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Get Involved

As a Coach

Coach a local Special Olympics team

When you become a Special Olympics coach or assistant coach, you will find the rewards go far beyond the finish line. You will help athletes discover their physical skills, self-worth, courage, and capacity to grow. Coaching is one of the most important and rewarding volunteer roles in Special Olympics. That is why 1,600 men and women in Massachusetts choose to donate their time and talents to the athletes of Special Olympics Massachusetts as coaches.

 

“I gave my medals to my coaches because THEY deserve to be medaled. I wouldn’t have my medals without them. If it wasn’t for coaches and volunteers, this wouldn’t be possible. They need to be recognized, too. I wanted to say thanks to them.”  – Athlete, Jen Harrington

Requirements

The age requirement for becoming a head coach with Special Olympics is 18 and 16 for an assistant coach. Just like any other sports organization, coaches are responsible for helping with all aspects of the team, including:

  • Attending pre-season coaches meetings.
  • Assisting with recruiting athletes, partners, and additional volunteers.
  • Maintaining athlete records and registrations.
  • Developing an 8-10 week practice schedule for the season.
  • Conducting well organized practices.
  • Attending sectional and state-level competitions with your team.
  • Have a working knowledge of your sport and abide by the sports rules of Special Olympics.

Athlete and coach talking.

All coaches are required to complete a Class A volunteer form. Individuals over the age of 18 are required to provide their social security number as they are CORI and background checked to ensure the safety and well being of Special Olympics athletes.

Individuals under 18 are required to have two non-family members write recommendations for them. These forms can be provided to interested coaches after we locate a coaching opportunity for them.

All additional Special Olympics MA coaching resources can be found on our Resources for Coaches and Local Programs page.

How to Get Involved

Please see our current and upcoming head coach and assistant coach volunteer needs in the two sections below.  If these positions don’t match your interests and availability, please complete the Volunteer Interest Form  and we will email you with additional volunteer opportunities in your area.

 

Current Head Coach and Assistant Coach Volunteer Positions

Head Coach positions (must be 18 years or older):

Bowling Head Coaches needed in Auburn

  • Practices are tentatively Saturday mornings at AMF Lanes in Auburn, starting in November
  • Season is November thru March
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Assistant Coach Positions (must be 16 years or older):

Bowling Assistant Coaches needed in Auburn

  • Practices are tentatively Saturday mornings at AMF Lanes in Auburn, starting in November
  • Season is November thru March
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Bocce and Cornhole Volunteers Needed in Fitchburg

  • Practices are Sunday afternoons in Fitchburg.
  • Season is now through early fall.
  • No prior coaching experience needed! Volunteer roles include scoring matches, sanitizing equipment, screening athletes, and ensuring participants maintain social distance.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Volunteers Needed in West Springfield

  • Practices are Wednesday evenings in West Springfield
  • Season is now through early fall.
  • No prior coaching experience needed! Volunteers are needed to assist with activities such as kick ball, track and field, and cheerleading.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Volunteers Needed in Haverhill

  • Practices are Saturdays from 10am to 12pm in Haverhill.
  • Season is now through early fall.
  • No prior coaching experience needed! Volunteers are needed to assist with activities such as corn hole, lawn darts and kick ball.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Walking Club Volunteers Needed in Amherst

  • Walking Club meets weekly on Sundays from 10 am to 12 pm at UMass Amherst.
  •  The first week of the walking club is scheduled to be September 20th.
  • Assistant coach will walk with athletes and assist the head coach as needed. No experience required.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Walking Club Volunteers Needed in West Bridgewater

  • The Walking Club will meet weekly on Mondays, from 3-4PM, at West Bridgewater Rail Trail
  • Assistant coach will walk with athletes and assist the head coach as needed. No experience required.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Walking Club Volunteers Needed in Hanover

  • The Walking Club will meet weekly on Sundays, time TBD,  at Forge Pond Park
  • Assistant coach will walk with athletes and assist the head coach as needed. No experience required.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.

Walking Club Volunteers Needed in Plymouth

  • The Walking Club will meet weekly on the weekends. Day, Time and Location TBD
  • Assistant coach will walk with athletes and assist the head coach as needed. No experience required.
  • Please email GETINVOLVED@SPECIALOLYMPICSMA.ORG for more information.