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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.

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

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Athlete Leadership Programs:

Athlete AmbassadorThe Ambassador Program is a yearlong course that will take athletes through the introductory levels of leadership training. Mandatory trainings throughout the year will be held on Saturdays and are led by Special Olympics Colorado staff, guest instructors and volunteer mentors. The dates, times, and locations are as follows:

  • March 10 – Elitch Gardens, 9 a.m. – Noon
  • June 16 – Elements, 9 a.m. – Noon
  • September 22 – Location TBD, 9 a.m. – Noon
  • December 8 – Location TBD, Noon – 4 p.m. (Graduation celebration, families invited!)

APPLY BELOW BY DEC. 31 TO BE CONSIDERED FOR 2018 CLASS!


Global Messenger: Becoming a Global Messenger (GM) is the highest level of leadership training that a Special Olympics athlete can go through in Colorado.This advanced training will expand upon the skills learned in the “Ambassador” training and ensures that all athletes leave with sharpened leadership skills, as well as a five-minute speech that can be given anywhere and at any time.

If you are an existing Global Messenger, we will be hosting re-certification in July 2018! Please email georgia@specialolympicsco.org if you are interested in attending.

There will be a training for new Global Messengers in 2019!


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. Ten representatives will sit on the Council for a two-year term (2018-19) 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.

Athlete Ambassador Program Application

Athlete Leadership - Ambassador Application

  • Don't know? Check here: http://www.specialolympicsco.org/athletes-and-families/regions/