Special Olympics Iowa

Special Olympics Iowa logo

Website: http://www.soiowa.org/get-involved/class-a-volunteers/

Mission: Special Olympics Iowa is a statewide movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports. Using sports as the catalyst, and including programming on health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. As a result, people with intellectual disabilities become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.

Location: Statewide, closest site probably Marshalltown, though Special Olympics has had events in Grinnell in the past – For every sport, we will have at least one area competition on the West Region, East Region, and Central Region of the state, and a state competition for the athletes that qualify across the entire state.  However, the time and location of the competitions often stay consistent year to year.

Needs: Students may serve Special Olympics Iowa by volunteering at any of our statewide sporting and/or fundraising events. We offer a variety of sporting events, including area competitions and state competitions for sports such as softball, volleyball, equestrian, flag football, bowling, basketball, track & field, soccer, bocce ball, swimming, golf, etc. Volunteer tasks at any of these sporting competitions may vary from registration, time keeping, measuring distances, hospitality, and more. Anyone can participate in Special Olympics Iowa!


Volunteers: service needed for one-time events throughout the year

When is service needed: Special Olympics Iowa has area and state competitions for all of our 20+ sports that we offer, all year round, and the locations vary.

Number of hours: Flexible hours, as much or little as is possible for the volunteer

Modality: in-person only


Prerequisites: An individual wanting to become a Class A volunteer needs to fill out the Class A Volunteer application form found below.   Upon submitting your Class A Volunteer Application, complete the Protective Behavior Training and Quiz.  The Class a Volunteer application and  Protective Behavior training/quiz must be completed before your application can be processed.  To become a Special Olympics Iowa Class A Volunteer by a certain date, all items must be completed at least 30 days in advance.

Background check required: Yes

Vehicle needed: yes


Training supplied: We will go over the day of the event how to best perform volunteer tasks. The only thing we ask prior to volunteering at events is to apply to be a Class A volunteer and take the Protective Behaviors Quiz with Special Olympics (additional details on the website or feel free to contact me, Paula Doan).  Protective Behavior Training is supplied online, and successful completion of the quiz is required to be a Class A volunteer (anyone who has direct contact with athletes).


How to apply: Apply to volunteer by emailing Paula Doan at pdoan@soiowa.org.  Find current volunteer opportunities as well as application info at:  http://www.soiowa.org/get-involved/class-a-volunteers/

Contact: Paula Doan, 515-986-5520, pdoan@soiowa.org


Operation information: Special Olympics Iowa programming and events are made possible by two different types of volunteers, Class A volunteers and event volunteers. Event volunteers are individuals that help the day of an event.  Class A Volunteers are anyone who has direct contact with athletes; is in a position of authority, supervision, or trust of athletes; or handles substantial amounts of cash or other assets for Special Olympics Iowa. Examples of this may be a coach, chaperone, individuals that are one on one with athletes, or individuals that transport athletes.

If you are with this organization and need to update your listing, please access our update form on this page: For Community Partners