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Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPS)
Athlete Leadership Programs Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs) provide training and support for athletes who desire to expand their participation in Special Olympics both on and off the competition field. Through ALPs, athletes receive training and have opportunities to hold positions of leadership and influence. In these roles, athletes help determine policy and set direction for Special Olympics. Ultimately, ALPs helps to create a “culture of welcome” throughout the organization as athletes are welcomed into their new leadership roles and serve alongside other volunteers.
Throughout the world, Special Olympics athletes participate in many different ALPs initiatives. They work as employees of Special Olympics, serve as coaches and volunteers in local programs, and represent other athletes as members of the Athlete Council.
ALPs Initiatives – In Indiana, Special Olympics athletes participate in a variety of initiatives.
ALPs University – ALPs University provides educational programs for Special Olympics athletes in a variety of leadership topics. Students and graduates of ALPs University work with State, Area and Local Programs to promote, support and improve Special Olympics in Indiana.
Certified ALPs Programs – Area and County Programs that seek to involve athletes in leadership roles (coaches, volunteers, management team members, speakers, etc.) are required to attend a two-hour certification session. During this training, the program’s ALPs Coordinator will learn of the various roles available for Athlete Leaders and the expectations of volunteers (helpers) in successfully meeting these requirements.
ALPs Management Team – Athlete Leadership Programs are overseen by a committee that meets regularly and plans activities.
Athletes and Family
From skiing to swimming, from basketball to bocce, from Unified Sports® to Athlete Leadership Programs—and everything in between—Special Olympics is an opportunity for families to share in the accomplishments of their children, be part of a year-round sports training and competition program that the whole family can enjoy and share their joy with other families.
More than nine out of 10 participating families say that Special Olympics has added a new dimension of happiness for their family, improved their child’s self image and served as a strong network for the family.
Families can choose their own levels of involvement within the Special Olympics . Opportunities abound to provide encouragement and love, coach, offer transportation, assist with fundraising, officiate sports events, serve as chaperones and train other volunteers. Families are a vital link within the Special Olympics movement!