Can volunteers date Special Olympics athletes?
Among the Special Olympics movement’s highest priorities is the well-being of, and respect for the dignity of, Special Olympics athletes*. The purpose of this policy is to make clear Special Olympics policy on volunteers* dating Special Olympics athletes and to protect all participants in the Special Olympics movement, including athletes, coaches and staff, as well as Special Olympics organizations around the world.
Special Olympics prohibits any Special Olympics volunteer (excluding spouses of athletes and athletes who are one-day volunteers) from dating or having a sexual relationship with any Special Olympics athlete. In the event that Special Olympics New Hampshire learns of any dating or sexual relationship, the organization immediately shall require either:
- That the volunteer end his or her association with Special Olympics; OR
- That the association between the volunteer and Special Olympics be terminated.
In the case of a Special Olympics athlete who is also a volunteer, Mary Conroy, President will evaluate the circumstances on a case-by-case basis and determine if an authority relationship exists between the volunteer athlete and the competing athlete. If it is determined that there is such a relationship, then apply the above policy in the same manner as the policy is applied to non-athlete volunteers.
Special Olympics respects the right of athletes to have the full range of human relationships available to other human beings. This policy shall not be interpreted as a limitation on the rights of athletes, but only as a restriction on Special Olympics volunteers.
If you hear about, suspect or have knowledge of a breach to this policy, it must be reported immediately to Mary Conroy, President at (603) 770-4055.
*The terms “Special Olympics athlete” and “athlete” refer to persons with intellectual disabilities. The term “volunteer” includes Unified Partners.