With emphasis on acceptance, respect and inclusion; SOAZ operates under the assumption that people with intellectual disabilities are capable of participation in all aspects of life by focusing on abilities rather than limitations. Special Olympics is often the only place where they have an opportunity to participate in their communities and develop belief in themselves. Special Olympics programs provide a gateway to empowerment, competence, acceptance and joy and the lessons learned in Special Olympics also impact their life skills. People with intellectual disabilities are found everywhere, without regard to race, religion, political affiliation, culture, economics or social class. And their positive spirit, determination to succeed, and innate human decency make them powerful ambassadors for all people society routinely undervalues, generally ignores, or even shuns. In Special Olympics, the athletes are the heart of the movement. At no cost to any athletes to join or participate, Special Olympics Arizona offers training and competition opportunities in Olympic-type sports, advocacy resources, health screenings and so much more for athletes 8 years or older. No matter what your ability level, you can benefit from Special Olympics. And no matter what your interest, there is a program for you.
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.
Special Olympics Arizona’s (SOAZ) goal is to empower the over 180,000 Arizonans with intellectual disabilities to be healthy, productive, and respected members of society through SOAZ’s year-round sports training, competitions, and support programs.
Young Athletes is a sports play program for athletes two and a half to seven years old. Children who are six and seven years old can participate in Under Eight Can’t Wait local area training programs (where available) and area competition. At no cost to any athletes to join or participate, the minimum age requirement for participation in state competitions is eight years and for National or World competitions 16 years. There is no maximum age for participation in Special Olympics.
A coach is a key figure in an athlete’s life, providing the sports skills and spirit that define a true athlete. Coaches serve as role models and character builders, giving Special Olympics athletes awareness of their worth, ability, courage and capacity to grow and improve. Special Olympics coaches also have a direct impact on an athlete’s lives by helping them acquire skills that can influence their abilities to obtain employment, succeed in school and achieve personal goals.
At Special Olympics Arizona, we need your energy and time to help bring out the best in someone else. Our athletes have unlimited enthusiasm, a willingness to learn, and a great amount of joy to share. Coaching for Special Olympics will renew your love of playing and competing just for the fun of it.
If you are interested in becoming a coach please complete the Coaches Interest Form.