Resources for Volunteers and Coaches

Our Volunteers Enrich Lives

At Special Olympics NL we strive for coaching excellence. Providing up-to-date support and resources to our coaches and volunteers.

Coaching Tools


Competition Manuals

Summer Sports

  • Ten Pin Bowling (in development)
  • Athletics (Track & Field)
  • Aquatics (Swimming)
  • Bocce
  • Golf
  • Powerlifting (in development)
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Soccer
  • Softball (in development)

Winter Sports

  • 5-Pin Bowling
  • Curling
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Figure Skating
  • Floor Hockey
  • Snow Shoeing
  • Speed Skating

Coach & Volunteer Onboarding

(Please click on each image below to learn more)


Required by all volunteers.
Mandatory for all staff, coaches and volunteers.
Mandatory for all coaches within 1 year of onboarding.
Required by all coaches before returning to in-person programs and competitions.











This page is currently being REVIEWED AND updated.

Cybersecurity information to assist clubs









NCCP Making Headway 

Recommended for: Coaches & Volunteers with direct athlete contact.

Location: Online


Making headway is the national coaching certification program’s (NCCP) free, the online answer to the prevalence and ambiguity of concussions in sport. parents, coaches, and athletes all benefit from knowing as much as possible about concussions and this online learning tool is designed to help coaches gain the knowledge and skills required to ensure the safety of their athletes. the making headway NCCP module covers: what to do to prevent concussions, how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion, what to do when you suspect an athlete has a concussion, and return to play and return to learn protocols.

The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and the NCCP strive to ensure that the making headway resource is an industry leader in providing Canadians with the latest information from the international community on concussions in sport. the latest version of making headway has been updated to reflect the international consensus on concussion in sport at the 5th international conference on concussion in sport held in Berlin, October 2016. for more information, visit

You will need to Log-in to The Locker (if you need your NCCP# and password, email our Program Director) and:

  1. Complete Login with your NCCP# or email and password.
  2. Find the "Home" section or click the Home icon beside the red Profile Tab
  3. Select the "eLearning" option from the main screen under the navigation section.
  4. Select "Multi-sport" from the drop-down menu
  5. Select "NCCP Making Headway" from the list on the left-hand side.
  6. Select "Sport (Generic)" if the specific sport you coach is not listed otherwise select the sport, you coach.
  7. Select "Begin" on the bottom left



There are a number of modules, developed by Special Olympics Canada and/or Coaching Association of Canada that have been launched on the Locker. Upon completion, it will be recorded on your coach’s NCCP transcript. The below modules are not required but suggested, as they are resources for managing risk at programs and competitions.

You will need to Log-in to The Locker (if you need your NCCP# and password, email our Program Director) and select the e-learning tab. Some modules are listed on the drop-down menu under "Multi-sport" and others are listed under "Special Olympics".  There is no fee for those listed under Special Olympics.  Other modules may or may not have a fee associated with them.

Coaching Athletes with Down Syndrome:
Special Olympic Canada’s Coaching Athletes with Down Syndrome eLearning module is designed for those who coach athletes with Down syndrome. In this module, coaches learn how to empower athletes with Down syndrome to become active and successful participants in sport. This module will take you approximately 20‐30 minutes to complete.

Coaching Athletes with Autism in a recreational setting:
In this module, coaches will receive additional training regarding autism, specific to sport and coaching. The four sections will introduce coaches to autism and what it looks like in a recreation setting, 1:1 strategies for supporting individuals with ASD, and group coaching strategies for supporting individuals with autism. This module was developed in collaboration with the Canucks Autism Network. This module will take you approximately 60 minutes to complete.

Diversity and Inclusion in Action:
The Diversity and Inclusion in Action eLearning module is designed for volunteers, coaches, staff, board members, and/or other stakeholders of your organization. In this module, you will learn how to contribute to the success of an organization that reflects, respects, and promotes diversity and inclusion. This module will take you approximately 30‐40 minutes to complete.

Mental Health in Sport:
Mental health impacts the quality of life and performance of both sport participants and coaches. This eLearning module was developed to educate coaches about mental health to empower them to effectively play a role in supporting the well-being of the participants in their sports program, while also supporting their own mental health. 

Sport is linked to a range of positive outcomes, including improved mental health and well-being. Coaches have a great deal of influence over participants’ mental health.  

