Special Olympics Colorado
Improving Lives Through Sports
Volunteer Code of Ethics
Special Olympics Colorado Unified Sports® Partner Release and Waiver of Liability
In consideration of participating in The Special Olympics Unified Sports® program, I represent that I understand the nature of the event and that I am qualified, in good health, and in proper physical condition to participate in Unified Sports® events. I fully understand the event involves risks of serious bodily injury which may be caused by my own actions or inactions, by the actions of others participating in the event, or by conditions in which the event takes place. I fully accept and assume all such risks and all responsibility for losses, costs, and/or damages I may incur as a result of my participation. I acknowledge that at any time if I feel that the event conditions are unsafe, I will discontinue participation immediately.
If during my participation in Special Olympics activities I should need emergency medical treatment and I am not able to give my consent for, or make my own arrangements for that treatment because of my injuries, I authorize Special Olympics Colorado to take whatever measures are necessary to protect my health and well-being, including, if necessary, hospitalization.
Special Olympics US Volunteer Screening Policy
Who is a Class A Volunteer?
Benefits and Limitations of the Volunteer Screening Policy
Codes of Conduct
Codes of Conduct are in effect and enforced for athletes, coaches and volunteers.
Recognizing Sexual Predators
A sexual predator could be anyone. There is no “look” or behavior pattern that sets them apart. Sexual Predators:
Inappropriate gifts, trips, outings, or other gestures of affection from a volunteer include:
Tips for Travel
Changes in behavior may offer the only visible clue that an athlete is the victim of abuse. Abuse causes stress and victims often exhibit stress related behavior such as:
Uncharacteristic changes in behavior that last for more than a few days indicate a possible need for intervention, but are not a certain indicator of abuse as there are other causes of stress. The absence of behavioral indicators does not indicate a lack of abuse
Be Ready To Say:
Who To Tell:
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury- or TBI – caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes your head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.
This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, stretching and damaging the brain cells and creating chemical changes in the brain. These chemical changes make the brain more vulnerable to further injury. During this window of vulnerability the brain is more sensitive to any increases stress or injury, until it fully recovers.
Unlike other physical injuries, you cannot see a concussion on an x-ray. It is not a “bruise on the brain” but rather a disruption of how the brain works. That is why brain CAT scans and MRIs are normal with most concussions.
A concussion can occur from any type of contact such as colliding with a player, a goalpost, the ground, or another obstacle. Concussion can also occur outside of sports, ranging from bumping your head on a door to being in a car crash. Even what may seem like a mild bump to the head can actually be serious. Most concussions occur without loss of consciousness.
Concussions affect people differently. While most athletes with a concussion recover quickly and fully, some will have symptoms that last for days, or even weeks. A more serious concussion can last for months or longer.
Not giving the brain enough recovery time after a concussion can be dangerous. A repeat concussion that occurs before the brain recovers from the first, usually within a short time period (hours, days, weeks) can slow recovery or increase the chances for long-term problems. In rare cases repeat concussion can result in brain swelling or permanent brain damage. It can even be fatal. It is incredibly important for you to pull an athlete from play if you suspect he or she has a concussion.
Recognizing a concussion requires watching for different types of signs or symptoms. Remember there are two key things to watch for amongst your athletes:
Athletes who exhibit or report one or more of the signs and symptoms listed below or just “don’t feel right” after a bump, blow or jolt to the head or body, may have a concussion.
Signs observed by coaching staff:
Symptoms reported by athletes:
Signs and symptoms generally show up soon after the injury. The full effect of the injury may not be noticeable at first and some symptoms may not show up for hours or days. If you suspect a concussion, assess the athlete. Then assess the athlete again. Ensure the athlete is supervised for at least one or two hours after. Talk with the athlete’s parent/guardian/caregiver about watching for symptoms at home.
If the signs or symptoms get worse, you need to consider it a medical emergency. In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain in an athlete with a concussion and squeeze the brain against the skull.
Call 911 or take the athlete to the emergency room right away if he or she exhibits one or more of the following danger signs:
Resting after a concussion is critical because it helps the brain recover. Ignoring symptoms and proceeding as normal often makes symptoms worse and recovery to take longer. Even activities that involve learning and concentration can cause concussion symptoms to reappear or get worse.
It’s up to a healthcare professional to determine if an injured athlete’s concussion symptoms have been reduced significantly, and when he or she should slowly and gradually return to daily activities.
The athlete might feel frustrated, sad, or angry about having to sit out. Talk to them about it. Be honest about the risks of getting put back into play too soon. Offer your support and encouragement and remind them that as the days go by they’ll feel better.
An athlete should return to sports practices under the supervision of an appropriate health care professional. There are five steps to follow to help safely return an athlete to play. These steps should not be completed in one day, but instead over days, weeks, or months.
During each step, monitor the athlete for returning symptoms, including fuzzy thinking and concentration. Report any symptoms to the athlete’s doctor. If an athlete’s symptoms come back, or they exhibit new symptoms with increased activity, stop these activities and take it as a sign that the athlete is pushing him/herself too hard. After additional rest, and an ok from their doctor, the athlete may start over again at Step 1. The athlete should only graduate to the next level of activity if s/he does not experience concussion symptoms.
Create a concussion action plan. Have an action plan in place before the season starts to ensure concussions are identified early and managed correctly. Educate athletes, parents/guardians/caregivers and other coaches about concussion. Dedicate a portion of one of the first practices to talk to all parties about the dangers of concussion; potential long-term consequences; and your concerns as well as expectations of safe play. Pass out concussion fact sheets. Remind athletes to immediately tell coaches if they suspect that they or a teammate has a concussion. Continuously make sure your athletes are in good condition to participate.
Insist that safety comes first. Teach your athletes that it’s not smart to play with a concussion.
Keep a concussion log. Review your concussion policy and action plan.
The Centers for Disease Control website www.cdc.gov/concussion provides additional resources relative to concussions that may be of interest to participants and their families.
17 & Under: Click submit at the bottom of the page. You are all done! A SOCO Staff Member will reach out shortly.
18 & Over: Click submit at the bottom of the page. From there you will receive a link to complete the Background check.
*In order to devote more of our resources to providing a quality program for the athletes, we ask that our volunteers cover the cost involved in their background screening, which is valid for 3 years.
Please click submit below to complete Step 1 and move onto step 2.
Thank you for your support of Special Olympics Colorado!