Applications will open soon

We are always looking to add interested athletes to our Athlete Leadership Programs and Committees.

Questions? Email Krystin Guggisberg at

What is an Athlete Leadership 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 Leadership 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 Leadership 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 Leadership Council?

Having and ALC improves the quality and integrity of Special Olympics Kansas training, competition, volunteer management, outreach, public education and special events and fundraising. ALCs 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.

 Kansas Athlete Leadership Council

Josh Alters – KS ALC Chairperson
Josh is a Special Olympics Kansas athlete with the Topeka Shawnee team. He previously served 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 Leadership Council training in Chicago in July 2018. As chairperson, Josh will schedule and run all KS ALC 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.

Savannah Koehn – Vice Chairperson
Savannah is a Special Olympics Kansas athlete with the Dodge City Dodgers team in Western Kansas. She performs 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 ALC.

Abbi Griswold – Secretary
Abbi is a Special Olympics Kansas athlete with the Sedgwick County Thundercats team in South Central Kansas. She currently serves on the SOKS Board of Directors. She manages and records the minutes of each ALC 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 ALC.

ALC Members – Cody Pierce, Keith Hartner, Cody Berry, James Boehnke, Kim Tjelmeland, Tyler Griswold
These athletes attend meetings regularly, provide input and give feedback to the ALC. Regularly communicate with chair, vice chair and secretary. Participate in leadership training opportunities and join a committee or GMT. Other duties as assigned by ALC.

*Terms on the ALC will be three years. Athletes not selected for ALC positions are encouraged to re-apply and attend athlete leadership programs as they become available. 


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