Special Olympics helps athletes to be active and respected members of their community. The purpose of Athlete Leadership is to help athletes develop leadership skills and take on leadership roles. These skills are built through organized training and practice. Athletes are encouraged to use their voices to bring awareness to their abilities. Athlete Leadership opportunities help build athlete’s confidence to create inclusive communities around the world.
Who can be part of Athlete Leadership?
Any athlete, with the assistance of a mentor, can participate in Athlete Leadership. Both the athlete and the mentor must be registered as members of Special Olympics. Mentors may support one or more athletes at the same time, depending on the level of support the athlete may require.
There are many ways in which an athlete may be a part of Athlete Leadership.
- Global Messenger
- Committee Members/Board Members/Input Council
- Fundraisers/ Special Events
- Assistant Coaches
Athletes as Global Messengers
Global Messengers receive training in presentation skills and are athlete leaders who can become excellent public speakers. They advocate for themselves and the mission of Special Olympics. Global Messengers are required to attend at least one training day and two Global Messenger appearances per year.
To request a Special Olympics Connecticut Global Messenger to speak at your event, please complete the Global Messenger Request Form.
Athletes as Volunteers
There are always opportunities to help at Special Olympics Connecticut! We are always looking for volunteers at competitions or in the office preparing for events.
Athletes as Assistant Coaches
If you would like to help other athletes improve their skills, you can be an assistant coach for your team!
Athletes on Boards, Committees or Input Councils
You can be a representative for other Special Olympics Connecticut athletes by getting involved in one of these groups. Training helps athletes with decision-making and policy meetings. Training focuses on awareness and listening skills.
Athletes as Fundraisers
Do you have ideas about how to raise money? You can help Special Olympics at local fundraising events or share your own fundraising ideas! Training helps you learn how to get involved in a fundraising event and recruit volunteers to help you.
Athletes as Employees
Look for job opportunities in your local community!
Sean Bogart, an athlete and Global Messenger, takes photographs of fellow athletes for the Campus Customs website. Sean participates in the Hamden Local Program.
Athlete Leadership Training
There will be two large training days offered for Athlete Leaders each year. Multiple training topics will be offered at each of these events. One will occur in the fall and the other in the spring of each year. It is strongly encouraged that Global Messengers attend both trainings however it is required that each Global Messenger attend at least one training per year. Mentors must attend these events with their athlete leaders to assist as needed during the trainings. There may be other additional training opportunities available throughout the year.
For more information on Athlete Leadership at Special Olympics Connecticut, please contact:
Coordinator, Health & Wellness
203-230-1201, ext. 261