Flexibility: High

Social Engagement: High

What’s What: The Special Olympics games are special for everyone involved. They highlight the joy and purity of sport that seems to be missing in so many other athletic contests. This is a volunteer experience whose rewards usually exceed the efforts made.

Amava Take: The Special Olympics games rely heavily on volunteers — coaches, officials, photographers, logistics helpers and more. Some people give an afternoon, some volunteer year-round. If you are ready to have your heart soar and experience the transformative power of inclusion, sign up and lend your talents to the Special Olympics. You’ll meet like-minded people, spend time with amazing athletes and make memories.

From the Front Lines: 

What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these positions?

People who believe in inclusion, love sports and want to be part of the Special Olympics culture.

Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?

Educate yourself about intellectual disabilities so you can communicate most effectively with athletes. 

What’s a typical daily schedule like?

If you’re working at an event, it will usually be several days in a row. If you’re volunteering in a different capacity it will depend on the needs of the specific Special Olympics office. 

From the Trenches:  

What’s the most satisfying part of the job/experience?

There’s nothing like witnessing the joy of a Special Olympian crossing the finish line.

How would you describe the hard parts?

I’ve gotten upset when I see any insensitivity towards people with intellectual disabilities. Mostly it’s ignorance, but I still don’t like it.

How would you sum up what you’ve learned from volunteering with the Special Olympics?

As the website says, “The Revolution is Inclusion!”

Special Requirements: There are no specific requirements. That said, each Special Olympics Office has its own needs and the best way to find out more is to contact the one you’re interested in. Often communities, such as colleges, will get involved. Volunteers from all walks of life get involved, all over the US and abroad.

Finding a Position: The first step is finding the Special Olympics program that works for you. Then go to their volunteer page and scout out your preferred location.