Athlete Leadership

The mission of the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership is to empower athletes to develop leadership skills and utilize their voices to assume meaningful leadership roles, influence change in the Special Olympics movement, and educate communities around the world that results in positive life changes. Special Olympics Rhode Island provides training and support for athletes who desire to expand their participation in Special Olympics, both on and off the competition field. Through Athlete Leadership, athletes receive training and have opportunities to hold positions of leadership and influence.

Athlete Leadership allows Special Olympics athletes to help shape the future of the Special Olympics movement and ensure all people with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to participate in sports training and competition that is fun and fair.  If you’d like to participate, please contact Gerri Walter.

Athlete Leadership Programs

Athletes as Coaches

Special Olympics athletes can become certified coaches and coach other Special Olympics athletes. Athletes may choose a sport they have participated in or are just interested in coaching.  As with all Special Olympics coaches, these athletes must complete the coach’s education program to become certified in the sport they would like to coach.

Special Olympics athletes who are coaches may train athletes within their community or may assist athletes at higher levels of competition such as invitational or state-level competitions

Athletes as Global Messengers

Global Messengers are Special Olympics athletes who spread the message and vision of the movement as well as the benefits they have gained by participating in Special Olympics.  As leaders and message-bearers of the movement, Global Messengers communicate the powerful declarations of hope, acceptance, dignity and courage of Special Olympics athletes around the world.  Only athletes can effectively relate the impact the movement has had on their lives and the lives of their families.

Athletes as Members of Board of Directors

Athletes may serve as Board members for a term of three years.  Athletes are required to attend Board meetings that last from 1-2 hours and give input when appropriate.  Special Olympics athletes must submit a letter of interest and a resume of Special Olympics experience and work/life experience to Dennis DeJesus, CEO.

Athlete Leadership Council

An open forum giving athletes a chance to discuss important topics/issues with others athletes,  share their input and utilize their voices to influence change within SORI on key topics, issues and events .

Athletes on Committees

Athletes serving on committees, such as Athlete Newsletter Committee, Games Management Teams, Fundraising Committee, Torch Run Committee and Marketing & Communications Committee to provide athlete input.