Many athletes choose to undergo training to learn presentation skills so they can help spread the message of Special Olympics to the general public. Some are selected by Special Olympics International to serve as Sargent Shriver International Global Messengers. Like Martha Hill of the United States, who says, “I feel the training and opportunities given to me through Special Olympics were an investment in me, and I need to use my abilities to help champion the rights of all those with disabilities.”
Other athletes have an interest in discussing programming and policy. Athletes who serve on the Special Olympics Boards of Directors help the movement set priorities based on what athletes want. Athletes also share their perspectives on how well Games are run, and their wisdom about how to spend Special Olympics resources.
Athlete Leadership trainings are offered in 67 countries and are initiated at the grass-roots level. Many athletes are trained to engage in policy discussions and to articulate their opinions to community and government leaders. Once a year, athletes in the United States lobby members of Congress for both local and global support of Special Olympics.