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

Photo by Rich Howe

American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary Feed Thousands During Summer Games

Tens of thousands of visitors flock to the Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan campuses in Bloomington-Normal each June for the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games. Nearly 2,500 are volunteers ...

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Dancing With (Dis)Ability - For Sam Dancer, CrossFit QTown It's All About Giving Back

By Brittney Saline. Reposted with permission of The Box Sam Dancer held his breath as he watched his athlete, James, wrap his thumbs around the 45-pound barbell, settling into a partial squat. ...

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Lincolnway SRA Athlete Retires After 15 Years Competing in Pentathlon

Athlete Plans to Switch Attention to Coaching On Sunday, June 14, Michelle Kendall competed in the pentathlon and 4x400-meter relay at Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games, earning gold medals in both events, ...

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First Time at Summer Games Yields Medal, Ribbon for Lisle Athlete

Kathy Esposito, 17, of Lisle, recently competed at Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games for the first time. She attended the Games with her teammates from Lisle High School, where she graduated ...

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Passing the Torch to Younger Generation of Coaches

“Each new generation is reared by its predecessor; the latter must therefore improve in order to improve its successor. The movement is circular.” - French Philosopher Emile Durkheim This statement ...

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Organization McKendree 1

2015 Outstanding Organization of the Year

McKendree University of Lebanon has been named the 2015 Special Olympics Illinois Outstanding Organization of the Year. Angela Red, Assistant Athletic Director, accepted the award at a reception June 12 ...

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Volunteer Ali Thompson 2-b

2015 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year

Ali Thompson of Lake Zurich has been named 2015 Special Olympics Illinois Outstanding Volunteer of the Year. She was honored at a reception June 12 before the Special Olympics Illinois ...

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