A Calgary weightlifter is aiming for gold at the World Master Games, but at home is a hero to sick kids.

Shellen Thomas started weightlifting in 2009 while training as a bobsledder, but ended up making it her focus after sustaining an injury. Her efforts have led her to becoming a Canadian and Pan-American gold medal winner.

“I love that it's a sport where women are strong,” she said. “Any size, any age, anyone can pick up a bar and try lifting and you are challenging yourself as much as you are against other competitors, its always you challenging yourself.”

Thomas has found she also loves working with kids, and volunteers at Camp Kindle helping kids who are fighting cancer.   

“These kids don't have a chance to just be kids and run around and play because they are getting treatments, or they are sick or they are quarantined so just going to camp and seeing them run around and be normal kids is such a joy,” she said.

Thomas works in a mentoring program with the City of Calgary as well as being certified as a level one weightlifting coach. Her co-workers are not surprised that she gives of her time and is concerned about others.

“She puts a lot of emphasis on continuing to improve herself through continuing education and is a really good role model for the kids,” said Christel Nicholson. “She just really cares about everybody and just puts everybody before herself.”

For all she does for kids and for sport, Shellen Thomas is our Inspiring Albertan this week.