Building a Family Through Sports: Joan and Tim Sharpe’s Blue Dragons Journey

Building a Family Through Sports: Joan and Tim Sharpe’s Blue Dragons Journey

Joan Sharpe became involved with Special Olympics more than 40 years ago after the encouragement from a friend to attend an event. After attending the event, she wanted to get her then young son, Tim, involved as an athlete. Knowing there was a need for coaches, Joan became the coach of the Blue Dragons in Colorado Springs.

Now, the Blue Dragons compete in many different sports including, softball, basketball, volleyball, track and field, and so much more. Joan’s favorite sports are bocce and snowshoeing, while Tim’s favorite sport is golf. “It gives me great exercise walking around the golf course,” explained Tim.  

When Joan started the Blue Dragons with 3 other mothers, the athletes were all 8 or 9 years old.  It is Joan’s greatest joy seeing her athletes grow from kids into adults who still compete on her teams at Special Olympics. She has seen some of them go through hard times, but they never give up and are always trying their best.  

The Blue Dragons became more than just a sports team to Tim and Joan. It became a family that kept growing. It became a great bond throughout the years and it keeps getting stronger. Even if some of her athletes move on to other things, they often reach out to her to reunite with the Blue Dragons. Joan said she believes it adds character to the program by being involved for so long. 

Joan has also seen Tim grow as an athlete throughout the years. She said early in Tim’s life, he was the quietest person she knew. He was so shy that it would take him a while to warm up to people.  

Now, Tim is friendly and enjoys talking to people. “He knows when someone is having a bad day and will ask them if there is anything he can do to help them,” said Joan.  

Tim also keeps up with his fellow athletes and if one of them is struggling with any kind of problem, he will let Joan know and ask her if there is any way they can help them. 

Because of his love for helping others, Tim wanted to get involved in Special Olympics Colorado’s Athlete Leadership program. He has been a Fitness Captain, coach, volunteer, and has helped in numerous other ways whenever possible. He takes pride in helping others in any way that he is able. 

Tim’s proudest moment while being involved with Special Olympics Colorado is happening right now as he is serving as the Board of Directors Co-Chair. He was nominated by fellow athlete, Mackenzie Beauvais-Nikl, and selected to serve as Co-Chair two years ago. “Serving on the Board of Directors has opened my eyes and has taught me to listen carefully to the needs of the athletes on and off the field and to advocate for them when something is wrong,” said Tim, who hopes to get more board members involved with different sports as well. 

Joan’s proudest moment has been seeing the Blue Dragons grow over the years. She enjoys seeing athletes go from wanting to give up, to winning gold medals and trying new sports. 

While Joan loves how Special Olympics has grown throughout the years, she would still like to see more involvement from coworkers, friends, parents and the community. “I want other families and other moms to experience what I have experienced and to see the growth of the athletes,” Joan explained.  

Overall, Special Olympics Colorado has made a huge impact in Joan and Tim’s life. Their family has grown throughout the years because of the Blue Dragons and the SOCO community. Both Joan and Tim have grown as individuals and have enjoyed helping athletes accomplish their goals both on and off the field.

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