7000-313 Athlete Assistant

7000-313 Provincial Games: Athlete Assistant

Review Date: February 2021        

Effective Date: February 2021


It is understood that some athletes normally travel with or require the service of an Athlete Assistant to assist them in the completion of essential daily life activities.

Policy Statement

Special Olympics Ontario (SOO) believes in the inclusion of all eligible athletes. This policy serves to ensure that athletes who require assistance with essential daily life activities will have the necessary support they require to be able to participate at Provincial and National Games.

This policy does not afford Athlete Assistants for those with behavioral problems or disorders as expectations outlined in the Athlete Code of Conduct is the expected standard throughout all Special Olympic activities/events etc.


This policy is intended to assist athletes who would otherwise be unable to attend the Games. A request for an Athlete Assistant must only be submitted if an athlete would be otherwise unable to attend the Games in the absence of support with essential daily life activities, and this support would be unable to be given by coaches, managers, or mission staff.

SOO will work with the appropriate stakeholders to make the decision whether to grant the request for an Athlete Assistant.


Definition of an Athlete Assistant:

The Athlete Assistant must be a registered volunteer with SOO and as a result must submit a completed Police Records Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening to SOO no later than 14 days prior to the commencement of the games.

An Athlete Assistant
is a caregiver that accompanies an athlete to the Games to assist that athlete with essential daily life activities. The Athlete Assistant is not a coach, manager, or member of the mission staff and must not act in any of these capacities at the Games. The Athlete Assistant will be given the same accreditation access as the athlete and will reside in the Games’ Village (will be required to stay in the same room) in order to assist the athlete. The Athlete Assistant will travel with the athlete to and from the Games, remain with the athlete at all times, provide all assistance required by the athlete for daily life activities and be responsible for the well-being of the athlete.

Essential Daily Activities

Essential daily activities include; bathing, dressing, toileting, and medical needs such as blood glucose monitoring, intravenous medication, catheterization/colostomy management etc.

Athlete Assistant Application Process

The Athlete Assistant Application and a letter from the athlete’s family doctor or primary care physician outlining and supporting the need/rational for an Athlete Assistant is a mandatory requirement.  Applications will not be accepted unless both documents are provided.

Applications must be received by the deadline oulined by SOO’s Sport and Competition Developer.

Requests must be sent to:

Sport and Competition

Email: games@specialolympicsontario.com

The SOO Athlete Assistant Eligibility Committee will convene to review all applications. Once a decision is reached all involved parties will be notified within 30 business days.  All decisions made by the Athlete Assistance Eligibility Committee are final.

Athletes approved to have an Athlete Assistant accompany them to the Provincial Games will not be automatically approved to have an Athlete Assistance for National Games. A new application will be submitted to Special Olympics Canada for approval.

Athlete Assistance Fees

The fee for an athlete assistant will vary depending on the level of Games and the location.

Provincial Games fees may range in price from $350 – $500 (includes ground transportation, accommodations and meals. Uniform and airfare costs are extra).

If approved for National Games, National Games fees may range in price from $1000 – $1500 (includes registration fees, ground transportation, accommodations. Uniform costs and airfare is extra).

When travel by flight is required, the Athlete Assistant will be required to book their own airplane travel and flight costs is to be paid by the Athlete Assistant or their designate of choice. All major Canadian Airlines have a travel companion policy where by the travel companion travels free of charge or for a marginal cost.

The Athlete Assistant fees are payable directly to SOO no later than 30 days prior to the commencement of the games.