CALENDAR

Ways to Volunteer

by | Jul 6, 2016 |

As a Volunteer-driven organization, we rely on dedicated volunteers of all ages to assist in many aspects of the program. Each year, 20,000 dedicated volunteers in Kansas share their time and enthusiasm to provide quality sports programs for all individuals with intellectual disabilities.

There are a wide variety of volunteer opportunities with Special Olympics Kansas. Below are just some of the ways.

Certified Coach

Is A volunteer for the local program who has met the SOKS requirements to become a coach. The coach provides athletes with sports training and competition opportunities.

Responsibilities: SOKS will provide materials and/or hands-on training to explain the responsibilities below. We will answer any questions the coach may have.

  • To know and understand the rules of the sport being coached: Special Kansas Modifications to rules; Official Special Olympics Sports Rules; National Governing Body Rules; Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA). This includes knowing the order in which they will be followed.
  • Attend Coaches Training Schools and other training opportunities.
  • Evaluate athletes’ abilities according to the Special Olympics standards. This includes conducting Skill Assessment tests when required.
  • Ensure athletes participate in an eight week training period prior to competing. It’s understood due to weather or facility issues 8 weeks of training isn’t always possible however every attempt should be made to meet the 8 weeks of training guideline.
  • Provide a safe environment for athletes to train and compete.
  • Know emergency procedures- this would include weather safety, basic first aid, etc.
  • Ensure athletes have adequate and properly fitted equipment. Example- Athletes should not be wearing jeans when competing in athletics.
  • Work with Local Program Coordinator to ensure athletes Medical/Release forms (physicals), Health Information Update Forms, and Down Syndrome Addendum Forms are taken to training locations and competition sites.
  • Plan and organize practice sessions.
  • Maintain communication with Local Program Coordinator, athletes, and their families.
  • Work with Local Program Coordinator to be sure accurate assessment information is recorded on registration materials and submitted by regional or state deadlines.
  • To execute the moral and ethical responsibilities of a Coach.
  • Follow Coaches’ Code of Conduct.

Time Commitment

  • Time commitment is usually 8-12 weeks per sport. Certified Coach are required to attend weekly practices usually 1 hour per week in addition to 2 competitions which are roughly 6 hours each. Note: Some state competitions are more than 1 day thus requiring travel and overnight stay.  A certified coach is required to be “on the bench” during competitions.

Steps to become a Certified Coach

  • Complete Class A Form (allows SOKS to perform background check)
  • Complete Protective Behaviors training (on-line training regarding Abuse & Neglect). Documentation must be on file at SOKS. Renewed every 2 years rounded to the end of the year.
  • Concussion Training (on-line training). Documentation must be on file with SOKS.  Renewed every 2 years rounded to the end of the year.
  • General Coach Training (on-line training) One-time only. Includes: Principles of Coaching, General Orientation to Special Olympics, Coaching Special Olympics Athletes, first-aid and general health information.
  • Complete Sport Certification test (on-line training). Required every 4 years.
  • Sign Code of Conduct  on file with SOKS.
  • Local Program Coordinator approves the volunteer’s role as a Coach.
Assistant Coach

Is a volunteer who assists the Certified Coach during practices and at a Regional/State competition.  It’s recommended that they have some sports knowledge but it’s not mandatory.

Responsibilities:

  • Attends weekly practices and Regional/State competitions.
  • Duties are assigned by the Certified Coach or Local Program Coordinator. They may include but are not limited to:  playing catch, equipment manager, working one-on-one with athletes, etc.
  • Follow Coaches’ Code of Conduct.

Time Commitment:

The time commitment is usually 8-12 weeks per sport.  Assistant coaches are encouraged to attend weekly practices (usually 1 hour per week) in addition to 2 competitions which are roughly 6 hours each.

Steps to become an Assistant Coach

  • Complete Class A Form (allows SOKS to perform background check).
  • Complete Protective Behaviors training (on-line training regarding Abuse & Neglect). Documentation must be on file with SOKS. Renewed every 2 years rounded to the end of the year.
  • Concussion Training (on-line training). Documentation must be on file with SOKS.  Renewed every 2 years rounded to the end of the year.
  • Signed Code of Conduct   on file with SOKS.
Program Assistant

Is a volunteer who assists the Local Program in ways other than coaching.  Roles may include but are not limited to:  Chaperone, tracking physicals, assisting with financials, van driver, etc.

Responsibilities:

  • To be determined by Local Program Coordinator

Time Commitment

  • Dependent on the Local Program needs. They could be seasonal by sport (example-just attending a particular competition) if chaperoning.
  • Or they could be year-round volunteers. It simply depends on the role being filled.

Steps to becoming a Program Assistant:

  • Complete Class A Form (allows SOKS to perform background check).
  • Complete Protective Behaviors training (on-line training regarding Abuse & Neglect). Documentation on file with SOKS. Renewed every 2 years rounded to the end of the year.
Local Program Coordinator

Oversees all aspects of a local program (team). Includes athlete training, volunteers, fundraising, etc. (Must complete Class A background check)

Time Commitment: Weekly to daily support of team Athletes and families for several years

Games Management Team

Serve on the event committee to plan, develop and implement all aspects of the games competition (Sponsorship, venue and food, volunteer recruitment, awards, etc)

Time Commitment: Several months to one-year with committee meetings as needed.

For more information, contact Tim Rehder at rehdert@ksso.org

Competitions

Perform short-term tasks associated with conducting competitions (i.e. help with meals, awards, staging, registration, officiating, time keeping, escort, set-up/clean-up, etc)

Time Commitment: About four-hour shifts, one or more days each year.

Click here to register for upcoming competitions.

Fundraising Events

Plan and/or implement activities to raise financial and in-kind support. With 42 events per year, there are many opportunities to help from passing out water at a 5k run, to registration at a Polar Plunge, to coordinating a Truck Convoy.

Time Commitment: Commitment ranges from three to four hours for a single event to one year as an event management team

Healthy Athletes

Trained health professionals (dentists, physicians, nutritionists, Medicaid providers, etc) and students provide health screenings and education.

Time Commitment: Four to eight-hour shifts, one or more days each year.

For more information, contact Terri Price at pricet@ksso.org

Unified Partners

Train and compete as a participant on a SOKS team comprised of athletes with intellectual disabilities AND partners without intellectual disabilities.

Time Commitment: Participation is seasonal for each sport. The minimum commitment is 1-2 hours per week for eight weeks.

For more information, contact Clint Armistead at armisteadc@ksso.org

Internships

Work primarily in the Communications/Public Relations Department. Interns will work on projects involving: social media, marketing collateral, human interest stories, website.

Time Commitment: 10-20hrs/week per semester

For more information, contact Donna Zimmerman at pr@ksso.org