After completing the Mental Health in Sport eLearning module, you will be able to:  

  • Describe the foundations of mental health
  • Recognize and understand your role in promoting coach and participant well-being
  • Understand the importance of self-care  

Coaches who are maintaining their NCCP trained or certified status will receive 1 Professional Development (PD) point upon completing this module.  

This eLearning module will take approximately 45-60 minutes to complete, and is available free of charge in the Locker. 

Support Through Sport Series:
Did you know 80% of teens reportedly experience some form of teen dating violence? As a coach, it’s important to be equipped with tools to understand and recognize the signs. The CAC’s new Support Through Sport eLearning series was designed to empower coaches to recognize and take action when it is suspected that a teen sport participant is involved in an unhealthy dating relationship. 
Understanding Teen Dating Violence is the foundational module in this series and focuses on creating healthy environments for sports participants between the ages of 11 and 24 years. Coaches will learn to identify elements of healthy relationships, define teen dating violence, and take action when teen dating violence is suspected or known. 
The 30-40 minute module is now available for free in the eLearning section of the Locker. Visit for more information, including reference materials, advocacy resources and other information.

Sport Nutrition:

Good nutrition is important for both athletic performance and maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside of sport. By helping their participants make good nutrition choices, coaches not only empower them to perform their best but also help them to establish positive dietary habits that can last a lifetime.

The National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) Sport Nutrition module provides coaches with education about basic sport nutrition principles. This eLearning module will provide an understanding of how to support athletes and their parents or caregivers to make effective nutrition choices.

After completing NCCP Sport Nutrition, coaches will be able to:

  • Explain the basic nutritional needs of an athlete.
  • Take appropriate measures to ensure that athletes stay hydrated during exercise.
  • Educate athletes on the use of nutritional supplements and sports drinks.
  • Encourage a positive body image in athletes.
  • Identify the different types of disordered eating.
  • Support athletes with special nutritional needs.
  • Identify common food allergies and intolerances.
  • Provide accurate guidance to athletes and their parents or caregivers on nutrition before, during and after exercise.
  • Provide accurate nutritional guidance to athletes and their parents or caregivers before and during travel.

Coaches who are maintaining their trained or certified status will receive 5 Professional Development (PD) points upon completing this eLearning module. This module may also be required as part of a coach training or certification pathway for sports. For more information, find your sport here.




The goal of the Rule of Two is to ensure all interactions and communications are open, observable, and justifiable. Its purpose is to protect participants (especially minors) and coaches in potentially vulnerable situations by ensuring more than one adult is present. There may be exceptions in emergency situations. Not Required but suggested resources for managing risk at programs and competitions.
More Details: Visit CAC Responsible Coaching Movement 


Not Required but suggested resources for managing risk at programs and competitions.
More Details: Visit 


Event Location: Check your local area to see if you can enrol in a course

coaching association of canada (the locker) CALENDAR ( for IN-PERSON module)

1. Select the month, year and province.

2. Select either all Sports or a specific sport to view what workshops are being offered in your area or online


SOC Athlete Leadership Facilitator Training

Timeline: registered volunteers should complete within the first year of becoming a volunteer with SONL

Required by: 

Special Olympics NL asks that all Athlete Leadership Facilitators complete Special Olympics Canada's Core Training module for Facilitators.  As the Athlete Leadership program continues to grow in Canada there is a need to ensure that the delivery of the content and workshops is of high quality and consistent across the country.  

The module is designed to help facilitator candidates develop the required skills to successfully facilitate courses in Special Olympics Canada's Athlete Leadership Program.

Once this module is complete, learning facilitators will be able to:

  • Describe the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Program in Canada
  • List the key steps in preparing to facilitate an Athlete Leadership course
  • Explain the characteristics and skills of an effective facilitator
  • Describe approaches for managing challenging scenarios in the classroom

This module takes approximately 30-40 minutes to complete and is delivered as an online course.

If this is your first time signing in to the Volunteer Orientation Platform please follow the instructions below.

Leaning Facilitator Pathway

STEP 1 - Completion of Core Training for Athlete Leadership Learning Facilitators (online)

STEP 2 - Participate in course content training or a train the trainer workshop (for each specific ALPS course)

STEP 3 - If possible, co-facilitate specific athlete leadership courses for athletes

STEP 4 - Independently, facilitate specific athlete leadership courses for athletes

 SONL's training programs are designed to ensure that volunteers are able to meet the needs of any athlete involved in our organization with both confidence and skill.

