"We're called on often to give people a kick in the pants."
Paul and Sharon are wheelchair athletes of an international caliber. Paul has won numerous medals in Olympic and Paralympic track and field competitions. Sharon has an extensive past in wheelchair basketball competitions. She's also a past winner of the Boston Marathon.
For the past five years, the couple has encouraged and inspired people with disabilities to reach their goals --- athletic or otherwise.
Paul and Sharon Van Winkel aren't afraid to use bluntness in their volunteer work. The two share coaching duties for Courage Center, an organization designed to help people with disabilities adapt to mainstream lifestyles. Sharon coaches the basketball athletes while Paul oversees the track and field athletes.
Neither allows coddling or pity. The Van Winkels help their students gain strength and confidence. But more importantly, they teach the athletes lessons that apply to other areas of life.
Paul proudly proclaims, "All the kids we coach are winners in life."
Sharon adds, " All of us have been helped at one time or another. This is how we give back."
*Paul and Sharon have designated $1100 to Courage Center - Youth Sports Endowment