Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs)
ALPs give athletes opportunities above and beyond competition, becoming committee members, coaches, spokespersons and more.
To ensure the athletes’ voices are heard involving their needs in training, sports
competitions, and overall leadership programs offered through SOTX.
Inclusion for all to make the world a better place for the next 50 years and beyond.
Hello, my name is Shaun Linsey. Since 2011, I have participated in golf, kayaking, sailing, tennis, basketball, volleyball, track and field, bowling, softball, and cheerleading. Although I really enjoy partaking all sports and meeting new friends at the competitions, my favorite sport is golf because it gives me the opportunity to play and share memories with my dad, my unified partner. I have attended the 2018 USA Games as part of the Team Texas Golf Delegation as well as participated in the 2015, 2016, and 2017 North America Golf Championship for Special Olympics. I have also attended the 2022 USA Games as part of the Team Texas Traditional Cheerleading Delegation.
I have also become involved in the leadership aspect of Special Olympics by attending the 2017 Special Olympics Hill Day in Austin and 2021 and 2022 Virtual Special Olympics Hill Day in Washington DC. Currently, I am a member of the Athlete Leadership Program of the Greater Houston Area and its President. In addition, I am a member of the East Regional Resource Board (formerly the President’s Advisory Council), the Young Professionals Board, the President of the Executive Committee of Athlete Leadership Council of Texas, the South Central Regional Board, and an athlete member of the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Texas.
At the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles, I received the honor of the Best Guest Services Attendant Award. I have been interviewed by Daniel Gotera and Jason Bristol of CBS 11 as a SOTX golfer and by Isiah Carey of FOX 26 as a Special Olympics’ athlete involving what “Removing the R Word” campaign means to me. I was recognized in the Congressional Record of the United States of America of the 115th Congress by Honorable Ted Poe of Texas in the House of Representatives as a Golfer and Special Olympian. Since 2015, I have been a Global Messenger giving many motivational speeches at various organizations and events. In 2020, I became a Health Messenger. I gave a speech on “Living by the Golden Rule” for the Voices of Champions in May 2021. I have also written a book called Be Brave in the Attempt about the 50th Anniversary of SOTX and it is now on sale with all proceeds benefiting the SOTX athletes.
I graduated from East Central University in May 2021, obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Cartography with a Geotechniques Concentration. I am member of Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, Gamma Theta Upsilon, and Delta Alpha Phi International Honor Society. I was the Treasurer of the Cartography Society while attending East Central University. I have been an Eagle Scout since 2008. In June 2022, I earned the Remote Pilot Certificate for Unmanned Aircraft General from the Federal Aviation Administration under the FAA’s Small UAS Rule (Part 107) for commercial drone usage.
I was the main character, Andy, in a short film called “My Eyes,” which was based on a poem about a young man, Andy, with autism and how he views others around him. I was also in the movie, Loveland, with other young adults with special needs. During my theatre experience of 16 years, I performed in many shows on stage as a member of the performing troupe of The Second Act Theatre (formerly Dionysus Theatre), a non-profit community theatre for individuals with special needs.
As a Special Olympics’ athlete, I live the Special Olympics’ athlete oath of “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt” by showing my determination, drive, and enthusiasm in sports while feeling that I am always a winner because I am achieving my goal of leadership and helping other athletes to also feel self-confident. To me, Special Olympics is not only about playing sports, but also about boosting other athletes in their training, competitions, and showing how proud Special Olympics’ athletes can be of everything that they have accomplished in the sports arena as well as outside of the sports arena.
My name is Tim Taggart and I have been involved for SOTX since 1991. I have competed in bowling, basketball, bocce, cycling, flag football, golf, power lifting, softball, soccer, tennis, table tennis, and unified sports.
I have been part of Team USA at the World Games in 1999 in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I competed in tennis and won a gold medal. In 2003, I was part of Team USA at the World Games in Dublin, Ireland where I competed in table tennis and also won a gold medal. I attended National Games in 2010 in Lincoln, Nebraska and in 2006 in Ames, Iowa both competing in Unified basketball where we won the silver medal both times.
