Volunteering...

The spirit of generosity, inclusion and volunteerism helps to connect the community as a whole. In this way, we will build a stronger, safer world.

Whether you want to coach a team, compete with our athletes as a Unified Partner, or serve as an event volunteer, there are so many opportunities for you to give your time to Special Olympics Colorado. No matter how small the commitment, we value the time that you give. With your help, we can truly enhance the experiences of our athletes! Join over 6,600 other Coloradans who are helping us support 14,200 athletes in SOCO programs and events.

    Volunteer

    There are so many ways to volunteer. Start making a difference today!

    Click here to learn about the different ways to volunteer with Special Olympics Colorado. Then,

    • Sign up as an Day of Event Volunteer by visiting our event calendar. Click on an event to register.  
    • Learn more and register to become a Coach, or renew your existing registration by visiting our Coach page.
    • Learn more and register to become a Unified Partner, or renew your existing registration by visiting our Unified Partner page.

    If you would like more general volunteer information, please contact Kady Moore, Volunteer & Family Manager, by email or call 720.359.3103.

    Current Needs:

    Please visit our calendar to register to be a Day of Event Volunteer!

    Volunteers are needed for Red Shirt Rookies Basketball this winter! Click here for more information.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Category

    Description

    Commitment

    Next Steps

    Day of Event VolunteerHelp out the day of an event or competition by volunteering in a variety of different jobs like: registration, timer, line judge, scorekeeper, etc.1-3 days/event, 5-10 hours/dayClick on calendar event to register
    Coach Class A Adult (18 and older) or Class A Youth (8-17 years old)Work directly with athletes to improve their skills in specific sports. SOCO offers 20 different team and individual sports.Around 2 hours per week, 2-3 months per season, Local and State competitions

    Become A Coach

    Unified Sports Partner (athletes without intellectual disabilities) Class A Adult (18 and older) or Class A Youth (8-17 years old)Train and compete as a teammate with a Special Olympics athlete on a Unified Sports Team.Around 2 hours per week, 2-3 months per season, Local and State competitions

    Become A Unified Partner

    Fundraise, Officiate, Photographer, Volunteer Fairs, Office Support, Medical, Videographer, Area Management TeamPerform on-site tasks at local and state competitive events or at program office.1-3 days/event, 4-8 hours/day depending on interest, availability and competition schedule

    Contact Kady Moore 720.359.3103

    FANS in the STANDSBe a Fan in the Stand: Support and cheer on the athletes during competitions.Any scheduled calendar event, no specific time commitment requiredContact Kady Moore 720.359.3103
    Games Organizing CommitteeThe GOC is responsible for the organization and implementation of a Special Olympics competition at the Area or State level.1-2 hours every other week; starts 3-4 months prior to an event/competitionContact Kady Moore 720.359.3103
    Chaperone, Overnight Host, DriverResponsible for chaperoning/driving an athlete during an event, which could include an overnight stay.Depends on event time and travel requiredContact Kady Moore 720.359.3103
    Young Athletes CoachImplement program curriculum and facilitate developmentally appropriate sports play activities among children ages 2 ½ – 7 with intellectual disabilities and their non-disabled peers.Around 2 hours per week during sports season

    Visit the YAP page

    Global Messenger MentorProvide support to their respective Global Messenger athlete in the preparation of presentations and arrangements for speaking engagements.Varies depending on event needs throughout the yearContact Kady Moore 720.359.3103

    LETR (Law Enforcement Torch Run)Assist Colorado law enforcement in fundraising for SOCO through special events. Raise awareness and support for our athletes by participating in local programs.Varies depending on event needs throughout the year

    Become An LETR member

    Volunteer FAQ

    When are Special Olympics competitions? There are several events held throughout the year including six State Games plus many special events and area competitions. To view upcoming events, visit our calendar.

    What are the volunteer age requirements? We welcome volunteers eight years of age and older. Volunteer under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult when participating. Anyone under 8 years old is welcome to come be a Fan in the Stands to cheer on the athletes at SOCO events, and must be supervised by an adult.

    How do I volunteer? If you are interested in volunteering for a single day event, you can register online through our calendar.  For Coaching/Unified Partner (an athlete without intellectual disabilities) volunteer opportunities, please visit our Become a Coach or Unified Partner (an athlete without intellectual disabilities) pages.  Learn of the many additional ways to be involved on our Volunteer Opportunities page.

    What is the Protective Behaviors Training? Protective Behaviors is a training program for volunteers to help prevent the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of Special Olympics athletes. It consists of an online training, followed by a 10 question test. To complete the training, volunteers must correctly answer 10 out of 10 questions. After you have finished and submitted the test, a confirmation email will be sent to you and SOCO, who will keep a record of your training. Click here to complete the Protective Behaviors training.

