Athlete Eligibility

In order to be eligible for participation in Special Olympics, an individual with an intellectual disability must agree to observe and abide by the SOC Sports Rules and the Special Olympics Ontario Code of Conduct. Individuals from 8 to 80 years old and of all abilities can train and compete in Special Olympics. Athletes train and compete against athletes of similar ability level.

Minimum Age Policy

The official minimum age for Special Olympics athletes is 8 years old. Athletes wishing to participate in any team or contact sports must be 8 years old at the start of the season.

Athletes wishing to participate in individual non-contact sports may start as young as 6 years old, if the Head Coach of the sport has given written permission. In these situations, the legal guardian of the child is required to be present at all times and the athlete must have a one-on-one coach. The parent or caregiver can be the coach if they are registered as a Special Olympics volunteer.

Requests for younger athletes will be refused, but parents may wish to consider Waterloo Region Family Network, which offers the ActiveStart and FUNdamentals programs for young children.

Financial Support

The City of Waterloo provides fee assistance to a maximum of $300 per year for Waterloo residents with an annual income less than $54,000 depending on family size. Information here.

The City of Kitchener provides fee assistance for some City programs, but not including Special Olympics.

KidSport Kitchener-Waterloo provides grants up to $300 per year. Application information is listed on their website.

How To Register As An Athlete

New athletes only: You must register online first with Special Olympics Ontario. New athlete registration is here. Then register locally as noted below.

All athletes: Download the Athlete Registration Package below. Review our list of sports for the season to see what we offer, where and when activities are held and the costs associated with each activity. There is a flat $25 Registration Fee and then each club has its own fee on top of that. Follow the detailed instructions in the Registration Package.

Mail your payment and completed Registration Form to:

Special Olympics Ontario K-W, Attn: Registrar

PO Box 40107, Waterloo Town Square

75 King Street South, Waterloo, ON, N2J 4V1

If you have any questions, please contact our Registrar, Ellen Libertini, at 519-578-3113 (Answering Machine)

or e-mail

Summer/Spring 2019 In-Person Registration:

You can register in person at Grant's Cafe at the KW Habilitation building on the following dates:

  • April 24 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
  • April 27 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Spring-Summer 2019 Returning Athlete Registration Package - draft.docx