About Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT)
SOCT provides year-round sports training and competitions for over 10,000 athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and Unified Sports® partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities who are the athletes’ teammates).
Special Olympics is sports and so much more. It is a movement that transforms lives by inspiring inclusion, understanding and respect for people of all abilities, both on the playing field and in communities across the state and around the world.
We are dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle by offering free health screenings at events, and providing participants with the education and resources to improve their sports performance and enhance their overall health and fitness.
There are opportunities for everyone to be part of SOCT and enjoy a meaningful and rewarding experience - as an athlete, Unified Sports® partner, coach, volunteer, supporter or fan.
Special Olympics – in Connecticut and around the world - is about revealing the champion in all of us
Where is Special Olympics?
Special Olympics is headquartered at 1133 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., U.S. 20036. However, we have many locations throughout the U.S. and around the globe. Click here to find your nearest Special Olympics location!
Where can I find the SOCT headquarters?
SOCT headquarters is located at 2666 State St #1, Hamden, CT 06517.
What is the impact of Special Olympics?
Special Olympics is empowering athletes with intellectual disabilities to be leaders in society by providing them opportunities to learn skills that transcend the playing field. Our athletes hold jobs, go to school and are active members in their communities. Our athletes constantly inspire others to accept and acknowledge talent and potential. Our mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them the opportunity to inspire change, courage, confidence, and joy in what they do.
How to get a job at SOCT?
SOCT offers an energetic, meaningful and engaging work environment, along with a competitive salary and benefits. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, SOCT provides equal employment opportunities without regard to race, sex, age, color, religion, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic disposition or carrier status, marital status, veteran status, national origin, or any other category protected under applicable federal, state or local law.
SOCT also offers unpaid internships in our Hamden office for academic credit or work experience.We have internship opportunities in sports management, special event planning, development, public relations and marketing. Schedules and hours are flexible, and interns gain hands-on experience developing, planning, organizing, and managing sports competitions and fundraising events.
Learn more about available job opportunities by visiting our website to apply.
What local towns are affiliated with SOCT?
SOCT has local programs available in the following counties:
- Fairfield County
- Hartford County
- Litchfield County
- Middlesex County
- New Haven County
- New London County
- Tolland County
- Windham County
SOCT is also associated with the towns of Cheshire, Prospect, and Southington.
Take a look at our local programs to learn more about which is nearest to you!
How can I support the efforts of SOCT?
The success of SOCT is because of the support we receive from people throughout our Connecticut community. From small businesses to large corporate sponsors and thousands of individual donors as well as knowledgeable philanthropic supporters, SOCT relies on your generosity to ensure that everyone has the chance to reveal the champion within.
Support SOCT...reveal the champion within YOU!
Explore our ways to give to discover which support opportunity is best suited for you.
What opportunities are available for me to get involved with SOCT?
All are invited to get involved! Participate as an athlete, Unified Sports® partner, coach, volunteer, supporter or fan!
Special Olympics is about revealing the champion in all of us.
Is there a financial obligation to become a member of SOCT?
Special Olympics is grateful for any and all individuals who choose to participate in our programs, therefore we will never request a payment of any kind on your behalf.
Where can I keep up to date with future events and happenings?
To stay in the know about all current and future Special Olympics events scheduled, visit our events page so you never miss out on an opportunity to participate!
Where does my donation go towards assisting in the efforts of SOCT?
With your support, Special Olympics can transform lives through the joy of sport, each and every day.
Every day we empower athletes to shatter stereotypes and exceed their personal bests on the playing field and in life. But for every inspiring Special Olympics athlete in Connecticut, there are 14 more people waiting for their chance –– and so many more around the world.
What does your generous donation support?
- Sports & Games - SOCT serves over 10,000 athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and Unified Sports® partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities who are the athletes’ teammates) and offers Olympic-style individual and team sports that provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities.
- Inclusive Health - Over the past two decades, Special Olympics has improved the health of people with ID around the world by collaborating with our athletes, health care providers, community organizations, universities, and governments.
