Athlete Leadership

Athlete Leadership prepares athletes for roles as Athlete Speakers, Program Mentors, Social Media Advocates, Health Messangers, or members of Committees or Input Councils
SOPEI Athlete Leadership Academy

Special Olympics PEI athletes are thriving in roles on and off the playing fields. In 2020, Special Olympics PEI launched an Athlete Leadership Academy! The Academy is an opportunity for Island athletes, beyond sports training and competition, to gain knowledge and experience in a number of modules/courses. As athletes explore and complete these workshops they will build community and feel more empowered to reach their full potential.

Athlete Leadership Academy

Learn more about the Athlete Leadership Academy: 


History of Athlete Leadership

Athlete Leadership started in Canada as a National Ambassador Program (Speakers Workshop) in 2010. Since this time many chapters, including PEI, have offered a wide range of courses/modules to empower athletes in the organization and their communities.

The Athlete Leadership Academy will equip athletes with the tools to undertake positions of leadership within their community and the broader movement. A description of the potential roles are listed in more detail later in the Terms of Reference, but could include: public speaking, being an athlete health advocate, being a part of an Athlete Input Council, being a strong and positive voice through social media, 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 another way for athletes to showcase and utilize their talents, interests, and expertise.

The training process includes an in-person workshop in a focus area that will be meaningful for the athlete, Special Olympics PEI, and their community. Each athlete is supported by a mentor during the workshop and work in partnership with the athlete to practice their new skills, report progression and maintain minimum expectations to receive recognition and certification.

What can Athlete Leadership do for you?

Build Confidence

  • Self Respect; Self-Worth; On the Job; Facing Fears

Provide Knowledge

  • Public Speaking; Technology; Leadership; Community Advocate; Health

Develop Social Skills

  • Teamwork; Communications; Friendships / Networking; Advocating for Others

Share Transferable Skills

  • Goal Setting; Role Model; Writing; Organization


Sign Up Today

Sign up for the Athlete Leadership Academy today by submitting the Athlete Leadership Academy Application Form, or you can fill out the paper form:



Available Workshops

Speaker Workshop                                                       

Provides an opportunity for Special Olympics Athletes to develop public speaking and speech writing skills. This course will give tools to enhance an athlete’s poise and self-confidence while standing at a microphone or podium. This course is ideal for athletes who have an interest in educating others about the Special Olympics movement, as well as their own personal story, in a public setting. It is ok if you are not comfortable speaking to crowds, so long as there is a desire to learn and practice the skills you will learn.

Profiles of our active Athlete Speakers

Health Messenger                                     

Empowers Special Olympics Athletes to develop healthy lifestyles, influence other athletes to lead healthier lives, advocate within their communities for inclusion around health and wellness services, education and resources, and advocate for the health needs of people with ID. Health Messengers choose a focus area and serve as health and wellness leaders, educators, advocates, and role models.

Profiles of our active Health Messengers

Athletes on Committees or Input Councils          

Provides Special Olympics Athletes with the tools on how to effectively receive and give feedback on issues that come up in their local program; serve on the local management team or be a part of a committee or subcommittee in or outside of Special Olympics.

Social Media 

Provides knowledge and skills on general usage, safety, best practices, and appropriate and effective use of social media platforms (i.e. – Facebook and Twitter) for Special Olympics Athletes. Athletes will also learn how to capture, share and promote their story, as well as connect to Special Olympics, through these various social media platforms.