Special Olympics Nebraska

About Special Olympics Nebraska

Mission:“To provide sports training and competition in Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendships.”

Special Olympics Nebraska (SONE)

Currently serves over 3,500 athletes in the state of Nebraska. While sports are at the heart of the organization, SONE offers many opportunities and programs to its athletes and their families. Here is a glimpse at what SONE has to offer:


SONE offers year-round sports training and competition in 19 Olympic-type sports to individuals with intellectual disabilities, ages 8 and above. It provides for competition at all ability levels by assigning the athletes to “competition divisions” based on actual performance and/or preliminary heats and age. This way, whatever division an athlete is placed in, they have a chance to advance to State, National and International Games. SONE annually conducts seven state-level competitions and 35 regional level competitions.

Healthy Athletes

This program provides initial health screenings, provides emergency treatment and makes referrals for follow-up treatment when necessary. The program includes Opening Eyes, Special Smiles, Healthy Hearing, FUNfitness and Health Promotion. In 2009 at the state Summer Games, SONE screened more than 1,000 athletes, and sent numerous athletes home with glasses. All of this was provided free of charge to the athletes.

Athlete Leadership Program (ALPS)

This program allows athletes to explore opportunities for participation in roles previously considered “non-traditional.” Athletes are paired with mentors from the community and are taught workplace leadership and public speaking skills. Through ALPS, athletes serve on Boards of Directors or local organizing committees. Athletes excel as spokespersons, team captains, coaches and officials.

Young Athletes Program

The Young Athletes Program is an innovative sports play program for children ages 2-7 with intellectual disabilities and their peers, designed to introduce them into the world of sports. The benefits to this program have been proven worldwide. First and foremost, these activities will help the children improve physically, cognitively and socially. This program also raises awareness of the Special Olympics program and serves as an introduction to the resources and support available within SONE.

To volunteer or to donate contact: Joyce Uber, Administrative Assistant

Giving Opportunities:


Team Nebraska In July of 2010, SONE will be sending a delegation of about 300 athletes and coaches to the Special Olympics USA National Games. A donation to Team Nebraska will help to pay for uniforms, housing, travel and meals for the delegation as they represent Nebraska and compete at this high-level competition.

Summer Games This is the largest state competition held during the year. Over 1,200 Nebraska athletes compete in this three-day event that is host to seven different sports. A contribution to the Summer Games campaign will help to provide quality competitions for athletes from all over the state.

Sponsor An Athlete Help an athlete be a part of SONE. By sponsoring an athlete you will be providing someone with the opportunity to be a Special Olympics athlete. Athletes and their families do not have to pay for the training, competitions and other programs offered by SONE. It is through donations that these amazing people are able benefit from the organization.

Volunteer Opportunities:


Special Olympics 2010 USA National Games Nebraska will host the USA National Games in July of 2010 in Lincoln. The Games would not be possible without the help of more than 8,000 volunteers. Volunteering is an easy and rewarding way to get involved in one of the biggest events ever held in Nebraska. To learn more visit www.2010specialolympics.org.

Summer Games 1,500 volunteers are needed for Summer Games each year. This army of volunteers is vital to the success of the games. Volunteers are needed in a variety of capacities including timing, scorekeeping, escorting athletes and awarding medals.

Unified Sports Unified Sports teams mix players with and without intellectual disabilities. By playing together in a variety of sports ranging from basketball to golf, Unified Sports athletes improve their physical fitness, sharpen their skills, challenge the competition, overcome prejudices about intellectual disability and, of course, have fun.

Coaches Coaches are a critical component of SONE’s work. Coaches serve as role models and character builders, giving Special Olympics athletes awareness of their worth, ability, courage and capacity to grow and improve.

Other Information

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