#PlayItForward with Katherine Madsen: Building Community through Volunteerism

Apr 17, 2024

At viaSport, we’re passionate about capturing authentic, diverse, and influential stories from all in the BC sport community. To celebrate National Volunteer Week from April 14 – 20, we’re highlighting the tremendous impact of volunteers in sport in BC.

The following story is a part of our #PlayItForward campaign, which encourages everyone to get involved in sport as a volunteer, no matter your experience level.

Whether she was zipping down slopes or tuning her bike, Katherine Madsen has been involved in sport her whole life.

As a dedicated athlete in her high school years, she had grown accustomed to balancing books with track and field meets. However, her sport journey took a pause as priorities shifted and many years went by. Once she had her second child in November 1991, Katherine set a goal: complete a triathlon and get back to her original fitness level.

“The rest is history,” Katherine recalls. “I’ve been doing triathlons, marathons, biking, and running races for three decades.”

Sport became a core part of her family’s life. Through watching her own children get trained by wonderful coaches – as well as sharing conversations with her husband about great coaches they’ve had over the years – she realized that she wanted more. She set her sights on giving back as a volunteer.

“I have always been enamoured with the professionalism, dedication, and attentiveness of coaches in the sports we were involved with. They represented the type of coach I wanted to be when I had time to pay it forward,” says Katherine. “So, here I am doing just that.”

In 2020, Katherine started working on the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) certifications needed and began her fruitful volunteer career. She currently lends her time at Kimberly Nordic Club as a Biathlon Program Coordinator, where she helps connect volunteer coaches and parents to volunteer roles under the Kimberly Biathlon Program.

Over her time as a volunteer so far, she has experienced many memorable moments. She has seen the wonder on children’s faces when they hit bullseyes for the first time. Cheered on competitive biathletes as they went on to win medals in Europe. Connected with parents over how their children have been transformed through sport.

“Sport, to me, is a means of freedom to be at one with nature and yourself,” says Katherine. “But sport also gives the chance to share great experiences with others.”

She hopes to see more volunteers join the amateur sport community. “Be ready to have an awe-inspiring experience,” she says. “Being passionate about a sport and coaching others makes it a very happy place.”