Become an Athlete
Are you ready to take on an exciting new challenge, take your sports-game to the next level, and meet friends along the way? Then Special Olympics Kitchener-Waterloo is the right place for you.
We are always looking for athletes to compete in a variety of sports with an impressive roster of coaches who are eager to train athletes for sport and competitions.
As an athlete with Special Olympics, you will participate in weekly practices to prepare you for competitions or to keep physically active. For many athletes, participating in Special Olympics is a path to healthy living, empowerment, acceptance and friendship. Special Olympics is dedicated to increasing physical fitness, confidence and other sport and life skills of our athletes; all in a positive and supportive environment.
Am I eligible to be an athlete?
In order to participate as an athlete with Special Olympics, you must:
be eight years of age or older (does not apply to Active Start or FUNdamentals)
have an intellectual disability
agree to read and abide by the SOC Sports Rules and the Special Olympics Ontario's policies and procedures
*Please note some programs may have age requirements
If you'd like to become a part of Special Olympics Ontario, please register on our Membership Portal to become an athlete here.
Need help registering?
Click Here to get guided help and instructions on using the Membership Portal.
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.
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 and returning athletes: You must register online first with Special Olympics Ontario. Athlete registration is here. Then register locally as noted below.
Returning athletes: We have a new registration process this year. Once you've completed the online registration, the information you've input will autocomplete each time you register. There will be in person registration for each sports season, with dates being posted closer to the registration date.
Review the Sport Programs (shown under registration) to decide which sport(s) the athlete would like to participate in during sports season.
2. Please make cheques or money orders payable to SOO Kitchener-Waterloo.
3. If you choose to mail payment instead of attending the in person registration, mail the payment to:
Special Olympics Kitchener-Waterloo, Attn: Registrar
PO Box 40107, Waterloo Town Square
75 King Street South, Waterloo, ON N2J 4V1
Registration to all programs is on a first come, first served basis and many sports have a limited number of spaces.
Receipts will be emailed directly to you. This is your confirmation that you have been registered for your sports.
Providing support for athletes requiring assistance is the responsibility of the athlete’s caregiver.
If you require financial support for registration/equipment, City of Kitchener, KidSport and Jump Start provide grants. Please check their websites for more information.
Athletes cannot participate in practice until they have submitted their registration forms and medical forms. No exceptions.
6. Minimum Age Policy
a. The official minimum age for Special Olympics athletes is 8 years old.
b. Athletes wishing to participate in any team and/or contact sports must be 8 years old at the start of the season.
c. 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 their written consent. 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.
7. All program details are subject to change pending facility availability. You will be notified of any changes to the information included in this package. Outdoor sports practice dates may change due to weather conditions. The head coach will inform you of any changes.
8. All equipment listed is mandatory, the coach has the right to refuse the athlete from practicing if they do not come with all of the required equipment
9. Divisioning guidelines
a. A – Has mastered all of the acquired skills of the sport
b. B – Has acquired all of the skills of the sport
c. C – Has acquired most of the skills of the sport
d. D – Has acquired few or none of the skills of the sport
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.