Photo © Courtesy of Special Olympics Ontario
Volunteering with Special Olympics Ontario is an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in your community. As a volunteer, you can help create a supportive environment for athletes to train, compete, and build meaningful relationships with individuals who have unique abilities and perspectives.
As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we want to express our gratitude to the current volunteers who have dedicated their time and effort to help change the lives of Ontarians with intellectual disabilities through sports. But with in-person activities resuming, we need more volunteers than ever before. We invite you to be the missing piece that completes our team and join the thousands of volunteers who are transforming lives every day.
One way to get involved is to volunteer as a coach for one of our many sports clubs. Coaches have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with athletes and help them achieve their goals. To become a certified coach, you must attend and complete the necessary National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) workshops. These workshops will give you the skills and knowledge needed to help athletes reach their full potential.
If coaching isn’t your thing, there are still plenty of ways to get involved. You can assist coaches in our local sports clubs by helping out at weekly practices, providing extra administrative or team management support, or lending a hand at local competitions. You can also volunteer on a Community Council, where you’ll have the opportunity to make financial and administrative decisions and provide support as a whole.
Finally, you can volunteer at major competitions and sporting events, helping with planning and event management. Sporting events typically involve athletes from several clubs gathering in one location to participate in official competitions. These events are planned and run completely by staff and volunteers. Volunteers can get involved in the event’s planning or just helping on the day itself.
Special Olympics Ontario is a grass-roots organization that offers a variety of volunteer roles at the club, community, district, and provincial levels. With over 26,000 registered athletes participating in 18 core sports throughout the province, Special Olympics relies on a team of over 10,000 volunteers to ensure that every athlete is offered a quality sports training and competition experience.
Volunteering with Special Olympics Ontario is a life-changing experience, not just for the athletes but for you as well. Our programs promote participation and inclusion and transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. When volunteers come together with athletes with intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics, longstanding myths are dispelled, negative attitudes change, and new opportunities to embrace and celebrate people with differences are created.
Whatever your interests, talents, background, and availability, Special Olympics Ontario has volunteer opportunities for you. By volunteering, you can help promote respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sport. Join the thousands of volunteers who are transforming lives every day—visit soontar.io/volunteer to learn more about becoming a Special Olympics coach or volunteer.
For over 50 years, Special Olympics has grown from a modest program serving local athletes to become the world’s largest movement dedicated to promoting respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual disabilities through sport.