Athlete Leadership


Athlete Leadership

Opportunities for athletes through the program include: Board of Director member; Local/Area Committee member; Games Management; Global Messenger; Input Council; Coaching; Volunteer; Health Messenger.

Upcoming Athlete Membership Events

July 2024

How to get Involved with Athlete Leadership

  1. The athlete must have a valid medical application on file and currently be actively involved with Special Olympics as an athlete, coach or official.
  2. They must be able to attend workshops (1-2 per year) and speech presentations (1-2 per month) and have time to prepare speeches.
  3. Read over the 2023 Athlete Leadership Flyer and complete and submit the Athlete Leadership Interest Form.
  4. You can follow up with Karen Milligan.


Global Messengers

Global Messengers are athlete ambassadors who help foster awareness and advocacy for the Special Olympics movement. Athletes must complete a two day training session in communications, speech writing and presentations along with their local speech mentor.

Global Messengers are called upon to give presentations about their involvement with Special Olympics to various groups throughout the state with the goal of increasing awareness about the program.

Interested athletes should have an identified person who is willing to be their Speech Coach and attend trainings and assist with preparation for speeches as needed.

If you are interested in having a Global Messenger speak at your event please right click and save link as to download and then fill out the Special Olympics Speaker Request Form.

Athlete Input Council

Input Councils provide a forum for athletes to report to other athletes and Program leaders on what is happening in their areas, voice their opinions about important issues and gain leadership training and experience. The councils allow more opportunities to become involved in all aspects of Special Olympics operation on a personal level.

Athlete Leadership Workshop

The Governance workshop prepares athletes to participate in Special Olympics programming and policy dialogue through membership on Boards or local committees. Training focuses on awareness and listening skills for not only athlete but also for volunteers, staff and family members with whom they interact.

For additional information about Athlete Leadership or if you are interested in having a Global Messenger speak at your event please contact the Director of - Athlete & Family Initiatives at 1-800-394-0562, 309-888-2551 by email to Karen Milligan or download and fill out the Global Messenger Request Form.