Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) relies upon the expertise of sports-knowledgeable volunteers who serve on Sport Development Teams (SDT). Special Olympics North Carolina’s SDTs are comprised of key volunteers, representing each of SONC’s 19 sports. Typically, these individuals represent a variety of levels within their respective sports, both inside and outside of Special Olympics. The Special Olympics North Carolina Sport Development Team members are committed to the philosophy and mission of Special Olympics and create quality sports programs based on these beliefs.
- Effectively promote the sport within the Special Olympics community.
- Increase awareness of and athlete participation in the sport.
- Improve the quality of coaches’ training and competition opportunities.
- Regularly serve as clinicians or recruit of qualified clinicians at coaches’ training schools. The training schools follow SONC/SOI guidelines in implementation and rule interpretation.
- Network to establish and develop sports-related resources for volunteers, facility contacts, organizations, media outlets, and fundraising sources.
- Counsel the SONC local program games management teams to ensure the quality operation of both training and competition, and assist in providing the necessary local program support to develop and maintain their sport programs.
- Develop a written action plan to identify goals and objectives for a sport program over the short and long-term.
Special Olympics North Carolina established the first Sport Development Team in 1990. Dot Kohlbach and Mali Hutchinson organized the Equestrian Development Team which served as the model for future Sport Development Teams.
Sport Development Team (SDT) members should have knowledge for the sport and passion for Special Olympics. Members commit to serve on the SDT for 2 years, after which they are eligible for reappointment. Each team should be geographically diverse, having representatives from across the state. SDT members’ backgrounds may include, but are not limited to:
- high school or collegiate-level coaching
- high school or collegiate-level officiating
- competitive participation in the sport
- recreational sport management
- competitive sport management
- professional instruction
- local program coaching