I am also very active in leadership in Special Olympics Texas. My athlete leadership began in 1993 when I trained as an athlete for Outreach which is now called the Athlete Leadership Programs (ALPs). I have been a part of the Area 20 ALPs since 1993, serving as President for the past seven years. I have gone to Washington, DC Hill Day in 2008, 2014, and 2019 visiting with legislatures and spreading the word about Special Olympics. I have visited Austin Capitol Day in 1995, 2003, 2006, 2016, and 2019 speaking to the Texas legislatures.
My family was chosen to receive the Area 20 Family of the Year Award in 1993 and 1997 and we were chosen as the Chapter Family of the Year in 1997. I have been chosen as the Area 20 Athlete of the Year in 1995, 2003, and 2016. In 1995, 2006, and 2011, I received the Area 20 Outreach Award and in 2011, I received the Outreach Award from the Chapter.
I have given over 1,000 athlete leadership speeches to various organizations as well as to Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver (the founder of Special Olympics), Tim Shriver (the Chairman of the Board for Special Olympics), and Tom Landry (the former Dallas Cowboys Coach).
In 1993, The Family Channel awarded me Accentuate the Positive Away Award. From 1993 to 2003, I was the President of the Alamo Head Injury Association (AHIA) and from 1993 to 2005, I was also the President of the San Antonio League of Self-Advocates (SALSA).
Outside of the SOTX arena, I have been in two television commercials: a car commercial with Jessye James Laya and a golf commercial with my dad. I was also a featured extra in the movie, The Ringer.
I believe strongly in the Special Olympics’ athlete oath of “Let me win, but if I can’t win, let me be brave in the attempt.” I feel all athletes compete to win, but no matter what place the athletes achieve, everyone is a winner since they have trained and competed. The best thing I like about Special Olympics is being able to compete in sports, traveling with the organization, meeting people from all over the world and speaking about my involvement with SOTX. In my home, my family dwells on my ability and NOT on my disability.
Howdy, my name is Tony Trojcak, I'm 43 years old and live in Euless, Texas. I am proud to say I am a Special Olympic Athlete from Area 11 (greater Fort Worth area) for 26 years. I am part of the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Special Friends delegation and the Smooth Swing Golf team. I have competed in basketball, bowling, swimming, and diving, track and field, cycling and unified golf. My favorite sport is playing and competing in Unified Golf. My dad and I have been competing in unified golf for 21 years. We currently compete in Level 3 unified golf. 1 was selected as Male Athlete of the year in 2001. My family and I were selected as Area 11 Family of the Year in 2016/2017. Besides the sports competition, I am a member of ALPs (Athlete Leadership Program), which started in 2000. I was elected the first President of the Area 11 Input Council. I had the opportunity to attend the first State Athlete Congress where Area representatives from across the State came together to establish and develop the first Athlete’s Code of Conduct and the first Coach’s Code of Conduct as well as other initial governing rules for Special Olympics Texas. I also served on various committees like Area and State Sports Management Teams, and the Athlete Outreach Program.
As part of ALPS, I attended one of the first global messenger training in 2000 and became one of the first SOTX global messenger in the DFW metro area. In 2001, I attended an SOI ALPS conference in Atlanta, GA. Here I attended ‘Advance Global Messenger’ training and became one of the first SOTX ALPS advance global messengers in Texas. I have been trained to be a softball coach and a Games evaluator. As a global messenger I have given many speeches for SOTX as well as other special needs groups. I was honored to be Master of Ceremonies for the Area 11 Breakfast With Champions in 2021.
Currently, I am the North Region representative of the Executive Committee of the Athlete Leadership Council. I am an individual with Williams Syndrome. I graduated in 1999 from Colleyville Heritage High School with honors in Art and Art History. During my years in high school, I was in PALS (Peer Assistance and Leadership Program) This program enables young people to use their potential to make a difference in their lives, schools and communities. I was the first person with special needs to be asked to participate at my school. I attended TCC Northeast Campus and was in a program that helps individuals with disabilities to transition from high school into the world and work force. I attended this program for 4 years. I am interested in Art, Art History, sociology, and studies in world cultures, religions, architecture, history, and music. I love Music. I play piano by ear. I love composing. I have played many times for SOTX fundraiser events and galas, like Area 10 Black Tie Gala in Dallas and the Area 11 Steak and Stetson event of Fort Worth as well as played for other special needs events and organizations that benefited the Special Needs community. I had the extreme honor to perform with the Sonny Burgess Band for one special needs fundraiser. While I was in college, I helped a dance program at the TCC Northwest campus by accompanying the dance group on the piano This special dance group performed the Follow the Dream production that celebrated Special Americans both physically and intellectually. This production was held at Bass Hall in Fort Worth.
