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 17 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’s an easy way you can sign up to be a volunteer with Special Olympics Illinois! Sign up as a general event volunteer and select your region and events. If you have any questions please contact Aubrey Deerwester.


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

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Spring Games Volunteers with Disabilities Support Their Peers

Special Olympics Illinois hosted 19 Spring Games throughout the state and these events saw almost 10,000 athletes competing over a 3-week span. Volunteers are integral to the success of these ...

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Dad, I Can Do It

Running has not traditionally been the sport of choice for the Baxter family, so when Melani and Doug’s daughter Riley said she wanted to run the 800 meter race for ...

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Rikki And Steve

Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run State Committee Adds Athlete to Member Roster

For the first time, the Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run has added an Athlete Liaison to the State Committee. Special Olympics Illinois athlete, Rikki Kirsch of Shorewood, proudly joins the group. ...

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World Game Austria: An Amazing Experience

By Alexandra McMillin I began working for Special Olympics Illinois in April of 2014, before which I had never been to a Special Olympics event of any kind. I remember sitting ...

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Photo By Chris Winston

Flag Football, and Athletes, and Bears… OH YES!

The students and athletes at Hersey High in Arlington Heights have become pros at the concept of inclusion, so it only seemed natural to take their example to the next ...

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Photo By Jeremy Davidson

Coach Andrea Gallardo & the Bloom Township High School Girls Basketball Team

Bloom Township High School’s Girls Basketball team is a great group of players with extremely giving hearts. Coach Andrea Gallardo likes her team to focus on giving back to the ...

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Chicago Blackhawks V Boston Bruins

Alia Zander shoots a puck for Special Olympics

The Blackhawks invited Alia Zander, who is a Special Olympics Illinois Young Professional Board member in Chicago, to Shoot the Puck at one of their games. She was shooting on ...

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