Campus: CHICO -- April 17, 2006

CSU, Chico Lecturer Named as Head Swim Coach for Special Olympics World Games

Debbie Doman, Department of Kinesiology, California State University, Chico, has been selected, following a national search, as the Team USA head swim coach for Special Olympics for the World Games, to be held in Beijing, China, October 2007.

Doman will be responsible for 14 assistant coaches and 52 swimmers. The 52 swimmers will be picked randomly from participants in the summer 2006 games. The assistant coaches will be chosen from the same geographical areas as the swimmers.

Doman has been an instructor with the Department of Kinesiology since 1992. She received her MA from CSU, Chico in 1991. She graduated with a BA in Physical Education in 1974 and obtained her teaching credential in 1975, both from CSU, Chico.

Doman has a breadth of experience that equips her for coaching other coaches at a world level. She has been the area director for the Butte County Special Olympics since 1991. She is the aquatics commissioner for Northern California's Special Olympics. In that role, she trains coaches for certification for Special Olympics, providing four or five trainings a year. She is also the venue director for swimming for the Northern California summer games, as well as the aquatics director for the Movement Unlimited Sports Campus, a wheelchair sports camp for disabled youth.

She will use the methods she uses in Butte County and Northern California in a training DVD she plans to produce for the assistant coaches. "Most of the training will be done electronically and by phone," she said. "The DVD will provide instruction in training protocols and practices, based on what we do locally and regionally. I'm very excited about that, because we have a really quality program here."

For the 20 days of the games, the coaches and participants will be housed at the regular Beijing Olympic site for the 2008 games. Two thousand athletes will participate in track, gymnastics and swimming events.

Doman said of the Special Olympics, "Sports provides social development, personal development and health and well-being. Our athletes deserve the most experienced and effective coaches possible. My job is to make Special Olympics important, so participants will want to do it all of their lives."

Of the many college students who volunteer or intern with the Special Olympics, Doman said, "They are involved in something really important. It touches them and makes them want to be better people. Standards are high-we train, coach, develop a feeling of family and belonging. I constantly say, 'We are part of something big.'"

For Doman, her participation in Special Olympics is putting into action what she believes. "I'm not just all word. I believe this and I live it. People with my talent and expertise need to share that. I'm in a position where that can happen. I'm lucky. I feel fortunate to be part of this."

Contact: Kathleen McPartland, 530-898-4260

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