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Local Club is Established: Club Development
Special Olympics is committed to offering high quality sports and engagement experiences for its members and supporters. As the Local Club develops and grows, its management team should focus on providing high quality sports and non-sports activities.

To create more opportunities for people with ID, besides traditional Special Olympics Sports, a Club may choose to INTRODUCE ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING:


An inclusive sports program where athletes (people with ID) and partners (people without ID) regularly train and compete as teammates.


Non-competitive motor skills training program for athletes with significant intellectual (and physical) disabilities.


This sport and play program for children 2-7 years old with and without ID introduces basic sports skills, like running, kicking and throwing.

To drive sports QUALITY, the club should maintain and work to improve:

  • Frequency of training and competition events
  • Adequate equipment and facilities
  • Athlete and Unified Partner preparation, development and improvement
  • Coach preparation and development
  • Sports partnerships
  • Competition management, safety and protocol
  • Safeguarding

As the Local Club develops, it should start exploring other programming opportunities offered through Special Olympics.


Create opportunities for trained athletes to lead independently or with others in your Club as volunteers, coaches, Health Messengers, and staff.


Contact your National/State Program to help you start incorporating Health programming into your club.


Develop ATHLETE LEADERS by following the steps:

  • INSPIRE: educate club members and team about the benefits of Unified Leadership.
  • EXPAND: identify athletes who demonstrate leadership skills. Identify and assign mentors.
  • EMPOWER: look for athlete training and skill development opportunities.
  • ACTIVATE: use every opportunity to engage athletes in leadership roles within the club (e.g. be part management team, be a coach or assistant coach, etc.)

Examples of INCLUSIVE HEALTH offerings:

  • Engage athletes in ongoing fitness opportunities, with focus on physical activity, nutrition, and hydration, to improve overall health, well-being, and physical fitness.
  • Educate and support parents and family members to care for the health of their child with ID through Family Health Forums.
  • Teach athletes about topics, like healthy eating and strong minds, to help athletes lead stronger, healthier lives.

Where to find more help


Athlete Leadership

Motor Activities Training Program

Inclusive Health including Young Athletes

Unified Sports

Growth Strategies

Introducing new sports.

Growing the numbers of core club members: athletes, Unified partners, families through awareness raising local campaigns.

Recruiting more volunteers (especially youth) and coaches from new channels (educational institutions, mainstream sports organizations) .

Further developing and strengthening partnerships with government and other community groups.
  • Event Ideas
    • Fundraising sports activities (community runs, walks)
    • Raffles/auctions
    • Special functions(e.g. dinners, lunches and dances)
    • Auctions
Fitness Challenges and People with ID