Misson: Special Olympics Washington BUILDS Communities and LEADS in Wellness through Sports and Inclusion.
About: Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics is able to remove barriers and stigmas that people with intellectual disabilities face, and to share with the community the gifts and talents they possess. Everyone who comes in touch with Special Olympics is impacted in a way that helps them strive to achieve their personal best.
Participation: Persons with intellectual disabilities, regardless of ability level, may participate in sports and other programs offered by Special Olympics Washington. Individuals are eligible for training and competition at age eight and there is no upper age limit. More than 17,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics Washington activities; over 3.5 million athletes compete in Special Olympics programs in 160 countries.
Athlete Leadership Program: Athletes are provided the opportunity to expand personal growth — from coaching and officiating to public speaking and volunteering. Athletes are also invited to volunteer at local and state events, regardless of leadership training. Additionally every Area is encouraged to create Athlete Input Councils, giving vital feedback to Special Olympics Washington.
Training & Competition: Training and competition is offered year-round to Special Olympics athletes. Competition takes place at local, regional and state tournaments. Individuals and teams compete in divisions according to age, gender and ability.
Youth Activation: Special Olympics youth programs are education and sports based strategies powered by an engaged youth community that increases athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating communities of acceptance.
Volunteers: More than 8,000 volunteers support Special Olympics Washington activities. Volunteers serve as coaches, sports officials, committee members and on-site volunteers at competitions and fundraising events. Coaches and officials are trained and certified at clinics offered by Special Olympics Washington. Over 1.7 million volunteers support Special Olympics programs worldwide.
Funding: Special Olympics Washington is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization supported entirely by individual, corporate and foundation contributions. Athletes participate at no cost to themselves or their families.
Unified Sports: Athletes with intellectual disabilities pair with persons without disabilities and form teams for training and competition. Unified Sports integrates Special Olympics athletes with other athletes to build self-esteem and increase understanding of persons with different abilities.
Healthy Athletes: Special Olympics athletes are provided opportunities to improve health and fitness through dental, vision, hearing, feet and general health screenings. Physicians and healthcare professionals provide these services at no cost to Special Olympics athletes at tournaments.
Winter Season & Winter Games —
Alpine Skiing, Basketball, Cross Country Skiing, Figure & Speed Skating, Snowboarding
Spring Season & Summer Games —
Aquatics, Athletics (Track & Field), Long Distance Running/Walking, Cycling, Powerlifting, Soccer, Unified Bocce (recreational)
Summer Season & Summer Sports
Fall Season —
Bowling, Flag Football, Volleyball (recreational)
Young Athletes: An innovative sports play program, designed for early childhood intervention, seeks to strengthen self-esteem and physical development for children with ID ages 2-7 years old.