WHO CAN JOIN?
Special Olympics NWT is open to all athletes who have an intellectual/developmental disability.
In order to participate in the local sports programs, athletes must be able to take part within a ratio of one volunteer to every three or four athletes, depending on the sport. If the athlete requires a greater level of supervision and support to fully participate and to ensure the safety of themselves and others, special arrangements must be made ahead of time with the Sports Program Coordinator. Where an athlete who cannot participate within the ratio, the athlete is required to bring a support person with them to all practices, local competitions and events.
Special Olympics prides itself on providing programs for each skill level. Athletes are grouped (divisioned) based on their abilities, so they are competing at similar skill levels. We ensure that people of all levels and abilities have a chance to play and compete.
Definition of a Special Olympics athlete
Must have an intellectual disability; a cognitive delay, or a development disability, that is, functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. Intellectual Disability refers to substantial limitations in present functioning. It is characterized by significantly sub-average intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with related limitations in two or more of the following applicable adaptive skill areas including communication, self-care, home living, social skills, community use, self-direction, health and safety, functional academics, leisure and work.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?
Participants identified with an intellectual disability must be 12 years or older and agree to observe and abide by the Special Olympics Canada Sports Rules. For our two youth programs, athletes must be between ages 3 and 11.
WHAT SPORTS ARE OFFERED?
In Yellowknife, athletes train and compete in swimming, bowling, figure skating, speed skating, rhythmic gymnastics, snowshoeing, athletics and golf. There is also a general fitness program
Programs depend on qualified volunteers. Please contact us to find out which sports you can help with.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE IN SPECIAL OLYMPICS?
All Special Olympics Northwest Territories programs are currently free to eligible athletes, thanks to the generous support of individuals and businesses that provide funds.
Athletes are responsible for the cost of their own sport equipment such as swimwear and shoes.
As well, families/caregivers are responsible for transporting athletes to and from their training sessions.
DO ATHLETES HAVE TO COMPETE OR CAN THEY SIMPLY TAKE PART IN THE TRAINING?
Athletes are not required to compete. However, most find it is a great opportunity to learn about themselves. Having an event to plan for also provides a great focus for teaching them about working toward a goal and not giving up.
WHAT IS THE SCHEDULE?
Special Olympics NWT programs are typically held weekly from September through May, with more training before competitions. Golf is a summer sport in July.
ARE SPECIAL OLYMPICS COACHES PREPARED?
Special Olympics NWT provides its volunteer coaches with training and support in working with athletes with an intellectual disability, as well as the theory and practice of their sport.