Athletes Oath

Let Me Win

But If I Can Not Win

Let Me Be Brave In The Attempt

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What You Need to Know!

Special Olympics New Hanover County (SONHC) offers sports training and competition in 14 Olympic-type sports to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Most of the sports have a training season of about 8 weeks with an average of 1-2 practices per week.

A person can begin competing when they are 8 years old and keep going as long as they want!

All prospective athletes must register to participate in Special Olympics. There is no cost to participate in Special Olympics.


Persons are eligible for Special Olympics competition provided they are:

1. at least eight years of age,
2. have been identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions:
* an intellectual disability (mental retardation), or
* a cognitive delay, as determined by standardized measures, or
* a closely related developmental disability, which means having functional limitations in both general learning and in adaptive skills
3. registered to participate in Special Olympics.

Persons whose functional limitations are based solely on physical, behavioral, or emotional disability or a specific learning or sensory disability are not eligible to participate as Special Olympics athletes.

There is no maximum age limitation for participating in Special Olympics.

Registration Procedures
(Click on Participation Form below)
or Use the Athlete Interest form below for more information

Complete the Official Special Olympics Combined Athlete Release and Participation Form as well as sign the Athletes Code of Conduct.

All persons who are eligible to participate in Special Olympics training and/or competition must complete this form, The form consists of three parts. The first portion requests the athlete's identifying information and medical background and contains a physician's report and certification concerning results of the initial physical examination. A physical examination is required for the first participation form completed. Subsequent participation forms can be completed by an adult athlete, parent, guardian or caregiver unless there has been a significant change in the athlete's health or the answer to any *item is “yes”. In these cases, a physician must conduct a follow-up examination. Participation forms must be renewed every three years.

The second portion is the release form concerning medical matters, Healthy Athletes screenings, the SONC housing policy and permissions regarding publicity. It is to be signed by an adult athlete, parent, guardian or caregiver. This does not have to be renewed as long as the most updated release form is on file (containing housing policy information).

The third portion consists of background questions. This section only needs to be completed if an athlete is also serving in a volunteer capacity for the organization.

Special Olympics North Carolina Athlete’s Code of Conduct
All Special Olympics athletes are expected to abide by the following code of conduct:

Every Special Olympics athlete shall:

  • · practice good sportsmanship.
  • · act respectfully to other athletes, coaches, volunteers and spectators.
  • · not use bad language, swear or insult other persons.
  • · not fight with other athletes, volunteers, coaches, volunteers or staff.
  • Training and competition
    Every Special Olympics athlete shall:
  • · train regularly as determined by their coach.
  • · learn and follow the rules of their sports.
  • · listen to the coaches and officials and ask questions when they do not understand.
  • · always try their best when training, divisioning and competing.
  • · not “hold back” in preliminaries just to get into an easier final heat.
  • Responsibility for Actions
    Every Special Olympics athlete shall:
  • · not make inappropriate or unwanted physical, verbal or sexual advances on others.
  • · not smoke in non-smoking areas.
  • · not drink alcohol, use illegal drugs or possess weapons at Special Olympics functions/events.
  • · not take drugs for the purpose of improving one’s performance.
  • · obey all laws and Special Olympics rules and policies.
  • Code of Conduct Violations

If a Special Olympics athlete violates any part of the code of conduct, Special Olympics may impose disciplinary actions.

Forms and other Information

      Completed forms should be returned to a Coach, the Local Coordinator or mailed to:
      Special Olympics New Hanover County
      c/o Tiffany Lesley
      302 Willard Street
      PO Box 1810
      Wilmington, NC 28402-1810

       Athlete Interest Form

       Athletes Participation Form                         Athletes Participation Form- Spanish

                          Code of Conduct     
                                                 Family Code of Conduct                            

      Once a registration form has been submitted then the next step is to select and sign up for a sport.
      Contact Tiffany Lesley to sign up