Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs) empower athletes to explore opportunities for greater participation in our movement. Through ALPs, athletes will have the chance to serve as:

  • Coaches
  • Officials
  • Spokespeople
  • Board members
  • Committee members

Athlete leaders help Special Olympics leaders stay in touch with athletes’ interests so we can make sure that our programs stay vital and attractive to the people we serve.

Athlete Congress

Athletes Congress includes 23 Special Olympics New Jersey who are selected to represent the athletes of Special Olympics New Jersey. The athletes are empowered to voice their opinions and recommend a course of action on a variety of facets of the year-round sports training and athletic competition program.

Athlete Input Councils

Athlete Input Councils (AIC) are an open forum for athletes to share their input on key topics, games and events. AICs meet on a regular basis and recommend new ideas to their local County Management Team to provide valuable feedback on events and competitions held at the area or state level.

Download the Athlete Input Council information sheet to learn more about who qualifies to participate and how to register!

Athlete University

Athlete University is an example of our determination to provide opportunities for athletes both on and off the playing field. It’s our hope that with this education program, attending athletes will benefit physically, mentally and socially as a result of being educated in an array of topics that directly relate to their lives and their interests and Special Olympics athletes.

Athletes as Volunteers, Coaches and Officials

It is common sight to see our athletes serving as volunteers at events, both competition and fundraisers. Some have even completed the necessary training and obtained the experience to become coaches and officials, serving in these roles at the state, national and world levels.

Sargent Shriver Global Messengers

Global Messengers are athletes trained in public speaking who then help spread the message and vision of the Movement and the benefits they have gained by participating in Special Olympics. Global Messengers have proven to be the Movement’s most effective spokespeople.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about any of these Athlete Leadership Programs, please contact us at communications@sonj.org.