Coaches play a unique and indispensable role in Special Olympics around the world. Coaches provide the sports skills and spirit that define a true athlete. In addition, coaches are role models and character builders. Coaches give Special Olympics athletes the most immediate awareness of their own worth, ability, courage and capacity to grow and improve. Special Olympics coaches:
Special Olympics coaches often find that the personal rewards received are equal to or even outweigh the benefits they offer the athletes. Special Olympics coaches have a unique opportunity to work with athletes in competitive situations to assist in their training for life.
What is the minimum age for a coach?
Coaches can be certified at age 16; however, all Head Coaches must be at least 18 years old.
What volunteer opportunities are available for minor (under age 18) volunteers?
Volunteers that are at least 16 years old can be certified in any Special Olympics sport. Volunteers that are younger than 16 can provide coaching assistance and event and competition support under the supervision of a parent, guardian or certified head coach or assistant coach.
Can a family member coach an athlete?
Absolutely. Special Olympics relies on the families of the athletes for a variety of volunteer positions. The age restrictions noted above apply to all family coaches.
How does a coach become certified?
To become a certified coach for Special Olympics, the following must be completed:
• General Session: a 90 minute session that introduces the basics for the program
• Completion of a thorough background check
• Complete the Level 1 Special Olympics Community Technical Course. An 8-hour NCCP course offered throughout the Province, please contact the Provincial office to register or get further information.
• Practicum: 50 hours of hands-on training with Special Olympic athletes in a sport practice setting.
• Complete the NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) Course dealing with the theory of coaching: Part A: Introduction to Competition.
• Coaches who wish to apply for positions on the Provincial & National Team must also be fully certified Level 1 Sport Technical in the sport they are coaching (offered through the Provincial Sport Org.) as well as fully certified Special Olympics Competition Course (offered through Special Olympics Nova Scotia).
To get involved as a coach, please contact the Regional Coordinator in your area or Matt Quinn, Program Director at Special Olympics Nova Scotia at the contact information listed below.
To begin your coaching experience with Special Olympics, please complete our Volunteer Form, and Consent Form, and send it along to the regional coordinator or registrar in your desired community.
For more information on caoching please visit the following websites:
Coaching Nova Scotia Website
Coaching Association of Canada
Special Olympics Nova Scotia
5516 Spring Garden Road, Suite 201
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 1G6
Phone: (902) 429-2266 x 4
Fax: (902) 425-5606
Toll Free: 1-866-299-2019