Athlete Leadership

Athlete Leadership Overview:

Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs) allow Special Olympic Colorado (SOCO) athletes to help shape the future of the Special Olympics movement and ensure all people with intellectual disabilities have the opportunity to participate in sports training and competition that is fun and fair. ALPs train athletes to serve in meaningful leadership roles other than or in addition to sports.

Athlete Leadership Program Logo

Congratulations to our 2018 Ambassador Class! 

Goals of Athlete Leadership Programs:

  • Allow athletes self-determination of how and in what roles they will participate in Special Olympics
  • Provide athletes with the training and certification, where appropriate, to properly prepare them for success
  • Include athletes in positions of influence and leadership throughout the organization to help determine policy and set direction.
  • Provide training and education for existing leadership as we welcome and encourage athletes in their new roles
  • Recognize athletes’ ability to contribute in these roles in a meaningful way by holding them accountable to all SOCO policies and rules

Check out SOCO Athlete Leaders being featured as one of Special Olympics International 50 Game Changers!

ALPs Comfort Dental Lockup

Athlete Leadership Programs:

ALPs University: SOCO hosted its first ALPs U in spring 2019, which provides education for athletes in a variety of leadership topics. Moving forward, there will be an ALPs U each spring and fall semester. Using a university model where athletes receive credit for attending classes & completing practicums, participants can enroll in one of the following classes:

  • 101: Intro to Athlete Leadership
    • *Pre-requisite for all other classes* 
  • Governance 201G: Boards & Athlete Input Councils
    • *Must have graduated from 101 to enroll*
  • Health 201H: Intro to Health & Fitness
    • *Must have graduated from 101 to enroll*
  • Communication 201C: Intro to Communication
    • *Must have graduated from 101 to enroll*
  • Governance 202G: Government Relations
    • *Must have graduated from 201G to enroll*
  • Health 202H: Health Messenger
    • *Must have graduated from 201H to enroll*
  • Communication 202C: Global Messenger
    • *Must have graduated from 201C to enroll*


  • Location: To be determined (Denver Metro Area)
  • Dates: To be determined (A full Saturday in Fall 2019)



Are you interested in becoming an athlete mentor?

Learn more about becoming a mentor HERE

Information for fall 2019 application coming soon!

Athlete Input Council: This council is a forum for athletes to report to other athletes and Program leaders what is happening in their areas, voice their opinions about important issues, and gain leadership training and experience. Seven representatives will sit on the Council for a two-year term (2019-20) and there will be quarterly meetings (February, May, August & November) the week prior to the Colorado State Board meetings.

Athletes who are interested in serving on the Athlete Input Council should alert their Regional Manager and / or Georgia David, Athlete Leadership Program Manager.