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General Orientation. General Orientation Contents. General Information Class A Volunteers Coaches Information Required Paperwork. General Information. General Information Contents. What is Special Olympics? Mission Statement Athlete Oath Goal Statement Eligibility

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General Orientation Contents

  • General Information

  • Class A Volunteers

  • Coaches Information

  • Required Paperwork



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General Information Contents

  • What is Special Olympics?

    • Mission Statement

    • Athlete Oath

    • Goal Statement

  • Eligibility

    • Eligibility Statement

    • Identifying Persons

  • Structure of Special Olympics

    • Organizational Chart

  • Sports Offered, including Unified Sports

  • ALPS Program

  • SOCT Map


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What is Special Olympics?

Special Olympics Mission

To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

Special Olympics Oath

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Special Olympics Goal

“For all persons with intellectual disabilities to have the chance to become useful and productive citizens who are accepted and respected in their communities.”


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Eligibility for Special OlympicsEligible athletes are all children and adults, at least 8 years old, with an intellectual disability, a cognitive delay, or a closely related developmental disability. Children ages 6 & 7 may participate in Special Olympics training, but may not compete before his or her 8th birthday. There is no maximum age limitation for participation in Special Olympics.

  • Identifying Persons with Intellectual Disabilities:

  • The person has been identified by an agency or professional as having intellectual disabilities as determined by their localities

  • The person has a cognitive delay, as determined by standardized measures such as intelligent quotient or "IQ" testing or other measures that are generally accepted within the professional community in that Accredited Program's nation as being a reliable measurement of the existence of a cognitive delay

  • The person has a closely related developmental disability. A "closely related developmental disability" means having functional limitations in both general learning (such as IQ) and in adaptive skills (such as in recreation, work, independent living, self-direction, or self care).




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Unified Sports ®

  • Program that Places Athletes with and without Intellectual Disabilities on the Same Teams for Training and Competition

  • Athletes are of Similar Age and Ability Level

  • Athletes without Intellectual Disabilities (UnifiedPartners ®) may be Recruited from Schools, Corporations, Civic Groups or other Community Organizations


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Athlete Leadership Program (ALPS)

WHAT ARE SPECIAL OLYMPICS ATHLETE LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS?

  • Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPS) allow athletes to explore opportunities for Special Olympics participation in roles previously considered "non-traditional." Such participation might come in the form of serving on the Board of Directors or local organizing committee; or it might find an athlete as a spokesperson, team captain, coach, or official. Participation in ALPS may be in addition to, or in place of, participation in traditional Special Olympics programs.



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Class A Volunteers


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Class A Volunteers

  • Who Are Class A Volunteers

    • Identify Class A Volunteers

      Who Are Class B Volunteers

    • Identify Class B Volunteers

  • Volunteer Screening Process

    • Required Paperwork


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Who Are Class A Volunteers?

  • Anyone who has one on one contact with Athletes

    • Coaches

    • Assistant Coaches

    • Unified Partners®

    • Local Coordinators

    • Chaperones

    • Hometown Escorts

  • Class B Volunteers

    • They are categorized as any day of volunteer, including athlete escorts

    • Class B Volunteers must never be left alone with an Athlete

    • Class B Volunteers do not stay overnight at any event


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Volunteer Screening Process

  • All Class A Volunteers must complete a background check every 3 years to be eligible for participation in SOCT

  • A Class A form complete with Social Security Number must be turned in directly to SOCT Headquarters

  • All minors (persons under the age of 18) must have 3 letters of reference in addition to the official Class A form

  • All persons must turn in required paperwork on or before the due date of the Intent to Participate form for the season of which they will be participating in


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Coaches Information


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Coaches Information

  • Coaches are critical

  • Coach Job Descriptions

  • Coach Certification Process

  • Essentials of SO competition

  • Coaches Meetings

    • Benefit of Coaches Meetings

  • Components

    • Sample Training Practice


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Coaches are Critical ...

Special Olympics Coaches:

  • Assist athletes in Learning Sports Skills

  • Encourage Confidence and Self-esteem through Sport

  • Obtain equipment for Training

  • Conduct Demonstrations in New Sports/Events

  • Start Special Olympics Unified Sports Teams


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Coach Job Descriptions

  • Know Official SOCT Sports Rules and National Governing Body Rules

  • Know the Sport, Develop Athlete Training Plan

  • Ensure a Practice Safety Plan is in Place

  • Obtain uniforms, facilities and equipment

  • Is available to provide at least 8 required weeks of practice

  • Be aware of the special needs of the athletes you are training

  • Coordinate with Local Coordinator Training Needs and Registration Requirements

  • Attend competitions for Duration of Event

  • Abide by Coaches’ Code of Conduct, serve as a role model for Athletes, Coaches and Families

  • Attend Special Olympics Coaches’ Meetings and Training Schools/Clinics

  • Supervise/delegate tasks to other Coaches


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Coaches Certification Process

  • Complete the general orientation

  • Attend a sport training seminar/course

  • Practicum – a minimum of 10 hours working with S.O. athletes

  • Fill out and send in the ‘application for sports training certification’ form to Headquarters

  • Coaches Certification must be completed

  • Coaches Certification expires four years from the date the completed application is handed in to Special Olympics CT.


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Essentials Of Special Olympics Competitions

  • Athletes Are Divisioned For Competition by Age, Gender and Ability

  • Athletes of All Abilities Need Appropriate Training by Qualified, Trained Coaches

  • Special Olympics Competitions should include an Opening Ceremonies and Awards Ceremonies.


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SOCT Coaches’ Meetings

Coaches Benefit--because they:

  • Receive Important Information (Tournaments, Training, Uniforms, Equipment)

  • Review revised Sports Rules and New Events.

  • Network with other Coaches

  • Hear First-hand how Competition will be conducted, provide feedback to Sport Directors.


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Components of a Good Sports Practice

Sample Training Session

  • Warm Up - 5-10 minutes

  • Stretching - 5-10 minutes

  • Review and Practice “old” Skills - 10-20 minutes

  • Introduce New Skills – 15-20 minutes

  • Fitness Training – 15-20 minutes

  • Scrimmage/Competition Experience

  • Fun Games/Cool Down



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Required Paperwork

  • Athlete Medical Information

    • Athlete Medical

    • Unified Partner® Form & Class A Volunteer Form

    • Consent form

  • Competition/Event Paperwork

    • Intent to Participate

    • Event registration

    • Absence of Qualifier form

    • Roster Appeal/Change form


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Athlete Medical Policy: Requirements

  • New Athletes must have Physical Exams

  • All Athletes must Submit a new Medical Form every 3 years.

  • ** No athlete can start training without a current SOCT Medical Form completed and on site.

  • Athletes with Down Syndrome that compete in high risk sports (Gymnastics, Dive starts in Aquatics, Skiing, Soccer, Powerlfting) must have a Doctor complete an Atlanto Axial form prior to participation.


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Required SOCT Paperwork:

  • Intent to Participate Form

    • Give dates/time/place of practices, # of athletes participating

    • Due 10 Weeks prior to State Event

  • Event Registration Form

    • Includes qualifying scores, level or team skill assessment test.

    • Roster Appeal Form – to drop/add athletes to teams & relays

    • Absence to a Qualifier Waiver Form

    • SOCT Housing Forms

    • Due 3 weeks prior to qualifying event


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Please remember without volunteers or coaches, the mission of Special Olympics will not happen.

You make Special Olympics Work !


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