Schools & Organizations
Any school or organization that provides services to individuals with intellectual disabilities can participate in Special Olympics D.C. free of charge.
Because Special Olympics District of Columbia is 70% school-based, the majority of the athletes are presently enrolled in the D.C. public or charter schools. These athletes become part of Special Olympics D.C. when a teacher or school administrator first completes an Accreditation Application. Once the application is received and processed, the school can enroll eligible athletes to participate in any of the Special Olympics sports programs offered. Training for these athletes generally takes place on weekdays and during the school day, with transportation to the practice sites provided by D.C. Public Schools.
Within each school, one individual must be identified as the Program Coordinator. This individual will receive critical information prior to the start of each sports season. There are four scheduled meetings throughout the year prior to the start of each season and the Summer Games. Schedules, timelines, paperwork, and issues pertaining to the sports offered in the upcoming season are reviewed and critical information is disseminated. This enables each Program Coordinator to have an understanding of what will be necessary and expected from each school interested in participating in those sports.
Program Coordinator responsibilities include:
Identify and recruit coaches within their school, organization, or agency
Attend four Program Coordinator meetings which are held at the beginning of each sports season (fall, winter, spring), as well as prior to the Summer Games
Liaison between SODC and their sport-specific coaches
Liaison between SODC and school/organization/agency administrators
Serve as the Head of Delegation for Summer Games and be on-site each day their school/organization/agency participates
Coaches must also be identified within each school to accompany athletes to each training session and competition. These individuals can be classroom teachers, support staff, or volunteers associated with the school. Each school will have a defined head coach for each sport. All coaches (head and assistants) must complete a Class A Volunteer form, which is good for three years, and pass the on-line Protective Behaviors Course. Anyone designated as a head coach must commit to attend one Coach Alliance meeting per season in which the school is actively participating in a sport.
The Coach Alliance meeting dates are as follows:
Golf Individual Skills, Tennis Individual Skills, Youth Basketball and Adult Unified Bocce: September 20
Bowling (youth and adult), Speed Skating, Adult Unified Basketball: December 13 and January 10
Track and Field, Traditional and Unified soccer, Tennis Match Play, Aquatics, Traditional and Unified Volleyball, Traditional Bocce: TBA
Mandatory meeting for all Program Coordinators and head coaches: TBA
Adult Day Treatment or Residential Athletes
These athletes become part of Special Olympics D.C. by having an administrator complete the Accreditation Application. Once the application is received, that organization can enroll eligible athletes for participation in any of the Special Olympics D.C. sports programs offered. All participants are required to complete and submit an Athlete Application for Participation. Training for these athletes can take place during the day, in the evenings, or on weekends.
Special Olympics District of Columbia formed a training group of independent adults. The name of the program is SOFIT (Special Olympics Fitness) and was developed to attract athletes that have graduated, aged out of their former organizations, or are employed in jobs. These adults complete and submit an Athlete Application for Participation to be eligible to train and compete in Special Olympics D.C. sports.