Calling all Athlete Leaders

Ever wanted to share your voice with Special Olympics Kansas staff?

Do you want to learn and use leadership skills on your team and in your community?

Want to make a difference for more than 4,300 Special Olympics Kansas athletes throughout the state?

If you answered yes to any of these then you should consider applying for the 2018-19 Kansas Athlete Input Council!

Click the Apply Now button to submit your application.
Applications are available Sept. 7 – 21, 2018.

The KS AIC chairperson and facilitor will review applications after Sept. 21 and schedule interviews for potential candidates the first week of October, 2018.

Questions? Email Heather Waters at or call 913-236-9290 ext. 112.

KS AIC 2018-19 Timeline
(subject to change)

Sept. ’18: Application window open

Oct. ’18: Applications reviewed, interviews conducted, AIC members selected (maximum of 5 athletes)

Nov. ’18: AIC training at SOKS Headquarters (travel & lodging costs paid by SOKS), AIC leadership positions decided

Dec. ’18: AIC meeting at SOKS Headquarters (travel & lodging costs paid by SOKS)

Jan. ’19: AIC virtual meeting

Feb. ’19: AIC virtual meeting, possible trip to Washington DC

March ’19: AIC virtual meeting, athlete leadership training session


What is an Athlete Input Council?

  1. A way for Special Olympics program leaders to be in touch with athlete interests and opinions on needed improvements, sports, competitions, coaching and other programs.
  2. A place for athletes to practice leadership skills.
  3. A way for athletes to provide input and feedback to and from:
    • Schools, group homes, day training programs, local programs and teams, and the SOKS Board of Directors.
    • Other athletes

How does an Athlete Input Council operate?

  1. It includes people from every part of the state.
  2. Focus is on issues impacting athletes in Kansas.
  3. Seeks representation from athletes in all types of programs.
  4. Helps athletes:
    • Become involved in all aspects of the program
    • Become role models for other athletes
    • Learn how to voice their opinions, listen to others and work collaboratively.
  5. Meet regularly with council using formal meeting procedures.

Who should be on an Athlete Input Council?

Any Special Olympics athlete willing to come to meetings, talk about Special Olympics, listen to others, and come up with new ideas for improving Special Olympics and be willing to help with implementation of ideas.

Why do we need an Athlete Input Council?

Having and AIC improves the quality and integrity of Special Olympics Kansas training, competition, volunteer management, outreach, public education and special events and fundraising. AICs provide athletes opportunities to give valuable input into the operation of Special Olympics, to develop leadership skills, to serve as volunteers, to be role models for other athletes, and to serve as ambassadors in the community. Having athletes involved in meaningful ways conveys how much we respect and value athletes as an integral part of our organization. It also gives program leaders valuable insight into what interests and motivates athletes in the program.

2018 – 19 Kansas Athlete Input Council

Josh Alters – KS AIC Chairperson
Josh is a Special Olympics Kansas athlete with the Topeka Shawnee team. He currently serves on the SOKS Board of Directors and is a self-advocate on the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities. He previously served on the Kansas Law Enforcement Torch Run Executive Council. Josh attended Athlete input Council training in Chicago in July 2018. As chairperson, Josh will schedule and run all KS AIC meetings, create monthly reports to the SOKS BOD, and lead all KS AIC programs. He will serve in this position for a three year term.

Heather Waters – KS AIC Facilitator
Heather is the Senior Vice President of Communications for Special Olympics Kansas. She has a masters degree in Education from Pittsburg State University and a bachelor degree in mass communications from Southeast Missouri State University. She attended Athlete Input Council training in Chicago in July 2018. As facilitator she will serve as a mentor for the chairperson and assist with scheduling and communications. She will facilitate leadership training programs.

TBD – Vice Chairperson
This athlete will perform chairperson responsibilities when the chair is not available, may serve as Parlimentarian, communicates regularly with the chairperson and secretary and assists in the creation of meeting agendas. This person may check in with some committee chairs to see if they are meeting their objectives within the timeline and perform other responsibilites as assigned by the AIC.

TBD – Secretary
This athlete will manage and record the minutes of each AIC meeting. They will communicate regularly with the chair and vice chair on issues related to the AIC, ensure minutes are sent to all members after each meeting, send new agendas to committee members in advance of meetings and perform other responsibilities as assigned by the AIC.

TBD – Three AIC Members
These athletes will attend meetings regularly, provide input and give feedback to the AIC. Regularly communicate with chair, vice chair and secretary. Participate in leadership training opportunities and join a committee or GMT. Other duties as assigned by AIC.

*Our goal is to have one athlete from each region serve on the council for 2018-19 with an additional 5 athletes in 2019 and 2020 for a total of 15 athletes plus the chair. Terms on the AIC will be three years. Athletes not selected for AIC positions are encouraged to re-apply and attend athlete leadership programs as they become available. 


The Kansas Athlete Input Council is sponsored in part by a grant from Bank of America.
Bank of America sponsored AIC chairperson and facilitator training in Chicago in July 2018 and will allow for new member training in 2018-19.