Special Olympics Utah (SOUT) is a chapter of Special Olympics Inc., and was established in 1969. Divided into seven “Area” programs along geographical lines, SOUT is operated at the grass-roots level by Utahans for Utah’s citizens with intellectual disabilities. These local efforts result in excellent competition, training, fundraising, finances, outreach, public education, and volunteer recruitment opportunities state-wide. In an Area program, athletes are enrolled and trained by volunteer coaches. More than 2,200 athletes and over 450 Unified Sports® partners from local communities participate with SOUT each year.
The mission of Special Olympics Utah is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts and skills with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Special Olympics is often the only place where individuals with intellectual or physical disabilities have an opportunity to participate in their communities and build their self-confidence. Many live lives of neglect and isolation, hidden away or socially excluded from full participation in schools or society. Weber State University students who volunteer with the program provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy for the Special Olympics athletes. Volunteers form meaningful relationships as they coach athletes each week and participate in the annual competitions including the Winter Games, Summer Games, Golf Championship, Fall Sports Classic and Snowball Classic.
How to Get Involved with Special Olympics Utah
Volunteer the Day of the Event
Annually Special Olympics Utah holds roughly 9 Area competitions, Winter Games and a variety of fund/fun raising activities in the North Area. These events are supported by day-of volunteers who serve as time keepers, score keepers, awards presenters, and more! Volunteering at these events is a fun opportunity to make a difference with your friends and support events in your community. Statewide, roughly 50 Area events and five State-level competitions are held annually – for those students who commute from outside Ogden, there may be a program in your home community. To volunteer, contact SOUT at firstname.lastname@example.org for upcoming events.
Become a Unified Sports partner
Unified Sports is a Special Olympics initiative dedicated to providing social inclusion through sports training and competition. Unified Sports partners are individuals without intellectual disabilities who join Special Olympics Utah athletes on the field of play. These individuals participate in weekly training sessions and compete at Area and State games events.
Join the Community Engaged Leaders Program
Special Olympics Utah is one of the organizations served under the WSU Community Engaged Leaders program. Community Engaged Leaders is a student-run community service program, and is part of WSUSA. It is comprised of a VP of Service, an Assistant Director, 4 Directors and 16 Chairs. These student leaders are responsible for promoting community service within the student body, and they make community service opportunities accessible to students. There are two Community Engaged Leaders Special Olympics Utah programs: Special Olympics Utah WSU Delegation, and Special Olympics Utah Winter Games/Area Management Team. These programs recruit student volunteers to work with people with intellectual disabilities and help support Special Olympics Utah’s events. Descriptions of the programs are given below. You can apply to become the chair for any of the service leadership positions, including one of the Special Olympics Utah chairs, during early spring semester. Becoming a chair or volunteering with Special Olympics Utah is a great way to meet new people and be social.
Special Olympics Utah WSU Delegation
WSU students sponsor and coach a group of dedicated and enthusiastic people with intellectual disabilities who compete in a wide range of sports. They compete at Special Olympics Utah events on both the regional (area) and state levels throughout the year. Learn more about the Community Engaged Leaders Special Olympics Utah program, or by emailing the current chair: email@example.com.
Special Olympics Utah Winter Games Organizing Committee/Area Management Team
WSU students on the Winter Games Organizing Committee/Area Management Team coordinate Special Olympics Utah’s Winter Games and assist with many North Area competitive events throughout the year. Students/Volunteers can choose to be involved year-round or for one event/season.
Weber State students are a valuable part of the Games Organizing Committee for Winter Games – serving as Venue Directors, Awards Coordinators, Meals Coordinators, Opening & Closing Ceremonies planning and more! During the Winter Games, over 200 people from WSU and the surrounding community volunteer their time. The volunteers not only assist with planning the event months in advance, but also serve as volunteers at Powder Mountain and North Fork Park during the event. Downhill skiing and snowboarding take place at Powder Mountain, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing take place in Eden, and the Closing Ceremony takes place on our campus.
Learn more about the Community Engaged Leaders Special Olympics Teams program or email the current chair: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact BobbiJo Kanter with Special Olympics Utah at email@example.com.
You can get started volunteering with Special Olympics Utah several ways. If you know what you want to do:
- Contact SOUT at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to volunteer the day of the event.
- Email email@example.com if you want to join the Community Engaged Leaders Special Olympics Utah WSU Delegation program.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join the Community Engaged Leaders Special Olympics Utah Winter Games/Area Management Team program.
- Contact BobbiJo Kanter if you want to volunteer with the Games Organizing Committee.
- If you do not know yet what you want to do, or if you want to learn more about volunteering with SOUT, you can visit http://sout.org/volunteer-overview. To register as a volunteer and to watch SOUT’s Volunteer Training Video, follow this link: http://sout.vsyshost.com/.
Start making a difference in an athlete’s life!
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