Athlete Leadership

What is Athlete Leadership?

Athlete Leadership allows Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) athletes to help shape the future of the Special Olympics movement and ensure all people with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to participate in sports training and competition that is fun and fair. Athlete Leadership programs train athletes to serve in meaningful leadership roles other than, or in addition to, sports. Special Olympics Colorado currently provides multiple opportunities for athletes to serve as leaders, and we are constantly searching for ways to make our programs more athlete-led.

Athlete Leadership Values


Respect athletes as equal partners in your Special Olympics experience


The Special Olympics Movement is led by athletes


Dedication and excellence


Honesty and integrity


Value athlete opinions and preferences

Basic Concepts of Athlete Leadership

  • Athlete Leadership starts with an athlete who wants to take on a leadership role.
  • Athletes have a choice in how and where they lead in Special Olympics.
  • Athletes have opportunities to practice and improve their leadership skills.
  • Athletes benefit from the support of a committed mentor.
  • Athlete Leadership teaches our athletes to gain the knowledge and confidence to lead programmatic work. This is their organization – we are here to support them.
  • Athletes are in positions of influence and leadership throughout the organization to help determine policy and set direction.
  • Athletes have the ability to contribute in these roles in a meaningful way.
  • Athletes are held accountable to all Special Olympics policies and rules.

Athlete Leadership Roles

Special Olympics Roles modules are designed to provide athletes with an overview of what to expect if they served in one of these roles, then build the necessary skills to be successful in their role. Athletes take these courses at Athlete Leadership University after completing their core leadership modules.


Athlete Spokesperson

Promote, educate and inform others about the mission, benefits and direction of Special Olympics.


Athlete Representative

You can represent yourself and other Special Olympics Colorado athletes.



Become a guide for discussions and other presentations.


Health Messenger

Be a health leader, advocate, educator and role model within the community.


Event Leader

Plan, promote and execute Special Olympics events.


Sport Leader

Support athletes as they achieve their maximum potential through coaching, officiating, and other roles.

Ways to get involved:

Become an Athlete Leader

Our athletes are the driving force of the Special Olympics Movement and we are committed to creating roles that provide meaningful experiences for athletes, including committees, event support, speeches and presentations, and more.  

Athlete Leadership Council (ALC)

The Athlete Leadership Council is a forum for athletes to report what is happening in their regions, voice their opinions about important issues and gain leadership training and experience.

Athlete Leadership University (ALU)

Athlete Leadership University (ALU) is a learning experience, through a series of college-style courses, designed for Special Olympics Colorado athletes. ALU helps athletes build confidence and learn leadership skills to create meaningful change in society. With the support of volunteer mentors, athletes go through the core leadership courses and then select a specific major to study.

Athlete Leadership Workshops

Our workshops offer our athletes an opportunity to learn new skills to support them in their success as an athlete, teammate, leader, and community member. 

Personal and Professional Development

These self-guided trainings offer athletes an opportunity to learn new skills on their own. 

Unified Leadership

Unified Leadership teaches people WITHOUT disabilities how to value, include and enable people WITH intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID).

There are no upcoming events at this time

Questions? Reach out!


Photo of Athlete Leadership Manager Elizabeth Aslin
Elizabeth Aslin

Athlete Leadership Senior Manager
(720) 359-3113

Aidan Mcneese

Athlete Leadership Specialist & Administrative Assistant