Sports Offered

Athletes & Family
Get Involved
Torch Run
Crossing the Finish Line

Get Certified!

Get Certified!

Do you want to get certified in this sport? Do you need to be recertified? Visit Coach.

Is This Sport in My Area?

Is This Sport in My Area?

Check your local program to see if they offer this sport.


Sportsmanship Course

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) developed a complimentary course to give you a better understanding of sportsmanship and how it impacts your specific role in modeling it at all practices and competitions. Insight is shared throughout the course from fans, players, parents, coaches and officials.
The free course takes about 15 minutes to complete and can be found in the NFSH website. This is an extra resource for local programs and coaches, and is currently a part of SONC's advanced coach certification process. Once the course is complete, each coach will receive a certificate. If you have any questions, please contact Andrea Stamm.


Aquatics was first introduced to Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) in 1974, making it one of the oldest competition events. Throughout the past 35 years, aquatics has become one of the most popular sports and a staple event at Summer Games.



Events Offered

SONC offers competition in 28 different aquatics events, ranging in distances from 10 meters to 1,500 meters, and featuring all strokes (backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle).

Individual events are offered for all strokes, and relay events are offered to athletes in two of three levels. SONC offers walking and flotation events for athletes of lower ability.

SONC also offers relay events in the Unified Sports model, featuring athletes with and without intellectual disabilities (called Unified Partners) to compete together.

Athletes may select up to three events from Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3, but must stay within their level. Athletes competing in Level 2 or Level 3 events are eligible for one relay team event.

Level 1
10m Assisted Swim
15m Walk
15m Unassisted Swim
25y Floatation Device
25y Freestyle
25y Backstroke
25y Kickboard

Level 2
25y/50y Backstroke
25y/50y Breaststroke
25y/50y Butterfly
25y/50y Freestyle
100y Individual Medley

Level 3
50y/100y/200y Backstroke
50y/100y/200y Breaststroke
50y/100y Butterfly
50y/100y/200y/500y/1000y/1650y Freestyle
100y/200y Individual Medley

Relay Team Events (Traditional & Unified Sports)
4×25/4×50 Freestyle Relay
4×50 Medley Relay

Competition Opportunities

SONC Summer Games is the state-level competition features six sports and takes place in Raleigh typically the first weekend after Memorial Day.

The Special Olympics Multi-State Aquatics Invitational is hosted by Special Olympics Wake County. This event features aquatics athletes from surrounding states, as well as some from as far as Ohio. It is typically held in late March.


Multi-State Aquatics Invitational Event & Registration Information

Summer Games Sport Registration Forms

Below are the sport-specific registration forms which must be submitted by the local program coordinator along with the remainder of the Summer Games registration.

Summer Games Aquatics Entry Instructions
Summer Games Aquatics Relay Entry Form
Summer Games Deck Pass Application

Michael Phelps Foundation “im” Clinic in Greenville

The Michael Phelps Foundation and Special Olympics are committed to the safety and well being of Special Olympics through water safety and wellness education.  Through im, participants will learn to swim and/or advance their swimming skills, set and attain personal goals and learn about nutrition.  A clinic will be held at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC on Sunday, November 15, 2015. The event is free and will be from 9 AM- 4 PM. If interested please contact Donna Monneyham by November 6th. There are a limited number of slots remaining.

More information can be found here

Michael Phelps Foundation im

Special Olympics Aquatics Page

Sport Development Team

These volunteers advise SONC staff regarding sport rule modifications, competition and also train coaches in their sport! For more information on the aquatics sport development team, contact one of the members below or Joseph Glenn, SONC staff liaison.

Colleen Gillan, Aquatics SDT Director
Marion, NC

Mary Dwyer
New Bern, NC

Patti Wilkerson
Marion, NC

Certified Clinicians

In addition to the sport development team, these volunteers are able to conduct local sport specific training schools on behalf of SONC. Contact the clinician in your area if you would like to schedule a training (their county of residence is located under their name). For more information on becoming a certified clinician, contact Andrea Stamm.

Peter Cowick