ALPS- Athlete Leadership Programs


 Special Olympics is committed to providing leadership opportunities to our athletes ON AND OFF THE FIELD OF PLAY. Athletes who are interested in learning more about these opportunities and pursuing the training that is necessary to prepare to “Share your Special Olympics story”, and your leadership skills need to let us know so that we can let you know when these opportunities are made available.

Special Olympics Maryland is putting an emphasis on creating opportunities for athletes to train in ALPS (Athlete Leadership Programs) which will give them confidence, skills and opportunities to serve as Special Olympics Ambassadors and to tell “their Special Olympics story” to our communities. SOMD (The Maryland state headquarters) holds an Athlete Leadership University at least two times a year and offers Beginner Global Messenger training (the required initial training for Athlete Leadership roles) as well as additional training to advance your leadership skills and “ALPortunities” ( SOMD provides over 600 opportunities for you to speak or appear as a representative of SOMO or SOMD- these are called “ALPortunities”.

ALPS – Athlete Leadership Program Examples

  • Athletes as Volunteers (games or events)
  • Athletes as Coaches or Assistant Coaches
  • Athletes as Sport Officials
  • Athletes as Public Speakers (Global Messengers- Share your “story” with the SO Community and with your larger local and state Community. Serve as a speaker at an SOMD competition or event. Prepare to be interviewed for public announcements and media opportunities)
  • Athletes on Boards, Committees or Input Councils
  • Athletes assisting with Fund Raising
  • Athletes assisting with technology or other office work
  • Athletes serving as peer mentors or team captains
  • Athletes attending regional or national meeting about Intellectual Disabilities

We want to be sure that our SOMO athletes have an opportunity to explore ALPS and “ALPortunities”! Please read the important note about the requirements to participate in ALPS training and then go to the survey link to complete the ALPS Interest form.

IMPORTANT NOTE* To be a candidate for ALPS training and to be able to continue to take advantage of “ALPortunities” you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You must have parent/guardian/care-taker support in providing transportation to training as well as to “ALPortunity” venues.
  2. You must have parent/family/guardian/care-taker support in assisting you as a Mentor in the Beginning Global Messenger training (required initial training provided by SOMD). You may be required to have the support of this same Mentor in continuing training as well. A Mentor who commits to traveling along with you on your ALPS journey is critical is assuring a meaningful experience.
  3. You must make a commitment to fulfill the follow-up to the Beginning Global Messenger Training that will complete your initial training.
  4. You will need to be in contact with our local SOMO Management Team to support you in goals to serve in leadership roles, especially those other than as Public Speaker.

Click HERE to complete an ALPS Signup form. We will contact you to explain opportunities, and will use this list as our “pool of Athlete Ambassadors”. If you have already participated in the ALPS program with SOMD or through our SOMO ALPS/Gallup Seminar Series, please sign up so that we know you are interested in sharing your new communication skills.


2011 graduation speeches video on YouTube

Newsletter about the Gallup 2013 ALPS Program