You are here

Special Olympics Partnership

The Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) initiated the partnership at the 2011 NCAA Convention and officially launched the partnership on August 1, 2011.  The purpose of the partnership is to enhance the lives of Division III student-athletes and Special Olympics athletes through a mutual learning experience; provide a platform for recognition of Special Olympics athletes and Division III student-athletes within their communities; and raise awareness of Special Olympics, its programs and services.

Through this partnership, Division III student-athletes across the country are encouraged to participate in existing Special Olympics events, create their own events, or otherwise serve to support Special Olympics organization. The activities pursued by student-athletes will vary in each state and region, tailored to best utilize the student-athletes' time and local resources.  Service activities with Special Olympic athletes range from unified events to sports clinics to bowling as well as pizza parties or fundraising efforts. 

This partnership provides the opportunity for student-athletes to engage with Special Olympics and collaborate with existing student-led programs on campus.  It also serves as another opportunity to demonstrate the citizenship and comprehensive learning attributes of Division III student-athletes. Student-athletes giving back to their local (and often national and international) communities not only adds to the comprehensive learning component of Division III, but also provides a venue for passion and service

March 2018 Special Olympics Spotlight Poll

Special Olympics Spotlight Winner - February 2018

After 3527 total votes, UMW Athletics Welcomes Special Olympics Virginia Athletes to Basketball Doubleheader won the February Special Olympics Spotlight Poll by gathering 49 percent (1755) of the total votes! Mary Washington University will receive $500 to use for its next Special Olympics event.

To submit a story for consideration, please email

Past Spotlight Winners

Month Event
February 2018 UMW Athletics Welcomes Special Olympics Virginia Athletes to Basketball Doubleheader 
January 2018 2017 Loras Special Olympics event
November 2017 Special Olympians build friendships during 'Fall Fun Day
October 2017 Salem College soccer hosts clinic for Forsyth County Special Olympics
September 2017 Wartburg Hosts Annual Unified Sports Day
August 2017 Men's basketball team performs community service
July 2017 Calvin Athletics and SAAC Help with Special Olympics Spring Games
June 2017 Maine Maritime Academy Athletics Hosts Seventh Annual Bocce Tournament
May 2017 Elizabethtown College SAAC hosts Special Olympics swim meet 
April 2017 Averett athletics host Special Olympics regional basketball tournament
March 2017 Mariners Host Special Olympics Basketball Jamboree
February 2017 Luther SAAC Hosted Second Annual Unith Bowl for Special Olympics
December 2016 Commonwealth Coast Conference SAAC Spends the Day with Special Olympics
November 2016 Wheaton College (MA) women's basketball starts season with Special Olympics of Massachusetts / Hamline hosts unified basketball game with Special Olympics
October 2016 SUNY Canton Hosts 2016 New York State Special Olympics Summer Games
September 2016 Framingham State partners with Special Olympics and Albion College bowls with Special Olympians
August 2016 Crown College hosts Special Olympics basketball event
July 2016 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) hosts Special Olympics Unified tournament