Special Olympics Introduces Athlete Leadership Program

Special Olympics Nevada (SONV) hosted its first Athlete Leadership Training in June 2019 as an opportunity to give athletes a voice and help them share their Special Olympics story with others.

The two-day training, held at the Courtyard by Marriot Las Vegas South, welcomed 10 athletes and their respective speech coaches to learn about public speaking, speech-writing and tips for being ambassadors of the organization. Athlete Leaders are trained to communicate the powerful declarations of hope, acceptance, and courage of athletes around the world; and share the impacts that Special Olympics has had on their lives. Athlete Leaders will speak at events, business functions and other events to help fundraise and raise awareness for Special Olympics.  In addition, they are also equipped with a variety of new skills that they can transfer into the workplace, their school and/or community.

The training covered the ins and outs of Special Olympics; facts about SONV; the ‘Five W’s & an H;’ how to write a speech; public speaking tips; and lessons about appearing on TV or conducting other media opportunities. Each athlete was then tasked with writing and presenting a speech in front of their peers to receive feedback and gain confidence speaking in large groups. SONV Executive Director Terrence Thornton concluded the weekend by presenting certificates and official Athlete Leader polo shirts.

The first class of SONV Athlete Leaders included: Athlete Annalisa Brachelli and Speech Coach Alisa Brachelli; Athlete Jake Roszelle and Speech Coach Krista Roszelle; Athlete Christine McCullough and Speech Coaches Tammy and Mina McCullough; Athlete Rob Doyle and Speech Coach Melonie Poster; Athlete Paul Brooks Jr. and Speech Coach Celeste Brooks; Athlete Tina Knazze and Speech Coach Kim Jackson; Athlete Wesley Oana and Speech Coach Lisa Oana; Athlete Kelvin Rainey and Speech Coach Yolanda Jackson; Athlete Kyle Meservey and Speech Coach Chris Meservey; and Athlete Anthony Pendleton and Speech Coach Lori Lane Pendleton.

Apply to become an SONV Athlete Leader or Speech Coach and learn more about the next training at www.SONV.org/ALP.