ABOUT SPECIAL OLYMPICS ARKANSAS
In 1968, the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation created Special Olympics. Since then it has become the world's largest program of sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. For these individuals, sports and physical activities are the quickest, surest road to good health, personal growth, and self-confidence. Being always told "You can't do it," Special Olympics says "You can do it. All you need is a chance."
Special Olympics Arkansas is a non-profit organization, providing approximately 19,500 individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to excel. The direction of the program flows through numerous volunteers. Arkansas is divided into 17 areas, each headed by a volunteer Area Director and various volunteers serving on team management committees. The Area Directors support all the local events in their area.
Originating in 1970, Arkansas held its first Summer Games with 283 athletes competing in various track and field events and has grown to a competition program for athletes wanting to train and compete in athletics, swimming, softball, volleyball, unified flag football, powerlifting, bocce and cycling. Other Special Olympics Arkansas sports include: basketball, bowling, and floor hockey.
Special Olympics Athletes are just like other successful athletes, they need to be properly trained. We are proud of our program to have access to the finest national training plan ever. Certification in Special Olympics coaching is offered in all official sports. Certification is open to anyone interested in becoming a Nationally Certified Special Olympics Coach. Our goal is to properly train our special athletes by training their coaches first. Training workshops are held each year, in all areas of the state.
The success of Special Olympics Arkansas has been made possible by the love and dedication of many volunteers who know that individuals with intellectual disabilities have important contributions to make to society. But the need is still great. In the United States alone, only 33 percent of the individuals with intellectual disabilities who need the program are being reached. Help make Special Olympics a growing program. No matter how you choose to help, your efforts will have an impact on the athletes. Any time or talent you and your family contribute will be appreciated.
Financial support is always needed and your contribution will be tax-deductible to the extent of the law. We hope that you will become an active part in helping special people grow and excel. For further information, contact our office.
Every three years a committee is selected to create a strategic plan for the next three years. The primary objective of this three year plan is to provide a framework of key deliverables aimed at directing our program in achieving measurable goals.
2024 BOARD MEMBERS
Diversity , Equity and Inclusion Statement (DEI)
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are at the heart of all that we do at Special Olympics Arkansas. We strive to promote unity and create a world where everyone belongs. We value, celebrate and respect all differences, backgrounds and perspectives and understand that greater diversity and inclusion creates a stronger and more innovative organization that delivers better results as we work with the athletes in all communities.
Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences (race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, tribe, caste, socio-economic status, thinking and communication styles, etc.), collectively and as individuals.
Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and fairness in access to information and resources for all.