ALPs give athletes opportunities above and beyond competition, becoming committee members, coaches, spokespersons and more.


What are ALPs?

ALPs give individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to stand up and let their voices be heard, as well as teach them the leadership skills to help shape the direction and movement of Special Olympics. These programs put athletes in an environment where people listen to them and value them as individuals.  ALPs allows athletes to have the confidence to know they can make a difference in the lives of others through their contributions as spokespersons, coaches, committee members and more. And, through various platforms, they are given the opportunity to show their determination and desire to be active, inclusive members of their community.

Opportunities Offered for Athletes

Special Olympics Texas encourages athletes to choose the type of leadership opportunities that they are most interested in pursuing. Training classes are offered to help the athlete learn the skills that are needed to be successful in the role they will fill. Special Olympics Texas also helps train volunteers, coaches, committee members, and others to work with athletes in a way that values athlete participation.

Athletes on the Board of Directors and Committees

Athletes participate as active members of our Board of Directors and other state and local committees. The athletes are given instruction and practice in forming and articulating opinions, provided opportunity for group discussion, and taught techniques for gathering input from other athletes.

Athlete Leadership Council

Athletes have the opportunity to share ideas and opinions with other athletes at both the state and local level. Input Councils give athletes a chance to discuss important issues with other athletes, provide a format for athletes on committees to gather input on varying topics, and allow athletes to share information from their committees.

Athletes as Coaches/Officials

This program provides athletes with readiness training and assists them in meeting certification requirements to become coaches or officials for Special Olympics and other community sports organizations.

Athlete Games Management Members and Training

The athletes are given instruction and practice in forming and articulating opinions, provided opportunity for group discussion, and taught techniques for gathering input from other athletes.  We are currently looking for athletes to be trained as GMT members to help lead and support at Area and State Competitions. 

Athletes as Volunteers & Fundraising 

This program encourages athletes to become involved with Special Olympics Texas as volunteers. This type of leadership experience empowers athletes to fully participate in the events. These athletes learn new skills and serve as role models for other athletes in their community.

Athletes as Photographers

We are looking for athlete who would like to learn about photography or who are current photographers to help develop a training session along side a professional photographer.  This session would allow athletes to be part of capturing and sharing the joy of both achievement, friendship and victory within Special Olympics. Contact if you are interested in this volunteer role within ALPs.  

Athlete Participation in Esports/phone & computer games

We invite athletes and families to participate in our new esports components of the Virtual programs and SOTX-TV, which can be found on both and our youtube channel.

Sargent Shriver Global Messenger Program

This program prepares athletes to become official public speakers for Special Olympics. They recruit athletes, volunteers and sponsors. The purpose of this program is to allow the athletes to share their skills, experiences, opportunities and enthusiasm with others, and work to increase participation in all programs.

Have you recently given a speech as an SOTX Global Messenger?

Click the button and let us know how it went. Provide information about your recent speech to save for your Global Messenger records.

Global Messenger Report


Our Purpose and Goals are:

                 To ensure the athletes’ voices are heard involving their needs in training, sports

                 competitions, and overall leadership programs offered through SOTX.

Our Motto is:

                 Inclusion for all to make the world a better place for the next 50 years and beyond.

Executive Committee Members (Updated Sept. 2022) 

 Executive Committee Member Representing the East Region: Shaun Linsey

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.

Executive Committee Member Representing the South Region:  Tim Taggart

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.

Executive Committee Member Representing the North Region: Tony Trojcak (bio coming soon)

Executive Committee Member Representing the West Region:  Elizabeth Campbell  

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.


Executive Committee Member Representing the West Region:  Ben Garcia

Executive committee member representing the South Region - Area 12 (Central Texas): Kamand Alaghehband 


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.

Materials management

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.

How to Get Involved

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 


NonPareil video link