Special Olympics is a global organization that serves more than 3.4 million athletes with intellectual disabilities working with hundreds of thousands of volunteers and coaches each year. Since the establishment of Special Olympics in 1968, the number of people with and without intellectual disabilities who are involved with the organization has been growing, but the unmet need to reach more people with intellectual disabilities is staggering.
It’s at the local level--right here--where interested volunteers meet the athletes. That’s where the perceptions start to change and where the miracle of transformation takes place.
Many people know that Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Those activities give them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship.
What’s not as widely known is that Special Olympics sporting events occur frequently throughout the year. In 2009, for example, there were more than 44,000 competitions around the world, an average of 121 a day.
Hundreds of thousands of coaches, educators and volunteers worldwide offer their time to train athletes, organize those competitions and plan those events. When you see the seriousness and sense of purpose evident in each Special Olympics athletic event, a window of understanding opens.
Love a sport? You might be able to play that sport on a mixed team of people with and without intellectual disabilities. Good with a camera? Come take photos. Organizational skills? Help us plan events.
Do you simply want to meet some of the most amazing people in the world? Get in touch with us today!