Welcome to Special Olympics Illinois!

You are about to become part of an exciting training and competition program and will serve an integral role in transforming the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics participation encompasses over 19 official sports, fundraising events, event committees, coaching opportunities, Young Athletes sports play programs and community initiatives – truly a spectrum of choices! So let’s get started!

Read more about our Volunteer Opportunities.

How to Get Involved as a Volunteer


2015 Plunge Photos


There are two easy ways you can sign up to be a volunteer with Special Olympics Illinois!

  1. Sign up as a general volunteer (you will only be contacted when we have volunteer positions open matching your interests or location). If you have any questions please contact Aubrey Deerwester.
  2. Look through our calendar of events and sign up now for an event in your area


Volunteers are the core of the Special Olympics program and we could not exist today without the time, energy, education and commitment of our volunteers. Special Olympics Illinois relies on people of all ages to help in every aspect of the program – both at the local and state level.

It’s pretty great when we can have fun and bring something as great as this to so many people who deserve it.  This was my second year and I’ll be back.
-Jerry Arntzen

Anyone 10 years or older can be a general Special Olympics volunteer and coaches must be at least 14 years of age or older. For more information about coaching, see the Coaches section of the website.

Volunteer Information

Once you sign up as a volunteer you will be a representative of Special Olympics Illinois and as such we ask that you read and follow our Volunteer Code of Conduct.

If you have additional questions on Special Olympics Illinois and volunteering please email Aubrey Deerwester, you can also contact her by phone at 309-888-2551 or 1-800-394-0562.

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Transforming Lives


Record Number of Equestrian Athletes Compete at 2015 Fall Games

A record number of equestrian athletes – 146 – competed in five events at BraveHearts at the Bergmann Center as part of this year’s Fall Games. That number is up ...

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Feedback Sought on New Programming Concept

Special Olympics Illinois is looking for family member and additional coach feedback on a new programming concept, the Player Development Model, recently introduced at the Area Fall Coaches Meetings. Take online ...

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More Than 1,300 Athletes Receive Free Health Exams at MedFest

Special Olympics Illinois hosted the 17th Annual MedFest on Nov. 10 at the United Center in Chicago. The United Center generously welcomed Special Olympics Illinois back for this event which ...

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From Spectator to Official - Father Makes the Call

Al Wywialowski of Batavia started as a spectator at Special Olympics Illinois. He watched his son, Alan, participate in athletics, bowling and basketball through School District U-46. This led Wywialowski to ...

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A Slam Dunk to Start the Season for Area 9 Basketball Teams

Special Olympics Illinois East Central/ Area 9 basketball teams kicked off the season Nov. 7 in a three-team round-robin competition held at St. Mary’s School in Mattoon. These amazing teams – including the ...

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Special Olympics, Meridian Volleyball Teams Pair Up for Special Lesson

By Allison Petty, Decatur Herald & Review. Reposted with permission of Herald-Review. DECATUR - As they prepare for upcoming state competition, two Special Olympics volleyball teams got some help from Meridian High School ...

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Marion Athlete Becomes Soldier-for-a-Day

By Staff Sgt. Robert R. Adams, Illinois National Guard Public Affairs Reposted with permission from Illinois National Guard John Henley, a Special Olympics athlete from Marion, was honored as a Soldier-for-a-Day at ...

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