There are two main coaching areas: (1) preparing athletes for Provincial, National and World Games, and (2) working with athletes at the community level to create healthy and active lifestyles. We provide coach education for both of these sporting areas.

To receive sport technical knowledge, a Special Olympics coach must also participate in the sport-specific workshop.  Special Olympics Canada does not run workshops pertaining to the technical aspects of Special Olympics sports. This is accomplished through our partnerships with national sport organizations (NSOs) and provincial/territorial sport organizations (P/TSOs).


REMINDER: The volunteer and Coach on-boarding process and Special Olympics requirements are outlined in our current policies.


Specific Training Requirements

SONL Coach & Volunteer On-Boarding Process



Timelines for this training are the same as listed above for our community club coaches & volunteers:

  • Special Olympics Canada Coaching Young Athletes Course 
  • NCCP Multi-Sport Fundamentals Movement Skills (FMS)
  • NCCP Making Ethical Decisions (MED) Evaluated
  • NCCP Safe Sport Training eLearning Module (Direct Athlete Contact)
  • SOC Volunteer Orientation eLearning Module


In addition to the above Coach requirements:

  • NCCP Minimum Sport Specific Technical Training or Coaching Hours (For National / International Games)

provincial team mission staff

In addition to the above Volunteer requirements to be eligible for a Mission Staff position on our Provincial Team volunteers must have the following;

  • NCCP Making Ethical Decisions (MED) Evaluated
  • NCCP Safe Sport Training eLearning Module (Direct Athlete Contact)


  • Special Olympics Canada's Core Training module for Facilitators
  • Safe Sport Training eLearning Module (Direct Athlete Contact)

safe sport training guide


SONL Safe Sport Training Guide Infographic

Note: If you hold multiple roles with Special Olympics NL and have any contact with athletes in one of those roles, please complete the Safe Sport training module Direct Athlete Contact.

Volunteer & Coaching Roles


BFigure skating athlete and coach sitting together and smiling.e a mentor, role model, teacher and coach

As a Special Olympics coach or volunteer, you bring enthusiasm, commitment, and a positive attitude to each program practice, event and competition, enriching the lives of the athletes you meet.

In return, coaches and volunteers develop relationships with athletes who inspire you with their dedication, perseverance, and courage. You learn new skills, meet new people and gain unique experiences, enriching your own life in turn.

Coaches and volunteers can hold different roles - someone may be a head coach for one program and a program volunteer for another. Each role has unique responsibilities and requirements.  

Coaching Roles


A head coach is ultimately responsible for all actions within their sport program. They regularly communicate with assistant/associate coaches, program volunteers, athletes, parents/caregivers and their club committee. They facilitate practices, keep track of registration and attendance, ensure the training and safety of athletes at practices, accompany athletes to competitions, and they know the sport rules and divisioning process for their sport. Head coaches must be a minimum of 18 years of age or older and must make every effort to complete proper certification within the first year.


An assistant/associate coach helps the head coach with all duties; if the head coach is unable to attend a practice the assistant coach may step up to run the program. They assist with the training and supervision of athletes at practices and competitions. They regularly communicate with the head coach, program volunteers, and athletes, parents/caregivers. They must make every effort to complete proper certification within the first year.


A junior coach helps other coaches with training at practices and competitions.  A junior coach would typically be between 12-17 years of age and would not have any care as part of their assigned duties.  Junior coaches often are their to support the program and when they become of age can move into the role of Assistant/associate or Head Coach pending the community clubs needs at that time.

Sport Volunteer Roles


A program volunteer assists coaches with training at practices by listening to instructions and working with the athletes' to help each of them achieve success during the program. Program volunteers are a key component to helping athletes reach their goals. Program volunteers must be a minimum of 12 years of age or older depending upon the program and club needs.  Program volunteers who are under the age of 18 would not have athlete care as part of their assigned duties.


A program manager assists with a sport programs in an administrative capacity. They help the head coach with paperwork such as registration forms, medical forms, attendance, travel arrangements and statistics/scorekeeping.  Often a program manager can be a team manager or mission staff during competitions.

All coaches and volunteers generally begin at the club level, but interested and motivated coaches have many opportunities for advancement available to them.

