Special Olympics Vermont

Athletes & Families

Athletes & Families

Athletes and families are the heart of Special Olympics Vermont. Our athletes are children and adults with intellectual disabilities from all around the state. In 2014, we had 1,141 athletes participate in at least one sport, with many competing in multiple sports throughout the year. Special Olympics is more than just an athletic opportunity. It’s also a great way to make friends, and to be more involved in your community.

Who are we?

Special Olympics is a year-round, nonprofit organization providing athletic opportunities for children and adults with intellectual disabilities around the world. At any age and in every country, athletes are learning new skills, building friendships, and gaining confidence.

Special Olympics Vermont was incorporated in February 1971 and now serves over 1,000 athletes all across the state.

What is an intellectual disability?

Intellectual disability (or ID) is a term used when a person has certain limitations in cognitive functioning and skills, including communication, social and self-care skills. These limitations can cause a child to develop and learn more slowly or differently than a typically developing child. Intellectual disability can happen any time before a child turns 18 years old, even before birth. ID can include Autism, Down Syndrome, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The goal of Special Olympics Vermont is to reach out to the estimated 6,000 in Vermont with ID.

Who can participate?

Athletes must be at least 8 years old, but there is no maximum age. No matter what the athlete’s ability, there is a sport for them in Special Olympics. For children aged 2-7, we also offer a Young Athletes program.

Where are we located?

Our office is in South Burlington. However, our local and school based programs as well as events and competitions take place all over the state! More information can be found in the In Your Town section.

What sports do you offer?

For information regarding sport offerings please see the Sports & Competition section.

When can I participate?

We have events year round! Sports are offered seasonally throughout the year. Check our calendar for a list of upcoming competitions.

Does it cost anything to participate?

Special Olympics programs are offered at no cost to athletes, partners and families, but expenses amount to more than one million dollars annually. Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and donors, both athletes and volunteers can participate absolutely free. However, we are always accepting donations.  Community support in our fundraising activities helps keep the Special Olympics up and running. The impact of our programs continues to grow.

How do I sign up?

If you are interested in becoming an athlete, you can sign up in our Become an Athlete page. Simply fill out the athlete medical form and submit it to the state office. Athletes of all ages and abilities are welcome!

How can I help out?

Special Olympics couldn’t operate without the help of our wonderful volunteers. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, click here. We also couldn’t operate without the generous support of our donors. If you are interested in making a donation, click here. Many of our family members serve as volunteers (coaches, fundraisers, program committee members, etc.); however we know that not everyone has spare time available. Becoming an annual donor via one time donation(s) or automated payroll deductions is a great way to be involved in supporting your local program. Every little bit counts, and we are greatly thankful for your contribution.

How to contact us:

Special Olympics Vermont’s address is 16 Gregory Drive #2, South Burlington, VT 05403. Our fax number is 802-863-3911. For more information, you can email Justin Graham, Special Olympics Vermont’s Athlete and Family Coordinator.

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