Alamance Parks offers a diverse Special Olympics program providing children and adults who have intellectual disabilities the opportunity to train and compete in Olympic-type sports. Special Olympics Alamance County (SOAC) is a group of citizens concerned with sports and sports skills for persons with intellectual disabilities and is one of the largest volunteer-driven sports organizations in Alamance County. SOAC is solely sponsored by industries, businesses, clubs, churches and private contributions. The program is managed through Alamance Parks by the Special Populations Coordinator and is a chapter of Special Olympics North Carolina.
SOAC offers four local sports involving Alamance Burlington School System students, as well as eight and twelve week training programs ending with tournaments and competition events at the State level. SOAC has attended State, National, and International Special Olympics Competitions. For more information about the sports offered, please visit the Sports page.
Services are offered free of charge to persons with an intellectual disability from age eight through adult life. While many programs are specific to the ABSS schools and Elon Intramurals program, SOAC welcomes volunteers from the community as Unified Partners for athletes and as coaches for our various athletic offerings.
Please click on the Forms tab if you would like to register an athlete, sign up to volunteer, or learn more.
The Special Olympics mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympics-style sports for people with an intellectual disability, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.
Per Special Olympics North Carolina guidelines, to be eligible to compete in Special Olympics, a person must be at least eight (8) years old and identified by an agency or professional as having an intellectual disability, or have cognitive delay which require them to have specifically designed instructions. Persons under 8 years of age may participate in Special Olympics Training Programs provided they have a signed consent form.
Who can participate?
Any student with intellectual disabilities is eligible – all they need is the release form and medical form available in the links below (likes will open PDFs in a new window). The medical forms last for three years and then must be filled out again. The form requires a doctor’s signature the first time it is submitted, but may not need a signature the next time. We cannot allow any athlete to participate without these forms. The best thing for you to do is to start working on getting these forms to SOAC as soon as possible. If you have questions about form renewals please feel free to contact us with your student roster and we can let you know who needs their forms renewed. We are happy to help in any way we can!
We ask that you register athletes prior to the event so that we can determine our needs for the tournaments. We will provide forms for the registration that will be sent out 5-6 weeks prior to the event. Forms are also included in this packet. We will also try to provide SurveyMonkey options for registration.
Please ask us about Project Unify. It is a program run by the state that allows you to recover some costs associated with sports or events that include Special Olympic Athletes and typical students. It is a great program and a great opportunity.
We are all about inclusion – not exclusion!! We would love for all team sports to include typical students on teams with our athletes. All you need to do is fill out a Unified Partner Form prior to the event. The form is provided below and will open a PDF in a new window.
We rely on volunteer coaches as well. If you are interested in coaching Special Olympics please complete the form below (linke will open a PDF in a new window). We are always looking to start other sports such as softball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. We would love for schools to get together a unified team for any of these sports where they could play other schools in the county. If you are interested in coaching or volunteering for this please let us know.
While many programs are specific to our partnerships with the school system and Elon University Intramurals, we welcome and encourage volunteers from the community to get involved as Unified Partners. Our annual Spring Games is our largest event and relies on more than 1200 volunteers in the community for everything from competition partners for our athletes to lunch preparation and medal distribution. If you are interested in volunteering with SOAC please contact us and complete the form below (link will open a PDF in a new window).