I am a member of North Texas SNAP (Special Needs Assistance Partners). I was on the Board of Directors for 10 Years when we first started the program. SNAP is strong and growing every year helping special need individuals reach their potential, My faith is very important to me. Because of the core values and principles, I decided to become a 3rd and 4th degree knight in the Knights of Columbus. I work with brother knights to support and sponsor Special Olympics. I was so honored to receive the Chip O’Conner Award in 2018. I am a member of the GOC (God's Own Children) Ministry at St. Michael's Catholic Church. This ministry brings special needs individuals into the church community. We do charitable work and fellowship. I have had many opportunities and have been very fortunate to be an advocate for inclusion and involvement for the Special Needs Community to be an essential part of our society and the world.
Hi, my name is Elizabeth Campbell and I live in Amarillo. I work at Hodgetown Stadium for the Amarillo Sod Poodles, a baseball team affiliated with the Double AA San Diego Padres baseball team.
I serve on the Executive Committee of the Athlete Leadership Council as its Secretary and am also the President of my local Athlete Leadership Committee of the Panhandle Area. I am a Global Messenger for the Panhandle Area. I have had the honor to earn the title of Athlete of the Year. I love doing sports all the time and I believe that Special Olympics is the fun thing to do.
Kamand's objective is to obtain a positive lifestyle for athletes by utilizing and developing their skills to provide the best quality of life for them. Currently, studying nonpareil institute learning to design games from scratch. Certified with global and health messenger 2016.
Kamand is certified in Special Olympics leadership, certified in nutritional therapy from health and science academy in 2015, and received scholarship and attended Bridge to Career in Texas A& M College station. Received recognition as a best residence at Rudder Hall Dorm to help Others to help others with chores and homework. Kamand received scholarship and attended a year of internship at Seton medical center with 3 rotations.
Post-Anesthesia Care Unit and was responsible for PACU essential supplies 2012.
Medical Transcription at Austin Community College in 2013.
Texas Food Safety Handler certificate
Certificate of photography in Rosemary Kennedy Internship initiative
Assistant coach in basketball at Special Olympics.
Dell Children’s Hospital
Special Olympics fundraising such as tip a cop.
Facilitate fundraising and recruit volunteers and donors in Special Olympics
Promoted self-advocacy for athletes.
Volunteered at Wells Branch Library and Hospice compassus.
Special Olympics athletes such as demonstrating virtual physical workouts, healthy drinking and recipes.
Special Olympics swimming, basketball, and track.
Playing violin since 2009-present.
Member of VSA Texas participating in Open-minds, open doors program.
Participating in filmmaking, art shows, podcasting, conferences and autism awareness.
Computer: 2D Design gaming
PC, Windows, Microsoft word, ppt, excel, internet Explorer, Mozilla firefox, Express scribe
Leisure: Bake from scratch of gluten free, keton diet, vegan, and healthy recipes, gardening, exploring socializing with Special Olympics friends.
Languages: fluent in English and persian.
Awarded Female of the year 2012-2013 with Special Olympics.
All star brusher award 2017.
Received appreciation of a dedicated volunteer of Special Olympics of Round Rock May 2016, 2017 and 2019.
Certificate of excellent sportsmanship with Special Olympics in 2013-2014.
University of Constitutional Law on recommendation of graduate council of the Academic Senate, Constitution division has conferred upon me the degree of constitutional law expert with all the rights and privileges thereto pretending.
If you, or someone you know, is interested in getting involved as an Athlete Leader, find your local ALPS here, or you can contact Bruce Clarke, Athlete Engagement Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org