8.5.0 - Athlete Empowerment & Leadership

About this Section

Athlete Empowerment
Empowerment = helping athletes experience greater control over their lives, put their thoughts into action, be personally responsible and have some control and input in their local communities

Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programs were developed to give athletes the opportunity to participate in the Special Olympics movement beyond sports training and competition.  

Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) involves senior athletes as peer coaches and mentors. It is SOO’s goal to include the participation of as many people with intellectual disabilities in running and spreading awareness for SOO programs as possible.

SOO has launched a Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Program. The program is an organizing and governing body from which athletes and their families can receive athlete leadership training, recognition, more opportunities for participation within Special Olympics Ontario, and a chance to empower themselves and their fellow athletes. The key components of this program are athlete leadership initiatives through event coordination, website development, and athlete recognition, fundraising and speaking engagements. The program offers an environment where athletes are in control and have the power to make the changes they see necessary. They have opportunities to be leaders in their communities, listening to, helping, and awarding other athletes. Increased empowerment, self-esteem and independence are all key goals of this initiative, which occurs through the athletes’ own advocacy.
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