Athletes

Special Olympics Ontario is a sports organization dedicated for people with an intellectual disability; but it provides athletes with far more than just the physical benefits of sport. Special Olympics changes lives.

Why Get Involved?

Training and competition in sport while having fun, developing skills and building self-esteem, is the life of a Special Olympics Ontario athlete. With 18 sports to choose from, Special Olympics Ontario has something for every person with an intellectual disability.

With the opportunities to excel and have fun come the benefits of improved health and self-image. For many athletes, participating in Special Olympics Ontario is a path to healthy living, empowerment, acceptance and friendship. SOO is dedicated to increasing physical fitness, confidence and other sport and life skills of our athletes; all in a positive and supportive environment.




Eligibility

Persons with an intellectual disability are eligible to participate in Special Olympics.

A person is considered to have an intellectual disability if that person satisfies the following requirements:

  1. Typically an IQ score of approximately 70 or below;
  2. Deficits in general mental abilities which limit and restrict participation and performance in one or more aspects of daily life such as communication, social participation, functioning at school or work, or personal independence, and;
  3. Onset during the developmental period (before the age of 18 years).

All individuals eight years of age or older, who have an intellectual disability have access to SOO sport programs. Individuals who have multiple disabilities are also eligible to participate so long as one of the disabilities is an intellectual disability.
Individuals under the age of eight may be able to participate in our Active Start and FUNdamental multisport programs based on availability. These programs are the first stage in the eight-stage Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model that looks to develop the physical literacy of each individual with an intellectual disability. This model acts as a framework for those who choose to stay “active for life” in community or recreational programs, or those who look to reach the podium in competitive training programs.



To view the Athlete's Rights and Responsibilities click on the link below:

Rights and Responsibilities

To learn more about Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programs click on the link below:

Athlete Empowerment and Leadership