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. They are finding success, joy, and friendship as part of our community. They’re also having lots of fun!

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?

Everybody is different. Special Olympics Vermont is for people who are different because they learn new skills slowly. They may not understand ideas that other people learn easily. They are different in other ways as well. They have an intellectual disability, or ID. Intellectual disabilities happen in all cultures, races and countries. The goal of Special Olympics Vermont is to reach out to the estimated 6,000 in Vermont with ID. ID can include Autism, Down Syndrome, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). At any age and in every country, our athletes are learning new skills, making new friends and gaining in fitness and confidence.

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 the 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, we have events and opportunities all over the state. More information can be found in the In Your Town section.

What sports do you offer?

We offer alpine skiing, aquatics (swimming), athletics (track and field), basketball, bocce, bowling, cross-country skiing, golf, snowboarding, snowshoeing, soccer, and softball. More information can be found in the Sports & Competition section.

When can I participate?

We have events year round! However, different sports are offered at different times of the year. Check our calendar for a list of events.

Does it cost anything to participate?

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

How do I sign up?

If you are interested in becoming an athlete, you can sign up in our Become an Athlete page. 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.

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