Young man with medals around his neck

The motto of Special Olympics is: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Special Olympics is a firm believer in the benefits of engaging individuals with similar abilities in sports training and competition. This provides physical, mental, social, and spiritual benefits for people with developmental disabilities.

Apart from strengthening families, Special Olympics also promotes unity in the community by fostering understanding, equality, respect, and acceptance.

Special Olympics Eligibility

The Stark DD Special Olympics programs are available to individuals who are 8 years and older and reside in the Stark County community. To participate in the Special Olympics program, individuals must be eligible to receive Board Services. 

Children attending any local school, and adults living in the Stark County community are welcome to participate!

Stark DD Special Olympics Programs

Currently, Stark DD is actively involved in seven internationally recognized Special Olympics sports: 

  • Basketball
  • Powerlifting
  • Track & Field
  • Bocce
  • Swimming
  • Flag Football
  • Softball

Each sport encompasses all levels of ability, ranging from competitive to learning the basics.

To learn more about the programs offered by Stark DD Special Olympics, please contact Paula Gardner, Special Olympics Coordinator at 330-479-3750.

Getting Involved with Special Olympics

Special Olympics (copyright) requires that athletes participate at no cost. Community donations help defray the costs of uniforms, equipment, venues, referees and travel expenses. Donations can be made to our Special Olympics Ohio - Stark DD, and mailed to Stark County Board of Developmental Disabilities, 2950 Whipple Ave. NW, Canton 44708; Attention Special Olympics Coordinator. Special Olympics Ohio is a 501c3 organization.

Stark County Board of DD provides support to Special Olympics programs by providing coaches and transportation. To learn more about coaching opportunities, visit Stark DD Careers.

Volunteers are an integral part of Special Olympics programs. All volunteers must complete a Background check and maintain the Class A Certification through Special Olympics. To learn more about volunteering opportunities, contact Paula Gardner, Stark DD Special Olympics Coordinator.