    Do I need to take the Protective Behaviors Training? We highly encourage ALL volunteers to complete the training because it is an excellent guide on how to look out for and prevent the abuse of our athletes. It is MANDATORY that all Class A volunteers, 16 years or older, take the Protective Behaviors Training. Class A volunteers are defined as 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 with athletes; volunteers who handle substantial amounts of cash or other assets of the program.

    How often do I need to complete the Protective Behaviors Training? Training needs to be completed every 3 years, along with your application or renewal application. SOCO records everyone that has completed the training and the information is kept in our database.

    Where can I see a list of upcoming SOCO events that you need volunteers for? Visit our Calendar to see upcoming events that you can volunteer for. An online registration is attached to each event where volunteers are needed. You can also sign up to receive the SOCO e-newsletter, which lists updated volunteer opportunities. You can also contact Kady Moore, Volunteer and Family Manager, by email or phone 720.359.3103 if you have any questions.

    How do I volunteer with an area program close to me? Visit our calendar to register online for a local event or contact your Area Manager for a list of local opportunities in your area.

    How do I become a SOCO coach? To become a coach, you must be certified through SOCO in the sport that you wish to coach. Find information on the Become a Coach page, or contact Jenny Chase with any questions.

    If I am already a coach, how often do I need to renew my Class A volunteer application?

    Class A volunteer applications expire 3 years after your initial application date. Follow the Recertification procedure outlined on the Become a Coach page for existing coaches who need to renew their application.

    What is the time commitment for volunteering at an event? Volunteer shift times vary depending on the event. Volunteers are required to stay for the entire shift that they are assigned to, and usually shift times run 4-8 hours long. Schedules are always flexible before an event as long as the volunteer notifies the state office before the event.

    What is the difference between a State Game and a special event? The State Games are Olympic-type competitions that are held four times a year. The events included are comprehensive, thus the need for many volunteers to help with competitions and social activities. The State Games typically require anywhere from 100 volunteers to 500 volunteers. Special Events are state fundraising events that Special Olympics Colorado hosts. We typically need fewer volunteers to host these events. We appreciate your interest in volunteering for any and all of our events. For a list of the types of roles for volunteers at our State Games and Special Events, click here.

    Where are events held? Events are held throughout the five different area programs across Colorado.  State Games are held throughout the state, while most of the Special Events are held in the Denver metro area.

    How can I get a group/my company involved? We are always looking for groups and companies to get involved with Special Olympics Colorado. Certain events, like the State Games, are very large and require more volunteers than some of our local competitions or Special Events, so we encourage you to seek out opportunities for those events first. You can register a group online or contact Kady Moore, Volunteer and Family Manager, by email or phone 720.359.3103 to get your group involved. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, click here.

    Do you need administrative help in the office? We are always looking for volunteers who can come into the SOCO state office to help with general office duties. We are looking for help during regular business hours. If you would like to volunteer in the SOCO office, please contact Kady Moore, Volunteer and Family Manager, by email or phone 720.359.3103 to set up a schedule.

    I need to keep track of my volunteer hours for school, work, etc. How do I get a record of my volunteer time? You can bring a volunteer form with you for someone to sign at the event or you can contact Kady Moore, Volunteer and Family Manager, by email or phone 720.359.3103 after the event and she will send you a letter with your volunteer hours.

    Volunteer Code of Conduct

    Special Olympics is committed to the highest ideals of volunteerism and service and expects all volunteers to uphold this code of conduct while offering assistance to Special Olympics Colorado. All Special Olympics volunteers agree to observe the following code:

    • Fulfill assignment and responsibility.
    • Set a good example for the athlete.
    • Demonstrate good sportsmanship and cooperation.
    • Be vigilant and aware of the safety of the athlete.
    • Be loyal to your commitment to Special Olympics Colorado.
    • It is important to understand that an individual with a disability is a person first and that the disability is only a part of that person. If you keep this as a guideline, you will get back much more than you give.
    • Provide for the general welfare, health and safety of all Special Olympics athletes and volunteers.
    • Dress and act in an appropriate manner at all times.
    • Follow the established rules and guidelines of Special Olympics and/or any agency involved with Special Olympics.
    • Report any emergencies to the appropriate authorities after first taking immediate action to ensure the health and safety of the participants.
    • Abstain from the consumption or use of all alcohol, tobacco products and illegal substances while involved with any Special Olympics event, competition or training school.
    • Do not engage in any inappropriate contact or relationship with athletes, volunteers or other participants of Special Olympics.

    Coach

    We rely on thousands of people throughout the year to volunteer their time, knowledge and spirit to coach our Special Olympics Colorado athletes.  Coaching is open to everyone – former and current athletes, former and current coaches, or if you just have a love for our athletes and want to help out. We’re happy to teach you what you need to know to enjoy your experience and make a significant difference in the lives of our athletes and families. We encourage you to become part of our coaches network!

