Become a Volunteer
Special Olympic Washington Volunteers are a fundamental component to every one of our programs and events across the state. Volunteer opportunities range from long term coaching and program manager positions to event volunteers who help run sporting and fundraising events- there is a place for everyone to help at all types of events, times and locations.
You will be required to go through further training for some volunteer opportunities and will need to go through a background check process before becoming a coach, assistant coach, or any other volunteer who interacts with athletes constantly. You will be notified before going through the background check process.
Types of Volunteer Opportunities and Roles
Volunteer at Tournaments
Winter Games Volunteer Registration
Ongoing Volunteer Roles:
- Get involved with Special Olympics Washington through a variety of programs and on a regular basis. Time commitment varies by opportunity.
- Support Athlete Leadership
- Play Unified
- Get involved in Young Athletes
- Volunteer in SOWA Offices
- Community Outreach
- Area Leadership Team
- Games Management Team
Sign up to volunteer through our Volunteer Application!
Class A Volunteers
Who is a Class A Volunteer?
- Volunteers, who have regular, close physical contact with athletes.
- Volunteers in a position of authority or supervision with athletes.
- Volunteers in a position of trust of athletes.
- Volunteers who handle substantial amounts of cash or other assets of the Program.
Who falls into the Class A Volunteer Category?
Examples include coaches, unified partners, chaperones, ALP’s mentors, overnight hosts, drivers for athletes, and volunteers who have substantial administrative and/or fiscal authority. Fundraising Event Committee members, Games Management Team members, Torch Run Volunteers, and Board members who meet the definition of a Class A Volunteer are also subject to the screening requirements.
Please note: Any parent, sibling, or family member who serves in any of the above capacities, such as a coach or chaperone, for any athlete in a Special Olympics activity (including their own family member) is considered a Class A Volunteer and subject to the required screening process.
Class A Volunteers will also go through the volunteer application or complete the “become a coach” (link to coaches page) checklist to go through the background check process.
Youth Volunteer Policy
- Children 10 and under are not eligible to volunteer, but are welcome to attend events as spectators. (Exception – Unified Partner participants may be 8 yrs. or older)
- Youth 11-13 are eligible to volunteer, for certain positions, if accompanied by parent/adult chaperone.
- Teens 14-17 are eligible to volunteer for certain positions.
- Youth groups need to provide a minimum of one adult chaperone for every four youth.
- Adults are defined as 18 years of age or older and anyone under 18 must have parent/guardian to participate.
Volunteer Handbook (link to handbook)