The mission of Special Olympics Texas is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, 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 Olympics athletes and the community.
It is our vision to become the premier provider of Special Olympics training and competition in the world. We approach each endeavor with a single intent - to improve the quality of life for our athletes. The challenges of the future are embraced with enthusiasm and commitment, ensuring that the changing face and needs of our athletes are met.
In 1968, five years after she had started a summer day camp for children and adults with intellectual disabilities at her home in Maryland, Eunice Kennedy Shriver saw her dream realized in Chicago at the first International Special Olympics Summer Games. Read more...
Special Olympics Texas offers 22 sports: Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Cycling, Equestrian, Figure Skating, Flag Football, Golf, Gymnastics, Kayaking, Powerlifting, Roller Skating, Sailing, Soccer, Softball, Speed Skating, Table Tennis, Tennis, Triathlon and Volleyball.
Special Olympics Texas holds more than 300 competitions annually on area, regional and state levels. Event divisions are based on age, gender and ability level to give athletes an equal chance to win. Each participant receives a medal or ribbon following his/her event.
Special Olympics athletes train intensely for eight weeks prior to each sports competition. Volunteer coaches are responsible for training the athletes. Volunteers must complete a certification program prior to becoming a Special Olympics coach and must attend training schools before each season. Competition officials and event directors are also required to attend training schools.
Volunteers are the lifeline of the Special Olympics Texas program. More than 47,000 volunteers in Texas currently dedicate their time to Special Olympics. These volunteers serve as coaches, officials, committee members, competition assistants, speech coaches and much more. Whether they participate for one day or for years, volunteers make a difference in the lives of Special Olympics athletes and in their communities.
"I promise to give of the time in my life so that Special Olympics athletes can have the time of their lives. I promise to support Special Olympics not just as an expression of charity, but as a form of respect for my fellow human beings. I promise to spread the word of volunteerism because, in giving, I receive so much more in return."
Special Olympics Texas is a registered 501(c)(3), non-profit organization supported by private donations from individuals, corporations and organizations throughout the state. Special Olympics is "the most credible charity in America" according to a survey in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.