Athlete Leadership

What is Athlete Leadership?

Athlete Leadership gives individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to stand up and let their voices be heard, as well as teach them the leadership skills to help shape the direction and movement of Special Olympics. These programs put athletes in an environment where people listen to them and value them as individuals.

Special Olympics Maryland encourages athletes to choose the type of leadership opportunities that they are most interested in pursuing. Training classes are offered to help the athlete learn the skills that are needed to be successful in the role they will fill. SOMD also helps train volunteers, coaches, committee members, and others to work with athletes in a way that values athlete participation.

Roles for Athlete Leaders

Athletes on the Board of Directors and Committees
Athletes participate as active members of our Board of Directors and other state and local committees. The athletes are given instruction and practice in forming and articulating opinions, providing an opportunity for group discussion, and taught techniques for gathering input from other athletes.

Athlete Input Council
Athletes have the opportunity to share ideas and opinions with other athletes at both the state and local level. Input Councils give athletes a chance to discuss important issues with other athletes, provide a format for athletes on committees to gather input on varying topics, and allow athletes to share information from their committees.

Athletes as Coaches/Officials
This program provides athletes with readiness training and assists them in meeting certification requirements to become coaches or officials for Special Olympics and other community sports organizations.

Sargent Shriver Global Messenger Program
This program prepares athletes to become official public speakers for Special Olympics. They recruit athletes, volunteers and sponsors. The purpose of this program is to allow the athletes to share their skills, experiences, opportunities and enthusiasm with others, and work to increase participation in all programs.

Athletes as Volunteers
This program encourages athletes to become involved with Special Olympics Maryland as volunteers. This type of leadership experience empowers athletes to fully participate in the events. These athletes learn new skills and serve as role models for other athletes in their community.

Get Involved Below

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