If you looked up the definition of multi-sport athlete in the dictionary, you’d probably see a picture of Shaina. “Shaina enjoys a variety of sports and really puts her all into whatever sport she is playing,” says Kim Tolson, Site Supervisor at Team 260. Back in her days at Sturgeon High School, Shaina competed on the softball and basketball teams and she’s carried that love of the games into her adult life as well. When she moved to Supported Living in 2004, she became a Special Olympian.
Shaina originally started off playing on Special Olympics softball and volleyball teams and competing in track events – running the 1400 and 200 meter races and the 4×4 relay. She’s also participated in the running long jump and throwing javelin. “We were all delightfully surprised to hear she got asked to join the Team Missouri Volleyball team, because she was actually training for the track team at the time,” says Tolson.
“Shaina is one of the most deserving athletes that I have had the pleasure of coaching,” says Natasha Grayson, Assistant to the Director of Supported Living and Shaina’s former volleyball coach. “She is very dedicated and enthusiastic about the sports that she plays which is greatly admired by her coaches and fellow team members.”
No matter what she’ll be training for, Shaina says she’s ready. No stranger to the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, this spunky 27-year-old took on the challenge to lose weight and improve her diet a couple of years ago and has never looked back. “Shaina’s commitment to Special Olympics plays a large part in her maintaining her current fitness level,” says Tolson. Shaina’s perspective: “It’s just something I like to do. It’s fun!”
Throughout all the excitement of being selected for the team, the only thing Shaina hesitates about is traveling, as the
2014 Special Olympic Nationals is being held in New Jersey. “I’m pretty nervous because this will be my first ride on an airplane,” says Shaina, “but I’m excited to go.”
“I am very proud of her and all that she has accomplished,” says Grayson. “Shaina is a leader and strives to be the best that she can be while still displaying positive sportsmanship. She will be an asset to the Team Missouri Volleyball team.”
Practice with Team Missouri begins soon at Mizzou Arena and Shaina’s scheduled for a team meeting in Jefferson City where they will discuss uniforms and the upcoming trip. One thing’s for certain, she will have a whole team at BCFR behind her, cheering her on as she goes for the gold!