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



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


Athletes from Effingham County Lightning Win Sportsmanship Awards

For any fan in the stand at the District H Basketball Tournament on Feb. 8 at  Wesclin High School in Trenton, the competition for Effingham County Lightning Special Olympics team ...

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Chicago's Lindblom Academy Sends Duo to Winter Games for Snowshoeing

Malik Daniel and Nathaniel Clark have participated in Special Olympics Illinois since they were in elementary school. Nearly 8 years later, Malik, a junior, and Nathaniel, a senior at Lindblom ...

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Scott Price

Scott Price a Fixture at Winter Games' Alpine Venue for About 20 Years

Photo by Nicki Kohl, Telegraph Herald By Thomas J. Barton Posted with Permission of Dubuque Telegraph Herald GALENA - For Jerry Tranel, nothing can hold a candle to the thrill of competition and ...

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20140219 SO-SkatingChampionships-RH-HR59

Shelby Leeper a Comeback Kid on the Ice

Shelby Leeper, 14, of Pekin had quite an experience at her first Special Olympics Illinois Skating Championships last year. She won three gold medals in speed skating. But that wasn’t the ...

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Making a Difference on a Global Scale

Editor’s Note — Bob Reczek of Mokena, parent of athlete Matthew, was a finalist in the 2014 Share Your Story contest. He is in his 37th year as a basketball referee ...

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Chad Underwood

Chad's Run to the Plunge Leads the Way into Lake Springfield

Since 2007, Special Olympics athlete Chad Underwood has not only led the charge into the frigid waters of Lake Springfield, but has been the driving force  behind a 5K run ...

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