- Unified Schools - Students of all abilities have the power to positively impact their school communities by promoting social inclusion. Special Olympics Unified Schools empowers youth and educators to be leaders of change.
How does SOCT benefit the lives of those who participate?
From fostering meaningful relationships to gaining physical fitness through exciting programs, there is no limit to the benefits that come with being a Special Olympics member.
- Through sports, our athletes are realizing their abilities.
- Their world is opened with acceptance and understanding.
- They become confident and empowered as a result of their accomplishments.
What are the requirements placed to become an athlete for Special Olympics?
To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, you must be at least 8 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specially designed instruction. The Special Olympics Young Athletes™ program was created for children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 through 7. The steps to register as an athlete can be found here.
How Do I Become A Coach For Special Olympics?
Special Olympics coaches are the foundation of what we do. Without dedicated coaches who inspire and train Special Olympics’ athletes to achieve their athletic and life goals, our mission is incomplete.
Special Olympics Connecticut volunteer coaches come from all walks of life. They include former and current athletes, high school and college students, professionals, family members and members of the community. You, too, can teach the skills and nurture the spirit that defines a true athlete.
If you are interested in joining our coaching team, please complete the Coaches Interest Form.
*Becoming a Special Olympics Connecticut coach is typically a 8- to 12-week commitment per sport season.
How to volunteer for SOCT?
Our volunteers are students, seniors, business groups, professionals, civic organization members, families, amateur and professional athletes and coaches, to name a few. In other words, ANYONE CAN GET INVOLVED! The steps to register as a volunteer can be found here. You may sign up to volunteer for an event or support a local program!
How does the Planned Giving/Champion’s Society work?
Make a planned gift of any type and join the Champion’s Society. In the Olympic tradition of excellence and grandeur, Champion’s Society members are the guardians who protect our athletes’ future. By providing for Special Olympics in their estate and financial plans today, members of the Champion’s Society guarantee the long-term success of Special Olympics and its athletes.
Like the athletes whom it benefits, the Champion’s Society transcends all boundaries and was created to pay tribute to the dedicated individuals who have included SOCT in their will or other estate and financial plans. All members are connected by a shared vision to help SOCT ensure a safe and quality athlete experience, grow in numbers and expand our reach.
There are no membership fees or minimum gift amounts to join the Champion’s Society. The size of your gift is entirely your choice and is kept confidential. If you have already included SOCT in a bequest or other planned gift, we hope you will let us know. Your willingness to be listed as a member of the Champion’s Society not only encourages others to follow your example, but inspires the family members, athletes and community at large and ensures that Special Olympics’ life-improving mission will continue for generations to come.
How do I become a Unified Sports® Partner?
Do you enjoy playing basketball, volleyball, softball or soccer? Or are you a swimmer, tennis player or runner? There is no better way to share your love of sports and experience the rewards you gain from volunteering than by becoming a Special Olympics Unified Sports® Partner! Unified Sports® Partners are athletes without intellectual disabilities who train and compete in sports alongside their peers with intellectual disabilities.
Here's how to get started:
1. Complete and submit the Class A Volunteer Application. (This form must be completed before joining a Special Olympics Connecticut team and is valid for three years.)
- Volunteer: Class A Application
- Volunteer: Class A Application (Web Version)
- Volunteer: Minor Class A Application
- Volunteer: Minor Class A Application (Web Version)
2. Complete the Protective Behaviors online training. (Only for volunteers ages 18 and over.)
3. Read the Unified Sports® Partner Guidelines and complete the Unified Sports® Partner Release Form.
4. Review information about Partner Domination Issues and Guidelines.
How can my company or civic organization get involved with SOCT?
Corporate and civic organizations are an integral part of supporting SOCT athletes and programs. There are many ways to get involved: volunteerism, sponsorship, fundraising, and in -kind product or service donations. Opportunities are statewide and year-round. To learn more, click here.