Sports make Brianna Milli happy.
But it is her selfless dedication to the Special Olympics and helping athletes have fun in achieving their goals that has landed her the 2014 Lynn Papp award.
This is the third year the Grade 12 student at Pitt Meadows secondary has volunteered with the organization, coaching soccer and bowling and helping out with rhythmic gymnastics.
“The Special Olympics are all volunteer helpers and coaches. So if they weren’t there, then it wouldn’t actually happen,” said Milli. “It’s kind of nice to make someone feel good and be there for them,” she continued.
Milli has been playing soccer since she was five years old and now plays with the WCAG Gold U-18 Fusion.
She still plays piano, for fun, but she busy playing soccer, running and working out.
In Grade 11, Milli was chosen to go to Ottawa for the Encounters With Canada program. Encounters With Canada is the nation’s largest youth forum for teens 14-17 -years old. Youth travel to the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre from all over Canada and learn about our cultures, heritage, institutions, history and leaders, as well as explore potential career options.
Milli has also volunteered at the Abbotsford Air Show since she was 7-years-old at the volunteer chalet.
“We make the food and we have to go and get all the food orders so we have a different meal every day. When I was younger I volunteered at the drink area,” explained Milli, adding that it is fun because you also get to experience the air show.
For three years Milli volunteered at both a transition and water station at the Subaru Ironman Canada competition in Penticton.
Now she wants to participate in one herself.
She has also volunteered with Pitt Meadows Day.
In September, Milli will attend UBC’s Okanagan campus to study kinesiology, the study of the movement and mechanics of the body, with future plans of studying speech therapy or occupational therapy.
Milli was surprised by the award.
“I don’t expect that to happen, but when it does happen it’s kind of really nice. It’s really cool to be noticed.”
Recently, Milli, along with her parents, organized WCAGFC jerseys and shorts for a Special Olympics soccer team.
“We’re all kind of a community and we all work together, and to live together, I think, you need to work together and help other people,” said Milli.
Lynn Papp was a longstanding member of the Pitt Meadows Day Society who volunteered with many other organizations, including the Ridge Meadows Minor Baseball Association.
Papp passed away suddenly in February 2000.
The Lynn Papp award is given to a Pitt Meadows youth who displays her spirit of giving without expectation of personal gain or recognition.