Elaine DevlinTeacher - Retired, Peterborough Sports Hall of Fame Inductee, Ontario Brain Injury Volunteer
Elaine's Story :
I grew up in Indian River as the eldest of six children. My mom and dad somehow made things work giving my siblings and I had various opportunities including the opportunity to play sports. I loved being involved in sports and had the opportunity to participate at local, provincial, national and international championships. Because of the hard work philosophy that my parents instilled in me and the faith and encouragement of various coaches in my life I was able to push myself in all aspects of my life.
I have always felt the need to encourage and support others and was coaching at an early age even as I still played. I wanted to give back because so many people have helped me on my journey. I enjoyed working as an educational assistant with special needs children which lead me to a career as a teacher; a career I loved.
Unfortunately in 2011 I was involved in a motor vehicle accident that changed my life. I suffered a brain injury and thought my world ended. I wanted to give up. I am a very competitive person and thought I was losing to the negative effects of a brain injury. Now I realized it didn’t end but rather changed in ways that are both negative and positive and I know try to focus on the positives. I look for little victories and that has helped so much in my recovery. I worked hard at re- learning things and looking after myself but still feel the need to help and support others. It has been different since the accident but I found I could still coach although differently than before. I volunteer in schools when I am able and I volunteer both with our local Brain Injury Association and the Ontario Brain Injury Association in supporting others in the brain injury recovery. I believe that everyone has gifts and it is important to share the gifts with which we are blessed.