The mission of Special Olympics Louisiana is to provide year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for people with intellectual disabilities who wish to participate, 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.
The ultimate objective of Special Olympics Louisiana is to help people with intellectual disabilities participate as productive and respected members of society at large, by offering them a fair opportunity to develop and demonstrate their skills and talents through sports training and competition, and by increasing the public’s awareness of their capabilities and needs.
Special Olympics Louisiana, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Learn How We Are Building Communities
Hear How We Are Changing Attitudes
Learn About the Power of Sports
Special Olympics Louisiana serves over 15,000 athletes and offers training and competition in a variety of individual and team sports with the help of over 10,000 dedicated coaches and volunteers statewide.
Special Olympics athletes are given opportunities to participate without regard to economic, demographic, religious, or social factors. Neither athletes nor parents are charged a fee to participate in the program, and activities exist for those of all ability levels, from the highly functioning to the severely challenged. Anyone can participate in Special Olympics if they meet the eligibility criteria of having intellectual disabilities or a similar developmental disability.
Intellectual disability does not discriminate. Athletes who participate in Special Olympics come in all ages, ethnicities, and economic and social backgrounds. However, a significant number of athletes live in urban areas and come from lower socioeconomic groups. In addition, the vast majority of school-aged children with intellectual disabilities who attend public schools receive free or reduced lunch, placing them in the at-risk demographic.
Changing the Game
Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics is able to remove barriers and stigmas that people with intellectual disabilities face, and to share with the community the gifts and talents they possess. Everyone who comes in touch with Special Olympics is impacted in a way that helps them strive to achieve their personal best.
Persons with intellectual disabilities, regardless of ability level, may participate in sports and other programs offered by Special Olympics Louisiana. Individuals are eligible for training and competition at age eight and there is no upper age limit. More than 15,000 athletes participate in Special Olympics Louisiana activities; over 3.5 million athletes compete in Special Olympics programs in 170 countries.
Athlete Leadership Program
Athletes are provided the opportunity to expand personal growth — from coaching and officiating to public speaking and volunteering. Athletes are also invited to volunteer at local and state events, regardless of leadership training. Additionally every Area is encouraged to create Athlete Input Councils, giving vital feedback to Special Olympics Louisiana.
Training & Competition
Training and competition is offered year-round to Special Olympics athletes. Competition takes place at local, regional and state tournaments. Individuals and teams compete in divisions according to age, gender and ability. Learn more about our sports and competitions.
Special Olympics youth programs are education and sports based strategies powered by an engaged youth community that increases athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating communities of acceptance.
More than 10,000 volunteers support Special Olympics Louisiana activities. Volunteers serve as coaches, sports officials, committee members and on-site volunteers at competitions and fundraising events. Coaches and officials are trained and certified at clinics offered by Special Olympics Louisiana. Over 1.7 million volunteers support Special Olympics programs worldwide.
Special Olympics Louisiana is a registered 501(c) (3) non-profit organization supported entirely by individual, corporate and foundation contributions. Athletes participate at no cost to themselves or their families.
Athletes with intellectual disabilities pair with persons without disabilities and form teams for training and competition. Unified Sports integrates Special Olympics athletes with other athletes to build self-esteem and increase understanding of persons with different abilities.
Special Olympics athletes are provided opportunities to improve health and fitness through dental, vision, hearing, foot and general health screenings. Physicians and healthcare professionals provide these services at no cost to Special Olympics athletes at tournaments.
Camp Shriver brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities for training and competition each summer. The primary goals are to provide another level of challenge and promote inclusion. Camps take place in many cities throughout Louisiana. Camp Shriver will in many, if not most, cases, help supplement on-going local community school activities. Camp Shriver is, and will continue to be, a place for people with intellectual disabilities to learn new sports skills and improve individual sport performance, participate in individual and team sports, build friendships and have fun with partners who have signed on and trained as camp volunteers.
An innovative sports play program, designed for early childhood intervention, seeks to strengthen self-esteem and physical development for children with ID ages
2-7 years old. Click here for more information.