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Get Involved

Welcome to the Local Club/Program Page!

A ground of athletes standing in a circle looking down and smiling.

What is a Local Club/Program?

It is a community-based local branch of the National or State Special Olympics Program. Local Club/Program offers a wide range of sports and non-sport activities that are designed to promote inclusion, a sense of community, and celebrate the unique abilities of all members. Local Club/Program welcomes individuals with intellectual disabilities, their families, as well as volunteers from diverse backgrounds to join. Local Club/Program operates at the grassroots level of the Special Olympics movement. Check out this guide for specific steps for starting and growing a local Club/Program.

Who can start a Local Club/Program?

Anyone! If you are a volunteer, an athlete, a Unified Partner, or a family member of someone with an intellectual disability, learn more about starting a Local Club/Program to expand Special Olympics opportunities more athletes in your community.

What is the purpose of a Local Club/Program?

  • Sports - To offer ongoing training and competition opportunities for people with and without ID, according to Special Olympics rules and guidelines.   
  • Inclusion - to bring people together in a welcoming and inclusive environment that gives people with and without ID a sense of community.  
  • Health & Fitness - to promote a healthy lifestyle, fitness, nutrition and wellbeing of everyone in the community.   
  • Leadership - to develop leaders with and without ID who will expand the Local Club, strengthen their leadership skills, and set a strong leadership example for everyone.   
  • Fun and Recreation - to create a fun, open environment where people can enjoy sports and social activities.   

How can I start a Local Club/Program?

It is as simple as 1-2-3! It’s not really. That’s why we’ve provided a detailed walk through of different elements required to start and strengthen a local Special Olympics entity. Check it out in this guide. If you have any question, get in touch with the Special Olympics Office nearest to you for guidance and support.

A Local Club offers Special Olympics sports and non-sport activities within a community. It is a local branch of the Special Olympics National/State Program. A Local Club is open for anyone to become a member—people with and without intellectual disabilities, their families, and volunteers from all backgrounds.