Athlete Leadership Academy – SOILL Athlete Leadership Program

COVID Procedures

All participants should self-screen prior to arriving at this event and should remain home if feeling unwell or displaying coronavirus symptoms.

All athletes, coaches and spectators are required to wear a mask while inside the Special Olympics Illinois facility regardless of vaccination status. All athletes and Unified Partners are required to wear a mask indoors while they are competing.

Unless fully vaccinated, participants who are medically able should continue to wear a mask at outdoor venus the majority of time while at Special Olympics Illinois activities.

Athletes and Unified Partners do not have to wear a mask while competing in outdoor competitions.

Vaccination is not required to attend in person events.

Special Olympics Illinois will not be providing masks.  Athletes and coaches must bring their own.

SOILL will have hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes/spray and other cleaning/sanitizing products on-site.

Please check with your Region staff on the status of spectators attending competitions.  With a few exceptions, only registered athletes, coaches and partners are allowed at these events.  It is very important you relay to all parents and guardians the importance of only allowing registered persons into the event.

Special Olympics Illinois is committed to providing the best athlete, volunteer, coach and supporter environment possible.  While we are excited to resume in-person events, the health and well-being of our constituents remains our top priority.  All of our in person events follow the COVID-19 recommended IDPH and CDC guidelines. 

Please review the COVID High-Risk fact sheet for more information:

What is The 2021 Athlete Leadership Academy?

The Leadership Academy has been designed to advance the leadership skills of athletes and athlete leaders and provide lessons, opportunities and experiences to further develop and advance their leadership and presentation skills. There will also be an opportunity for those athletes who have completed the Introduction to Athlete Leadership and Understanding Leadership core modules,  to take the Global Messenger training. Those athletes interested in the Global Messenger option will get training in communications, speech writing and presentations.

Event Details

We are excited to open registration and launch the 2021 Leadership Academy! Thank you for your patience as we re-configured and finalized the details for this event that was originally planned for Chicago this fall. The event will be held Saturday-Sunday, November 13-14th at the SOILL Headquarters in Normal. The sessions are geared for both current active athlete leaders and athletes that haven’t been as involved in the past few years (formerly Global Messengers). Athletes NEW to Athlete Leadership are also invited to participate. Additionally, sessions will be held for parents/caregivers and mentors to help support athlete leaders and also learn how they can support the organization as family leaders. We are also excited to share updates on Athlete Leadership and exciting enhancements to this unique and exceptional program.

We would love you to join us for this day and a half conference in-person, or virtually if not able to be there in-person.

Other benefits of why you should attend include:

  • Have a say in the future of the organization
  • Becoming a Global Messenger
  • Gain knowledge to allow you to be more successful in your role as an athlete leader
  • Express your ideas and opinions
  • Interact with other Special Olympics athletes in a non-event setting
  • Feel that you are part of the bigger Special Olympic program not one local program and to show how essential you are to the Special Olympics Organization.
  • Athlete Leadership materials provided

registration Information

Saturday-Sunday November 13-14

  • Arrive between 9am-10am to register and pick up your materials
  • Event will start at 10:00am on Saturday with a breaks throughout the day. Lunch and dinner will be provided. *Athlete leaders are discussing a possible social get-together.
  • Sunday the event will start at 8:30am and end at 11:30am – 12pm.

Click button below to register:

Registration due by November 4th 2021.

  • All Athletes must have a VALID MEDICAL FORM on file with SOILL. You can click  HERE to use this tool on our website to see if your Med App is up to date. The new Medical Form is attached for your convenience.
  • All Athletes who attend in person must have a completed ATHLETE CONSENT FORM  and COVID-19 PARTICIPANT CODE OF CONDUCT FORM  on file with SOILL (if not already completed). Forms attached for your convenience.
  • PARENTS/MENTORS/CAREGIVERS and Others – all need to have a valid CLASS A Form on file which you can find HERE as well as the SPECTATOR CODE OF CONDUCT FORM ATTACHED.

Hotel Information

Holiday Inn Bloomington- Normal (formerly the Radisson)

8 Traders Circle, Normal, IL 61761

  • Breakfast will be included for those staying Friday and Saturday night
  • There is a pool at the hotel, but per Special Olympics policy there will be no swimming in the hotel if a lifeguard is not present.

Dress Code

Dress is comfortable, but not sloppy. Polo type shirts vs t-shirts are preferred. No sweat pants or ball caps please. 

Who We Are

Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world.  Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.  Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life.  Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.


Nov 13 - 14 2021


8:00 am - 6:00 pm




Special Olympics Illinois Headquarters
605 E. Willow St. Normal, IL 61761

Location 2

Virtual Event
Karen Milligan


Karen Milligan
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