Every day, Special Olympics athletes demonstrate courage, adhering to the Special Olympics athlete’s oath, “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Delaware County currently offers these sports.


To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, athletes must have an intellectual disability; a cognitive delay, or a development disability, that is, functional limitations in both general learning and adaptive skills. Participation in Special Olympics starts at age 8 years, and there’s no maximum age limit. Children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 through 7 can take part in the Young Athletes Program (YAP), either at home or through a nearby Special Olympics program. People without intellectual disabilities can take part in Unified Sports, teams that mix people with and without intellectual disabilities.

How To Register

All NEW athletes interested in training with Delaware County must submit an Application for Participation (aka Medical) to register.sopadelco@gmail.com. The application must be approved before any training takes place.

For CURRENT athletes, make sure you medical on file is current through the END of a given season (ex: end of Fall season is Fall Festival). If the medical is expired OR is expiring during the season, a new medical must be emailed (or mailed). Once the medical is on file with the county, hard copies must also be given to the certified head coach(es).

Athletes will be asked to register for each season of sports (Fall/Winter/Summer). Usually, registration for a given season opens up two (2) months before the season starts. The entire delegation will get an email from register.sopadelco@gmail.com stating that a certain season of sports is OPEN TO REGISTER. If an athlete is registering for multiple sports in one (1) season, they must note a primary sport. Athletes may only compete in State Games in their primary sport, but are still able to train in other sports during the season (ex: athlete trains in both softball and swimming, but only competes in swimming at Summer Games).

Please note that before an athlete can begin Special Olympics sports training, the athlete’s parent/guardian must complete an Application for Participation (aka Medical).  A signature from authorized medical personnel is required on the form. Authorized medical personnel to include CRNPs, FNPs, and PAs (in addition to MDs and DOs already authorized).  The form must be updated every three (3) years.

The completed athlete participation form must be submitted to the county before any athlete can participate.


By participating in Special Olympics, athletes:

  • Gain self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Experience friendship on and off the field
  • Are perceived as competent by their families, coaches  and event spectators
  • Enjoy being part of the large Special Olympics social network
  • Receive much needed health screenings
  • Are more physically active even outside SO activities
  • Are more likely to hold jobs in the community
  • Are more likely to socialize with non-disabled peers