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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.

Local Club

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.