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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.

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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 hosts its ALPs U twice a year, which provides education for athletes in a variety of leadership topics. 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
  • Governance 202G: Government Relations *Must have completed 201G to enroll*
  • Health 201H: Intro to Health & Fitness
  • Health 202H: Health Messenger *Must have completed 201H to enroll*
  • Communication 201C: Intro to Communication
  • Communication 202C: Global Messenger *Must have completed 201C to enroll*

Click here for information on ALPs U course curriculum

Fall 2019 Location & Date:

  • Location: University of Denver; 2199 S University Blvd, Denver, CO 80208
  • Date: Sunday, November 3, 8am-6pm

ATHLETES: If you are interested in enrolling in ALPs U please click the following link to complete your application: ALPs U APPLICATION

MENTORS: Are you interested in becoming a mentor to an Athlete Leader? Register HERE!

Questions? Reach out to Stephanie Levine, Athlete Leadership and Family Services Coordinator


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.

2019-2020 Athlete Input Council

  • Chair – Mackenzie Beauvais-Nikl
  • Denver – Charity Cannon
  • West – Jacob Duran
  • Northeast – Tim Miner
  • YAC – Colton Rice
  • Southeast – Tim Sharpe
  • At-Large –  Andie Zitek

Athletes who are interested in serving on the Athlete Input Council in the future should alert their Regional Manager and / or Stephanie Levine.