Coaching Roles

Just as our athlete programs are divided into two main streams, coaches can volunteer for two different types of areas within the movement: Community programs and Competition programs.

Community Stream

Coaches who enjoy working with athletes at a community level, and who play sport for personal enjoyment, can learn the necessary skills to become a Special Olympics coach through the Community Sport Coaching Program. This one-day course focuses on helping volunteers foster a love of sport, promote participation, and teach basic skills to beginners of all ages through a variety of activities.

This is accomplished by covering:

  • safety,
  • fun,
  • ethics,
  • teamwork,
  • values beyond the game.


Competition Stream

For coaches who are looking to work with athletes at various levels of local, national and international competitions, the Competition Sport Coaching Program is ideal. This two-day course focuses on:

  • preparing the coach for training with athletes at local, regional, provincial, and national competitions,
  • outlining various associated disabilities,
  • the basic delivery of sport skills,
  • sport specific and competition-based fitness,
  • safety.


The goals of the Competition – Introduction Context are preparation for local, regional, or provincial competitions with the primary focus on safety, fun, fitness, fundamentals, and performance, as well as teaching the basic skills of the sport.

Following completion of all training, a coach can choose to become certified in the Competition – Introduction context through an evaluation process managed and coordinated by national sport organizations (NSOs).

For specific details on workshop content, please review our coach requirements and volunteer and coach FAQ