Athlete Leadership

Athlete Leadership empowers athletes to develop leadership skills and utilize their voices and abilities to undertake meaningful leadership roles, influence change in the Special Olympics movement and create inclusive communities around the world. As athletes gain the confidence that comes with achievement, they feel empowered and ready to take on new challenges to make use of all their abilities.

All across the province our athletes are developing their inner excellence on and off the court. They compete and volunteer at competitions, represent fellow athletes in their area, mentor new athletes, and are public speakers. They are proving that people with intellectual disabilities are vibrant, active, talented members of Special Olympics and in communities in which they participate.

Interested in being an Athlete Leader or a mentor for an athlete leader? 

  • Click here to access the Athlete Leadership First Steps Guide. 
  • Click here to access the Alberta Athlete Leadership Handbook. This handbook provides information on potential opportunities as an athlete leader, training sessions that are available to build leadership skills, and worksheets to create an Athlete purpose statement to guide your first steps into the world of Athlete Leadership. 

Interested in starting an Athlete Input Council in your community?  

  • Click here to access the first steps to starting your own local Athlete Input Council. 
  • What is an Athlete Input Council? This is an opportunity for athlete’s in your community to come together and discuss topics of importance for your area. Come together to be the voice of athletes in your community.  

Alberta Athlete Leadership Input Council

  • The Alberta Athlete Leadership Input Council currently has 12 members from across the province, representing 7 of 8 regions.  
  • Regions include South, South Central, Calgary, Central, North Central, Edmonton, Northeast, Northwest. 

Upcoming Opportunities


Virtual Health Messenger Training (VHMT) is BACK! Starting on Thursday, June 17 – July 15 (running on Wednesdays/Thursdays).

This training creates opportunities for athletes to develop and demonstrate leadership skills and help create healthy communities. Our Health Messengers play a critical in advocating for better health for people with intellectual disabilities. All sessions will be on Zoom.

The learning objectives for this training are:

  • Develop an understanding of the health of Special Olympics athletes and the different components of Special Olympics health programs
  • Develop an understanding about how to be healthy and act as a positive role model for others
  • Understand what healthy activities can help other athletes and their communities
  • Develop skills to help lead on your teams and in your communities to help others establish healthy lifestyles
  • Consider how to best use your leadership skills to encourage action
  • Leave feeling empowered to lead other athletes in health and fitness

Each athlete will be required to have a mentor supporting them throughout this training. The mentor’s role is to attend each session with their athlete and help to facilitate learning, provide feedback, and technology support as needed. Mentors will also assist their athlete in completing weekly homework tasks and their final practicum.

The Virtual Health Messenger Training is now full. If you have interest in future sessions please send a message to Jill at