Many parents drop their children off at their rec team's practice and then leave. But when Kim Palumbo dropped her son, Lorenzo, off at soccer practice about five years ago, she decided to hang around and check things out.

She was interested in staying with her children and also seeing who they were befriending. She found that she was also interested in the sports themselves.


After all, she had played sports herself.

One thing led to another with one sports team after another. Soon, she wound up as an assistant coach for all the sports teams on which Lorenzo and daughter Kallie played.

She has done such a good job of coaching that the Woodbine Rec Council named her its Volunteer of the Year in December. While she says it was a surprise, she also indicated that her selection was a rather poorly kept secret.

"Somebody put a bug in my ear that I was selected. I had an inkling that I'd been named. Then I got a call from [Rec Council President] Mark Turner confirming it," she said.

Winning awards was probably the last thing she was thinking about when he dropped Lorenzo off at soccer practice that day five years ago.

Kim had known most of the coaches from her younger days when she, too, played soccer and softball and ran track in high school.

As she talked shop with them it became apparent to them that she was pretty knowledgeable about sports. That caught their attention.

"I opened my mouth, and I opened the gate [to coaching]. But I wanted to be involved," Palumbo said.

Not wishing to have to deal with irate parents as a head coach often has to do, she decided that her involvement would b