Coaches who have obtained the correct certification can apply for such positions as:

  • Club Head or Assistant Coach at Provincial Games - Provincial Games happen on a 2 year cycle; with Winter & Summer alternating
  • Training Coach for athletes travelling to National Games
  • Provincial Team Coach / Mission Staff at National Games
  • National Team Coach / Mission Staff at World Games

For more information on coach and volunteer positions please contact our Program Director.

Operational and other Volunteer Roles


*Each community club may vary slightly.  

Special Olympics is a volunteer-driven organization and as such needs many hands to ensure the success of each and every program.

 While the majority of volunteers join Special Olympics through a coaching role; there are many administrative roles needed to ensure Special Olympics not only exists in a community but thrives!

 Operational Volunteers are those people that may or may not have a direct hand in working with our athletes but without whom clubs and programs could not exist.

 Operational Volunteers include those who take an active role on a club committee:
 Club Coordinator
 Program Coordinator
 Club Registrar
 Fundraising Director
 Social Activities Director
 Coaches Representative
 Parent Representative

 Volunteers who hold these positions are always eager for help and assistance. You may be able to help out at a dance, or a fundraiser; you could even help out as a program manager of the program - assisting the head club with the administrative side of running a sports program.

Event Volunteers are needed at various times throughout the year all across our province. Event Volunteers are typically those who help out at a sporting event - as an official, timer, referee, canteen supervisor, water delivery, scorekeeper, marshaller, medal marshaller, and any number of other needed roles!

There are many ways to contribute to Special Olympics and each is valued and appreciated!


  • Liaise with the Provincial Office.
  • Time commitment of two years.
  • Coordinate efforts of the Committee.
  • Prepare meeting agendas with consultation for Committee Members.
  • Chair committee meetings and AGM.
  • Act as a spokesperson.
  • Be one of three signing authorities.
  • To coordinate and assist with fundraising efforts. 


  • Act in absence of the Club Coordinator  
  • Time commitment of two years. 
  • Perform other duties that may be appointed by the Committee. 
  • Be one of three signing authorities. 
  • To assist with fundraising efforts. 


  • Responsible to the Committee. 
  • Liaise with the Club Coordinator 
  • Time commitment of two years. 
  • Keep financial records. 
  • Submit financial statement to Newfoundland and Labrador Special Olympics Year End Report. 
  • Report to the Committee on the financial status on a regular basis. 
  • Make deposits and write cheques as required. 
  • Develop a budget to be used as a guideline for fundraising activities. 


  • Responsible to the Committee. 
  • Time commitment of two years. 
  • Record minutes at all meetings. 
  • Receive, answer, and file all correspondence. 
  • Maintain an updated mailing list for all volunteers and athletes. 
  • Assist other Committee Members as necessary. 


  • Responsible to the Committee. 
  • Time commitment two years. 
  • Liaise with Chairperson and other Committee Members. 
  • To attend all meetings and to bring the Athlete’s perspective to all discussions. 
  • To assist in fundraising efforts. 


  • Responsible to the Committee. 
  • Time commitment of two years. 
  • Represent Coaches at all meetings. 
  • Available as a resource person to other Coaches. 
  • Report on Program progress at Committee meetings. 
  • Receive requests from potential athletes and direct them to appropriate programs. 
  • Ensure all Athletes and Coaches are registered with PSO. 
  • Maintain an updated mailing list of all Athletes. 
  • To assist in fundraising efforts. 


  • Perform tasks as required. 
  • Time commitment two years. 
  • To coordinate the needs, wants and involvement of parents with the Committee. 
  • Encourage family involvement. 
  • Coordinate parent/family meetings and workshops as needed. 
  • Establish a communication plan. 
  • To assist in fundraising efforts. 


  • Coordinate all fundraising efforts of the Club. 
  • Time commitment of two years. 


  • Ensure all registration forms by Athletes and Volunteers are completed and submitted to Provincial Office and assist with Online Portal Registration. 
  • Assist with completing registration forms for all competitions. 
  • Ensure all Head Coaches receive copies of contact information and medical information for all Athletes participating in their program.  
  • Time commitment of two years. 


  • Coordinate the planning of social activities for the Athletes, Coaches and Volunteers throughout the year. 
  • Time commitment of two years. 


Check back soon for more details.


Check back soon for more details.


To learn more about becoming a volunteer with us please contact us at