On June 18th another “Youth Can” season was celebrated with a coach appreciation event at “Gojaus atgaiva” ranch in the Kedainiai region. A hot summer day started with a kayaking challenge down the Nevezis river, followed by an intimate indoor ceremony. The Kazickas Family Foundation Vilnius office director Agne Vertelkaite congratulated everyone and thanked them with letters of gratitude. Five coaches were selected and awarded for their outstanding efforts in the following categories: “Rookie of the Year,” “Friend of the Year,” “Mentor of the Year,” “Progress of the Year,” and “Coach of the Year.”
The “Coach of the Year“ award was presented to the most committed and outstanding “Youth Can” coach, Kristina Gotautiene, for her care and commitment to her students and their families. “I’m so surprised and overwhelmed with emotions. The “Youth Can” program provides me with new opportunities to meet interesting people, motivate young people to do sports, participate in various challenges, build confidence, discover themselves, make their dreams come true and reach for their goals” – says Coach Kristina.
Coach Ingrida Raulickiene was acknowledged as the “Friend of the Year” because of her exceptional effort to foster close relationships built on respect and trust with her students and always being there for them at any time. While accepting the award, Ingrida shared: “I am so excited to receive the “Friend of the Year” award that truly reflects my relationship with the children because I love them very much and I will do my best to make sure they grow to be honest and good citizens.”
The “Rookie of the Year” award was presented to coach Henrikas Katilius for his enthusiasm building the team and searching for ways to make the program stronger in Kybartai.
Dominykas Rib was presented with the “Mentor of the Year” award for his exceptional efforts and focus on students’ life skills development. “’Youth Can” program is my way to learn, to be near the young people, their problems and to teach them” – says coach Dominykas, – “I am very grateful for the award and your acknowledgement.”
Giedre Imbrasiene received the “Progress of the Year” award for courageously accepting challenges, her efforts to learn and grow with the program, and her exceptional motivation to work with local youth. “It is a great acknowledgment of my work, because I give it my all for the children,” – says coach Giedre. Meanwhile, “Youth Can” manager Arminas Vareika thanked the coaches for their work, their love, and dedication to Lithuania’s youth.
The annual coach appreciation event has become a beautiful tradition, as we believe that coaches play a crucial role in building a strong “Youth Can” community and overall program’s success.