Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Special Olympics?
A: Special Olympics is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for people with intellectual disabilities.
Q: How old do you have to be to participate in Special Olympics?
A: You must be 8 years of age and older with intellectual disabilities. Exceptions are made for school age athletes in Pasco County. Coach and or Teacher will base decision on athletes opportunity for success.
Q: How does an athlete register to participate?
A: An application for participation and a medical form is required of each athlete. A physician signs the medical form and the legal guardian of a minor athlete completes the release form. The form may be completed by the applicant if he/she is over 18 years old and is acting as his/her own legal guardian. Necessary forms can be found on the Info Links page or contact an Area Coordinator for an application.
Q: Does Special Olympics offer programs for athletes of all levels and abilities?
A: Special Olympics is available to all skill levels from individual skills to team sports.
Q: How much does it cost to participate in Special Olympics?
A: All Special Olympics programs are free to eligible athletes and are made possible by the generous support from individuals and businesses that believe in our athletes. Special Olympics receives no federal funds and is almost exclusively supported by our continued community support.
Q: What is Unified Sports?
A: Unified Sports is a Team experience that combines approximately equal numbers of athletes with and without developmental disabilities of similar age and ability. Non-developmentally disabled students not only participate in the sports but can help out with coaching and organizing as a way of fulfilling volunteer or community service commitments.
Q: How can I be a volunteer and is there a minimum age?
A: Volunteers are needed and necessary at every program level. A Volunteer Application is required of each volunteer that is at least 14 years of age. Once an application is on file with the Special Olympics office, the volunteer may begin working in his/her preferred area. Necessary forms can be found on the Info Links page or contact an Area Coordinator for an application.
Q: How can I become a coach?
A: Special Olympics is always looking for people to come and coaches. All interested candidates please contact Area Coordinator to find out more information.