Special Olympics Indiana’s foundational program is Athlete Leadership University, which meets two weekends per year (Fall and Spring). Starting with the “Introduction to Athlete Leadership” course, athletes learn about Special Olympics, create a personal mission statement, and plan how they can lead in the organization.

Athletes then select one of seven majors (Communication, Sports, Governance, Technology, Health and Fitness, Leadership through Visual Arts, and Event Planning and Management) to pursue. Each major consists of a series of courses leading to graduation two to three years later. Following each class session, an athlete must complete a practicum related to the course topic. Review our Handbook for Athlete Leaders for more details on Athlete Leadership University and the curriculum.

Athlete Leadership Councils (ALC) are advisory and exist to make recommendations to the County Management Team (CMT) regarding SOIN policies, programs, events, issues, and initiatives. The ALC is designed to give every Special Olympics athlete a vehicle to communicate their ideas and concerns. The CMT provides a volunteer Facilitator who supports the group without inserting his/her own opinions into the discussion. The ALC meets once a month on the first Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

Participants in the ALC should be at least 18 years old, seeking an opportunity to have their opinions known, and have developed the ability to participate independently in meetings. All athletes interested in ALC are encouraged to participate in Alhlete Leadership University.

Chairperson: Kendra Franklin
Vice-Charpersion: Charlie Wilson
Secretary: Becky Cashman
Benji Hyatt
Max Rinck
Emily Reece
Kevin Beiersdorfer
Maria Segrist
Alex Kieffer
Jacob Eldridge
AJ Williams

Facilitator: Greg Townsend

The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes initiative is designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness. Developed in 1996, Healthy Athletes mission is to improve each athlete’s ability to train and compete in Special Olympics as well as life.

The key objectives of Special Olympics Healthy Athletes are:

  • Improve access & health care for athletes at event-based and other clinics;
  • Make referrals & recommendations for follow-up to local health practitioners;
  • Train health care professionals, students, and others about needs and care of athletes;
  • Collect, analyze, and disseminate data on the health status and needs of athletes;
  • Advocate for improved health policies and programs for athletes.
  • The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes disciplines include: Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, Health Promotion, Fit Feet, FUNfitness and MedFest.

Special Olympics Indiana currently offers Healthy Hearing, Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, and Health Promotion. These free screenings are usually offered in conjunction with Summer Games.

Champions Together is a collaborative partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Indiana that promotes servant leadership among student athletes while changing their lives as well as the lives of those with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics International is supporting Champions Together as a model program to activate schools through “Project Unify: which also has the endorsement of the National Federation of High Schools.

Program Goals

1. Provide opportunities for student led servent leadership as part of the IHSAA experience

2. Create awareness and opportunities for inclusion as it relates to all individuals with intellectual disabilities

3. Unified Sports

4. Promote fundraising for the purpose of promoting the vision and programs of Special Olympics Indiana and Champions Together

Want to know more about the IHSAA Champions Together program and the ways your high school can get involved? Contact Lee Lonzo at [email protected] for more information.