General Information for New Athletes

Am I eligible to participate as a Special Olympics athlete?

Is there an age requirement for participating in year-round programs?

  • Special Olympics BC’s programs cater to all ages and a wide range of abilities. We have programs for children, youth, and adults – the youngest SOBC athletes are two years old and the oldest are in their 90s!
  • For athletes between the ages of 2 and 11, we have two youth programs called Active Start and FUNdamentals. Please visit our youth programs page for more details.

Is there an age requirement for participating in competitions?

There is no maximum age requirement for participation in Special Olympics competitions. However, there are different minimum age requirements depending on the level of competitions.

  • Regional Qualifying Competitions: 12 years of age and older as of the first day of competition
  • Provincial Competitions: 13 years of age and older as of the first day of competition.
  • National Games: The minimum age requirement is 14 years of age as of January 1st of the year of the competition.
  • World Games: The minimum age requirement is 15 years of age as of January 1st of the year of the competition, as set by Special Olympics International.

I have never played sports before, is there an introduction to sports programs?

  • Yes, we provide an introduction to sport and physical activity, year-round sport and training programs for a wide range of ability levels, and opportunities to participate in local, regional, national, and international competitions.

Find sport rules, resources, and videos

How do I register for programs?

  • Please click here to find out how to register.
  • Please note registering for a program does not guarantee a spot in the program. Each Local must adhere to athlete-coach ratios and facility capacity. Spots might be limited depending on the coach and facility’s availability each season. Programs may also be paused or cancelled if there is an inadequate number of coaches.

Where are the programs located?

  • Programs are located at various facilities across the community, and you can find more information in your community’s program schedule. Program schedules are typically updated before each season. For example, they become available in September before fall/winter programs and in March before spring/summer programs. Please check your community/Local’s schedule by visiting your community programs page.

What are the costs?

  • Special Olympics BC aims to deliver low-to-no-cost athletic programs. The cost for each program varies depending on the community. Please check with your community/Local for details during registration.

How do I pay for the athlete registration fees?

  • You can pay in person during a registration event, or mail payment to Locals directly. We currently accept cash or cheques. Please contact your Local for more details.


More info on becoming AN ATHLETE

Register today