People with intellectual disabilities are found everywhere, without regard to race, religion, political affiliation, culture, economics or social class. And their surprising – but predictable – positive spirit, their determination to succeed, and their innate human decency make them powerful ambassadors for all people society routinely undervalues, generally ignores or even shuns.
In Special Olympics, the athletes are the heart of the movement. Our athletes not only have the opportunity to develop physical fitness and become competitive athletes, but through sport, they build self-esteem, social skills, friendships, leadership skills, have fun and learn life lessons that translate into their lives away from the playing field, making them more productive and accepted members of society.
Special Olympics is the world's largest program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities: it currently serves more than 2.25 million persons with intellectual disabilities in more than 150 countries.
How to join Special Olympics
In order to participate in Special Olympics an athlete must complete and submit several forms. The first is an Application for Participation (Medical) in Special Olympics. This form must be completed by the parent/guardian and signed by a licensed medical examiner following a physical exam of the athlete. This form must be resubmitted every three (3) years. All athletes must also complete an Official Special Olympics Release Form, Code of Conduct and Healthy Athlete Form in order to participate in Special Olympics. Please mail the original Application for Participation (Medical) in Special Olympics and Release forms to Special Olympics Broward County 3301 College Ave., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314. Please contact SOBC at 954-262-2150 if you need assistance in arranging/paying for a medical examination.
Athlete Leadership Programs
Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs) 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 Programs may be in addition to or in place of participation in traditional athlete roles.
Young Athletes Program
An innovative sports play program for children 2-7 with intellectual disabilities along with their siblings and their peers, designed to introduce them into the world of sport. This program helps children improve fundamental motor tracking and eye-hand coordination and developing skills consistent with Sports Olympics sports. Programs may be implemented in a group setting (agency, school, etc.) or conducted at home by parents. Registration forms are required. We are getting ready to start this program in Broward county. Please contact the SOBC office at 954-262-2150 or e-mail the SOBC office if you are interested in participating in this program.