Athlete Leadership

Athlete Leadership

Special Olympics Athlete Leadership allow athletes to explore opportunities in roles previously considered “non-traditional.” Such participation might come in the form of an athlete 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 Athlete Leadership may be in addition to or in place of participation in traditional athlete roles.

A program or initiative could be considered part of Athlete Leadership if it:

  • Allows athletes to choose how they will participate (i.e., selecting their sport or deciding to become a coach)
  • Encourages athletes to serve in meaningful leadership roles other than or in addition to that of “competitor”
  • Provides training for existing leadership as they welcome and encourage athletes in these new roles

Athlete Leadership Initiatives

Below are some initiatives that Special Olympics programs around the world have already instituted. We are proud to say that we have athletes in Florida that fit every category listed below.

  • Athlete on the State Board of Directors
  • Athletes on Board Committees
  • Athletes on County, Area, or Region Management Teams
  • Athletes on Games Management Teams
  • Athletes on Games Evaluation Teams
  • Global Messengers (spokespersons)
  • Athlete Leadership Councils
  • Athletes as Coaches
  • Athletes as Officials
  • Athletes as Volunteers
  • Athletes as Donors
  • Athletes employed by Special Olympics Florida
  • Athletes as contributors to newsletters

Special Olympics is about breaking down barriers that others thought were permanent. Athlete Leadership is about breaking down our internal barriers that keep athletes from fully enjoying Special Olympics through self-directed, meaningful participation in virtually any aspect of the program.

Athlete Leadership transforms you from someone receiving services to someone providing services!

Contact us for more information.



Training Class Schedule Overview

See Events Calendar for specific courses and training dates being offered each month.  Contact us for more information.


April 2021 Foundation Courses
May 2021 Foundation Courses, Athlete Co-facilitator training (UL), Athlete Leadership Council Facilitator Training
June 2021
Internal Unified Leadership (staff), Health Messenger
July 2021
Bank of America Better Money Habits, Global Messenger
August 2021
Foundation Courses, Internal Unified Leadership (BOD)
September 2021
Athletes as Fundraisers (pilot), Technology, External Unified Leadership (Jabil, Bank of America), Athlete Leadership Facilitator Training
October 2021
Internal Unified Leadership (coaches), Athletes as Fundraisers, Video - Athlete Leadership Orientation
November 2021
Foundation Courses, Bank of America Better Money Habits, Health Messenger
January 2022
Foundation Classes, Technology, Athlete Leadership Council Facilitator Training
February 2022
Athletes as Fundraisers, Committees and Input Councils, Internal Unified Leadership (new staff and coaches)
March 2022
Global Messenger, AL Facilitator Training



Learn more about your local program.

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