As Special Olympics athletes gain confidence and feel empowered, they often seek new challenges.
Special Olympics NL provides Athlete Leadership Programs, which equip athletes with the tools to undertake positions of leadership within their community and the broader movement. This allows athletes to explore opportunities beyond sports training and competition. These leadership roles can include public speaking, being an athlete health advocate, being a part of an Athlete Input Council, being a Peer Mentor and taking on positions as Board and Committee Members.
These roles give athletes a voice in shaping the Special Olympics movement, and a chance to spread the word about the transformations Special Olympics can bring to individuals and families. Athlete Leadership also provides a way for athletes to showcase and utilize their talents, interests and expertise.
Through involvement with Athlete Leadership Programs, athletes can:
• Learn to speak persuasively and comfortably
• Interview with the media
• Mentor and speak up for other athletes
• Assist with fundraising events
• Discuss their opinions on policy, governance, and all SO related topics
Special Olympics British Columbia Athlete Leader, Matthew Williams delivering a Tedx talk
Current workshops available in NL;
- Athlete Speaker Workshop - in-person workshop
- Athletes on Committees and Input Councils
- Financial Literacy - A Partnership with Enactus, CNA Grand Falls-Windsor Campus - virtual or in-person workshop
- Social Media 101 - virtual or in-person workshop
- Video and Photography 101 - virtual or in-person workshop
- Athletes Becoming a Reporter - virtual workshop thanks to SOBC, Learning Facilitators
- Peer Mentorship - in-person workshop through partnerships with other SO Chapters
CBS Brightstars Athlete, Heather Miller is an Athlete Leader. Heather is Chair of the Canadian Athlete Input Council (CALC), and also sits on the SONL Board of Directors as an Athlete Representative. Heather is an active Special Olympics Athlete both on and off the playing field. When Heather is not training or competing in sport, she is engaged in projects throughout NL and Canada showcasing not only her talent and skills, but uplifting and encouraging her fellow athletes as well. Stay up to date with Heather through a newsletter she creates and distributes showcasing amazing athletes from NL.
Heather has also created a safe space for Special Olympics athletes to come together, share ideas and friendship through a private Facebook group; Special Olympics Athlete Post. Check out both the newsletter and FB group!
check out athlete leader spotlight
Special Olympics Newfoundland and Labrador Athlete Leadership Summit
Check back for details about our upcoming Athlete Summit in 2023!