Without volunteers, Special Olympics Northern California would not exist.  We depend on the time, energy and dedication of thousands of energetic volunteers to fulfill our mission.

Today we boast the extraordinary support and time of 20,000 volunteers and volunteer coaches. 

ANYONE can get involved! Special Olympics volunteers include students, retirees, corporate groups, professionals, civic organizations, and families.  If time is limited, day-of-event volunteer opportunities are available to people as young as 10 years of age, as long as they are accompanied by their parent or guardian.  Coaches and others can start at 14.

"day of" volunteer opportunities

You don’t need coaching experience or specific training working with persons with intellectual disabilities.  We have great staff, mentor coaches and coaches’ training to get you going.  If you have a love for the sport, time to commit, and a willingness to make a difference, you can help us change lives.  Explore the many roles you can choose from.

explore the volunteer roles

To learn more about volunteering please email info@sonc.org.

To complete a volunteer application, please follow the steps below.

Become a Volunteer

Please complete each step to be cleared as a volunteer coach with Special Olympics Northern California.

Volunteer Application

Complete our online application and submit photo ID to register or renew as a volunteer.

Background Check

Only Adults (18+) must complete a background check.  The estimated cost is $10 and is valid for three years. 

Volunteer Orientation

All volunteers must complete the orientation which includes concussion and protective behaviors training.

A Coach's Testimonial

Coaching Special Olympics is incredibly awesome and rewarding. I love walking into practice and being greeted by smiles and hugs; watching athletes blossom as they learn new skills and sports; working with athletes and their families to encourage them to take on new challenges; seeing athletes succeed at the new challenges and watching their face light up when they finish a race or competition. I love being a Special Olympics Coach and volunteer – it has enhanced my life in more ways than I can count.

Suzy A.

Long time coach and volunteer