith in yourself and patience.’”
Jennifer’s positivity shines through her inspiring words and beaming smile, but her optimism does not stop there – she has a vision for growth of the Athlete Leadership Program: “I would really like to encourage people to do our Leadership Program…anybody…if they’re happy and have a good attitude.”
The program is lucky to have athletes like Jennifer whose infectious encouragement make everyone feel like a winner.
We are hosting the next virtual Athlete Leadership Program training this August.
-Written by Emily Gillett