For Tammy Crosby, encouraging athletic involvement and achievement for all individuals is a priority. But, ensuring individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities is of the utmost importance.
For the past decade, Crosby has coached athletes in a variety of sports as part of the Valdosta Lowndes Parks & Recreation Authority Special Olympics agency. In this role, she serves on the Area Management Team, partnering with Special Olympics programs throughout Southern Georgia to plan local and area events. She also directs Area Games for one of South Georgia’s Special Olympics “Areas,” including nine different counties.
As a mother leading her own family, the time she spends with the Special Olympics is an energy investment that doesn’t go unnoticed.
“Tammy spends countless hours of her ‘off time’ planning and even carrying out events locally in Valdosta so that individuals with disabilities have exciting things to look forward to and feel supported and loved,” said Crosby’s nominator, Whitney Warren, a volunteer and event manager. “She’s an inspiration to the individuals she serves and to anyone who encounters her while she’s with them. She treats them as her best friends and always encourages them to do their best.”
Currently, Crosby works with 88 registered athletes who have disabilities, planning practices and assigning volunteer positions to coaches. She also manages 30 Unified Partners – same-aged peers without disabilities who train alongside her athletes.
Locally, she coordinates more than 12 events and activities annually, including an “Eggceptional Egg Hunt,” a Special Needs Prom, and an annual Fall Festival. Additionally, she travels out of town with her athletes four times a years – 34 days at a time – so they can experience the state game competitions.
“Through her long-term commitment to Special Olympics Georgia, [Crosby] has undeniably changed the lives of many of the Special Olympics athletes that compete in Valdosta,” Warren added.