Volunteer Frequently Asked Questions

General Information

I am a person with a physical disability. Can I sign up as a volunteer?
Yes, anyone who is interested can visit the Volunteer Opportunities Form to sign up and a Special Olympics BC representative will follow up with you. We will find a placement that suits you the best based on your skills, location, and the current need for the programs of your interest.

I am a person with an intellectual disability. Can I sign up as a volunteer?
Yes, anyone who is interested can visit the Volunteer Opportunities Form to sign up and a Special Olympics BC representative will follow up with you. We will find a placement that suits you the best based on your skills, location, and the current need for the programs of your interest.

However, current athletes cannot become a coach. We offer various athlete leadership programs that we highly encourage our athletes to explore. Please visit Athlete Leadership to learn more.

Is there an age requirement for volunteers?
Yes, you must be 14 years of age or older to be a Program Volunteer in our year-round sports programs. Assistant Coaches must be 16 years of age or older. Head Coaches must be 19 years of age or older. Criminal Record Checks must be completed by individuals who are at least 16 years of age or older.

Can I bring my children to volunteer with me?
No, unless they are old enough (at least 14 years of age) to volunteer and are interested in taking on a role on their own. We can register your children in the same program as you when possible. 

Do I need to be a BC resident to volunteer?
Yes, you must live and/or work in BC to volunteer as all volunteer roles are ongoing and take place in BC communities. All volunteers are required to complete a Criminal Record Check with a valid ID.

What experience do I need to volunteer in sports programs?
Program volunteers: You don’t need professional experience in the sport to become a program volunteer. Our coaches in the program will provide you with guidance.

Coaches: Most of our athletes practice at an introductory level. This means that encouragement is key for our athletes, and we appreciate volunteers who are enthusiastic and patient. You only need a basic understanding of the sport that you coach, and we will provide additional training as needed.

Volunteer Roles

What are the volunteer roles?
You can become a Program Volunteer, Assistant Coach or Head Coach in year-round sports programs; an administrative volunteer in the Local Committee; a Health Volunteer such as a Clinical Director or health event volunteer; or a one-time and/or recurring events volunteer. Please review Coach and Volunteer Role Descriptions on our resources page.

I have a medical background. How can I use my skills as a volunteer?
You can apply to be a Clinical Director depending on your expertise and experience. If you are a student in a health-related faculty, you can gain experience working with athletes with intellectual disabilities at Healthy Athletes Screenings and other health initiatives. Please stay tuned for upcoming events.

How many hours do administrative volunteers commit to?
The time commitment varies depending on the position. Ideally, all administrative volunteers (aka Committee members) are voted to a one-year term. Support is provided by other Committee members and SOBC staff throughout the year. It requires 2-6 hours per week depending on the volunteer role. There is a mandatory monthly meeting (between one to two hours per month) and an annual meeting each year.

Prospective Volunteers

How can I become a volunteer?
Most recurring volunteer roles such as a Program Volunteer, Coach, or Administrative Volunteer (i.e. Committee member) will require an interview, a reference check, a criminal record check and online orientation. The first step is to choose what type of volunteer roles you are interested in by completing an online Volunteer Opportunities Form. A member of Special Olympics BC will then contact you about your interest. Based on your interests and availability we’ll connect you with an opportunity near you!

A Volunteer Coordinator from your community will then contact you to discuss placement in the programs of your interest and provide you with instructions for the registration, criminal record check, onboarding steps and training.

Are there one-time volunteer opportunities?
Yes, we often need event volunteers to assist at the fundraisers, competitions, and awareness events that happen throughout the year. Available positions vary from event to event, and from community to community. Volunteer roles include registration, event setup/take-down, auction support, drivers, and sport-specific roles such as sports officials and GMS volunteers. If you are interested in being contacted when these opportunities arise, please indicate your interest as an event volunteer when signing up.

Events may take place over a couple of hours to a couple of days. One-time event volunteers are required to complete a one-time volunteer participation form; however, a recurring event volunteer will require to complete registration, a criminal record check, online orientation, and other necessary training.

I'm interested in volunteering for the Provincial Games, how do I sign up?
Volunteers are required for Provincial Games and the link to registration will be found on the SOBC website six months prior to the Games.

I would like to volunteer with others as a group. Is that possible?
Yes, depending on how many people are in your group and the current needs of volunteers in your community’s programs. Please designate one person to sign up for the group on Volunteer Opportunities Form and we will follow up with further instructions.

If your group is only available to volunteer for one-time events. You can check out the Event Volunteers page for more information or contact the Volunteer Coordinator in your Local by visiting the Community Programs page.

What kind of training will I get?
To ensure that both our athletes and volunteers get the most out of our programs, Special Olympics Canada has developed an online volunteer orientation to provide information to new volunteers on what we do, who we serve and what they need to know to get started. This online Volunteer Orientation is the first training for new volunteers. If you have already signed up as a Special Olympics BC volunteer, please visit www.solearn.ca to access the online orientation.

The type of volunteer role will determine the depth of training required. For example, coaches are required to take National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) courses such as SOC Introduction to Competition, Safe Sport Training, Making Ethical Decisions, and other learning modules for sport-specific coaching. Please visit SOC's Coaching page and SOBC Coach Certifications page for more information. SOBC also offers free Coach Development Workshops throughout the year.


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