Become a Volunteer
About Our Volunteers
Special Olympics would not exist today – and could not have been created – without the time, energy, dedication, and commitment of the more than 500,000 Special Olympics volunteers. There are many ways you can become involved…and Inspire Greatness!
- Serve as certified Special Olympics coaches.
- Volunteer at a Special Olympics event.
- Organize, coach or play on Unified Sports® teams.
- Participate in one of our many fundraising events throughout the year.
- Make financial or in-kind donations as individuals or through a business.
- Conduct fundraising campaigns in schools or through a civic group, church, or other organization.
- Name Special Olympics as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy, will, or employee payroll deduction.
- Make donations of goods, services, or vital office supplies to local Special Olympics programs.
- Encourage members of your civic groups to volunteer their professional services to Special Olympics programs and events.
Please, join the Special Olympics movement today. To learn more about sports programs, volunteer and contribution opportunities contact the State Office at 1-800-585-2114.
Types of Volunteers
There are two types of Volunteers in Special Olympics, Class A and Class B.
Class A Volunteers
- Volunteers who have regular, close physical contact with athletes
- Volunteers in position of authority or supervision (real or perceived)
- Volunteers in a position of trust with athletes
- Unified Partners
- ALP’s Mentors
- Overnight Hosts
- Drivers of Athletes
- Volunteers who have administrative and/or fiscal authority who act on behalf of Special Olympics
- Fundraising Event Committee Members
- Games Management Team Members – State Program Board of Directors
- Area/Regional Management Team Members
- Minor (according to State Law) who have regular, close contact with athletes
- Minor Unified Partners
- Minor Peer Coaches
- Minor Chaperones
These volunteers are required to submit a signed, completed and truthful Volunteer Application at least every three years. The information submitted will be used to complete a criminal records check, and where applicable, a motor vehicle records check. Background checks will be completed at no cost to our volunteers and will help ensure the safety of our athletes.
Steps on How to Become a Class A Volunteer
(Coach, Unified Partner, Chaperone)
1. Complete Class A Volunteer Application
- Download and complete Class A Volunteer-Unified Partner Registration and send to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Or mail to: Special Olympics South Dakota, 800 E. I-90 Lane, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
2. Complete the Protective Behaviors training
Thank you for being a part of the Special Olympics family. It is through the caring, concern and talents of all of our athletes, families and volunteers that Special Olympics has become one of the most respected sports programs in the world. Your participation in the Protective Behaviors Training Program is just one more way that you demonstrate your dedication.
Class B Volunteers
- Single day or single event or fundraising volunteers. Examples include “Day of Volunteers”, i.e. timers, medical personnel.
- Volunteers who have limited contact with athletes who are accompanied by coaches and chaperones
- Volunteers who drive vehicles on behalf of Special Olympics not transporting athletes
- Healthy Athlete volunteers
- Minor (according to State Law) single day or single event or fundraising volunteers
- Minor who has limited contact with athletes who are accompanied by coaches and chaperones
Class B volunteers must verify their identity via a photo ID upon arrival at the competition site. A formal application or background check is not required for these volunteers.
Please see event volunteer opportunities below to get involved as a Class B volunteer.