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Special Olympics Athletes are our Best Leaders

The mission of Special Olympics Athlete Leadership Programs is to empower athletes to develop leadership skills and utilize their voices to assume meaningful leadership roles, influence change in the Special Olympics movement, and educate communities around the world that results in positive life changes.

Athlete Leadership

Training For Life

Athlete Leadership at Special Olympics Massachusetts provides training and support for athletes who desire to expand their participation in Special Olympics, both on and off the competition field. Through Athlete Leadership, individuals receive instruction and have opportunities to hold positions of influence within the community. In these roles, athletes are given tools to share their experiences, document stories in the community, and encourage others to be their best selves. Athlete Leaders will help spread the mission of inclusion through the voice and perspective of a Special Olympics athlete.


Stories About Athletes by Athletes

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Athlete Leaders Inspire Special Olympics CEOs Across US

Three athlete leaders, James Day Keith, Tyler Lagasse and Lumene Montissol from Special Olympics Massachusetts spoke in front of Special Olympics CEOs from across the country at the US CEO Meeting which took place in Boston.

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Anne DeForge sits down with James Day Keith about his role in 'Champions'

‍I had the honor to sit and chat with Massachusetts own James Keith, who plays Benny in the movie Champions, a movie with most of the main characters played by people with special needs.

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Introducing Content Squad Athlete Leader Amanda Church

Do think you could swim 25 yards while carrying the weight of two metal rods? Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall Fame athlete Amanda Church does just that every time she jumps in the pool.

Athlete leadership

Program Details

Inclusion Ambassadors


Known throughout the movement as Global Messengers, athletes undergo training to act as spokespeople on behalf of Special Olympics. The Special Olympics MA Inclusion Ambassador Program is for athletes passionate about their own Special Olympics journey and want to share the mission of inclusion with community organizations. This opportunity will empower athletes to build inclusive relationships with Special Olympics MA partners, businesses, and community organizations. Through training, athletes will sharpen skills such as public speaking and storytelling, which they will use both within and outside of the Special Olympics community.

This opportunity will focus on two key initiatives for revenue generation for Special Olympics Massachusetts: Fundraising and Corporate Engagement.  We want to help empower athletes to tell their stories by building inclusive relations in the community.  

Become An Ambassador

Content Squad


This program is designed for athletes who love storytelling and are interested in learning about sports media, including social media takeovers, broadcasting, and more! This program will teach you the basics of storytelling & content creation. Following course completion, athletes will be considered content creators for Special Olympics Massachusetts and will be able to pitch story ideas & create content for the Special Olympics Massachusetts website and social media platforms.

Join the Content Squad

Fitness Captains


Known globally as Health Messengers, Fitness Captains at Special Olympics Massachusetts are eager to stay active and healthy, and want to motivate the Special Olympics community to do the same! Fitness Captains will unlock key insight regarding the importance of hydration, nutrition, and fitness routines. Through various training sessions, they will learn how to motivate teammates, coaches, and the community!

An 8-week course that provides athletes with a technical skill set that enhances their ability to be a leader and advocate for themselves and others in all aspects of health. After the training, athletes will have the knowledge and skills necessary to promote healthy habits to their fellow athletes, coaches, and community! There are three paths you can take as a Fitness Captain:  

  • A Social Media Fitness Captain
  • An Event/Program Fitness Captain
  • Dual: An Event & Social Media Fitness Captain
Be A Leader in Athlete Fitness

Additional leadership opportunities

  • Athletes on the Board of Directors
  • Two Special Olympics Massachusetts athletes serve on our Board of Directors at all times.
  • Athletes as Coaches
  • Through the Special Olympics Massachusetts Coaches Education Program, athletes can receive training to serve as certified coaches for Special Olympics Massachusetts sports teams throughout the year.
  • Athletes as Volunteers
  • Athletes join the volunteer forces of Special Olympics Massachusetts by helping out with sporting events, fundraising events and other activities throughout the year. Many of our athletes put together teams to participate in fundraising events.

Our Leaders In Action