    The purpose of the Special Olympics Colorado coach certification program is to ensure that each coach has the knowledge and tools to train athletes according to sport, safety, and Special Olympics guidelines.

    Age Requirement: Head Coaches (Level II & III) must be at least 18 years old to be certified.  Anyone 16 years and up may serve as an Assistant Coach (Level I).

    Recertification for existing coaches: find instructions below.

    All Coaches, regardless of level, must have their Class A Volunteer paperwork submitted, have completed the Protective Behaviors training, and have passed the background check.

    Coach Certification Components:

    Level I CoachLevel II CoachLevel III Coach

    **All of the above requirements except the practicum hours should be completed prior to coaching Special Olympics Athletes.

    Once completed, return the Level I Application to Special Olympics Colorado.

    Once completed, return the Level II Application to Special Olympics Colorado.

    • Class A Volunteer Form and approved background check
    • All Levels I & II Coaching Requirements
    • First Aid/CPR Training
    • 3 full seasons as a Level II Coach in a specific sport

    Once completed, return the Level III Application to Special Olympics Colorado.

     

    Already a Special Olympics Coach? Recertify!

    Coach certifications must be renewed every 3 years.  To recertify as a Level II or Level III Coach you must:

    Once completed, return the Recertification Application to Special Olympics Colorado.

    Coaching Resources

    Athlete Participation & Medical Form

    Every athlete must complete a form before participating with Special Olympics. These forms are valid for 3 years. Please contact your area manager to determine which of your athletes needs to renew this medical form in order to participate.  (Download the form in Spanish).

    Entry Forms for Area and State Events

    Concussion Training (Colorado Law now mandates that all coaches who train youth must take this training course.)

    Sports Rules and Coaching Guides

    Article I (Guidelines and Principles of Special Olympics Sports Rules)

    Coaches Code of Conduct

    Athletes Code of Conduct

    Basics of Coaching (guide for coaches, including common behaviors & strategies)

    Coaches Checklist

    Online resource for renewing your CPR/First Aid Training

    Coaching Special Olympics Athletes (Special Olympics North America Online Course)

    Coaching Special Olympics Unified Sports (Special Olympics North America Online Course)

    Unified Partners

    Sports are about having fun, promoting physical health and bringing people together.  Special Olympics Unified Sports Teams do all of that – and shatter stereotypes about intellectual disabilities in the process.  Unified Sports Partners (athletes without intellectual disabilities) play an invaluable role in the lives of our athletes – becoming teammates and friends with our athletes on and off the playing field. Whether you are a sports junkie, recreational enthusiast, or competitive athlete, there is no better way to combine a love of sports with the rewards of volunteer service than by becoming a Unified Sports Partner for Special Olympics Colorado!

    Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team.  Teams are formed with people of similar age and ability to make practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all.

    Become a Special Olympics Colorado Unified Sports Partner (an athlete without intellectual disabilities)

    • Complete and submit the Class A Volunteer form (or YOUTH Class A Form if you are 17 or younger). These forms are valid for 3 years and must be completed before joining a Special Olympics Colorado Team.
    • Complete the Protective Behaviors online quiz.
    • Contact Kady Moore, Volunteer and Family Manager, by email or 720.359.3103, if you need help finding a team to join.

    Already a Special Olympics Colorado Unified Partner (an athlete without intellectual disabilities)?

    For questions or more information about becoming a Unified Sports Partner (an athlete without intellectual disabilities) with Special Olympics Colorado, please contact Kady Moore, Volunteer and Family Manager, by email or 720.359.3103.

    YPA

    ABOUT0093

    The Special Olympics Colorado Young Professionals Association is a group of individuals who would like to network with their peers, grow professionally and who have an interest in promoting and advancing the mission of Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) through programmatic and fundraising support.

    ELIGIBILITY

    Applicants should be emerging professionals under the age of 40, who have a desire to expand their networks, enhance their leadership skills and create change in the community through volunteerism and philanthropy.

    TIME COMMITMENT

    Members are encouraged to attend all of our monthly professional development/networking events and volunteer at SOCO’s athletic competitions and fundraising events.

    PROGRAM OVERVIEW

    • Monthly professional growth workshops featuring leaders from local organizations
    • Volunteer opportunities at SOCO’s athletic competitions and fundraising events
    • Quarterly networking mixers held at a variety of fun locations around Denver

    MEMBERSHIP DUES

    $30 annually

    HOW TO APPLY

    Fill out the online application here, or e-mail, fax or mail in the paper application. Membership deadline is June 21, 2013.

    QUESTIONS?

    Contact Megan Toohey, Special Olympics Colorado Director of Events (720.359.3109)