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Paso Robles Cheer President wins ‘Double-Goal’ coach award 

Sondra Williams recognized for positive coaching and empowering young athletes

Sondra Williams and cheerleaders

Sondra Williams and Paso Robles Youth Cheerleaders.

Paso Robles Youth Cheer President and Coach Sondra Williams recently won the Positive Coaching Alliance National Double-Goal Coach Award. She was one of 50 winners from about 3,000 nominated and was the only cheer coach to receive the award. Williams was nominated by fellow coaches including Riley Benado, who wrote short responses to why they believed she deserved the award.

The national coaching award recognizes positive coaching, for those who pursue winning and the even more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. Williams is approaching her fifth year as cheer president and coaches about 100 cheerleaders between the ages of four and 14 years. Williams said the cheer program is the largest youth program from Paso Robles to Nipomo and during her time with the program she has coached all ages.

Williams said winning the award is an honor. “Coaching has been a big part of my life and it is amazing to be able to inspire and encourage youth in our community and watch them grow up,” she said. “I have watched a lot of girls grow up, winning the award shows them how important it is to be an all around athlete and good person with a solid foundation. It is also important for them to be well-rounded outside of cheerleading.” She said, when talking to the girls, sometimes you don’t know what is going on, we have had girls who have tried to commit suicide, it is great to see them be a part of a program with a purpose and grow to accomplish great things and make bonds of friendship.

Riley Benado said there were so many reasons she wanted Williams to be recognized for her coaching achievements. “Sondra has touched so many lives, she teaches more than just cheer, more than just technique. She helps them to be the best person they can be,” she said. “She did nothing less than bring the whole central coast on board as she created the ‪#‎RallyForRiley‬ team to fight behind me (when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer),” she said. “With ribbons for all her athletes to wear, t-shirts she sold at all her football games, and insanely beneficial fundraisers, the #RallyForRiley team made my story recognized by troops in Afghanistan and major magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Seventeen.”

Paso Robles Youth Cheer parent Vicki Montgomery said Sondra is absolutely amazing. “She has brought my daughter Nikki out of her shell, and helped her become a strong, confident young woman, she’s an eighth grader who just made the JV Cheer Squad,” she said. “Nobody is more deserving than Sondra, she is always smiling, and when someone has a problem her first response is ‘what can I do?’ and she tells the girls ‘a flower doesn’t focus on the one next to it, it just blooms.’”

As part of her prize Williams was invited to attend a dinner in San Francisco but said she chose to attend her son’s wrestling match instead.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.