This page contains a list of common questions that are asked at Special Olympics Ontario. If you don't see the question you're looking for on this page, try using the Search the FAQs.. box or clicking on the section topic title to find more answers.

We are constantly updating our list of frequently asked questions so please check here first for answers to your questions.

General Information

Are there differences between Special Olympics and Paralympics?

Yes, Special Olympics and the Paralympics are two separate and distinct organizations with specific eligibility requirements.

How often are games held?

PROVINCIAL GAMES – Provincial Games are held on a 4 year rotating basis games three of every four years. Athletes must compete at the official Regional Qualifying Competition in order to qualify to attend Provincial Games. Athletes who compete at Provincial Competitions may qualify to advance to National Games. Check Special Olympics Ontario’s Policy and Procedure Manual for the Provincial Athlete Selection Criteria.

NATIONAL GAMES – National Winter and Summer Games are held every two years, on a rotating basis.

WORLD GAMES – World Winter and Summer Games are held every two years on a rotating basis.

What is the Special Olympics Athlete Oath?

“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

What year was Special Olympics Ontario established?

November 1979.

Can I request a copy of the audited financial statements of the charity?

Yes, click here to download a copy of the latest audited financial statement.

Athlete Leadership

Are travel costs reimbursed for coming to an ALPs workshop? 

Any costs incurred when traveling to ALPs workshops are not covered by Special Olympics Ontario. Workshops are organized in a number of communities throughout the province to ensure athletes from different areas are able to attend. 

For additional information please visit: www.specialolympicsontario.com/alps  


Are meals provided during the workshop?   

Yes. Snacks and water are supplied throughout the workshop.  Lunch is also provided halfway through the day. If there are any dietary requirements, that is an option on the registration form to mention.  


How long are you an Athlete Leader after being trained? 

After being trained as a leader, athletes remain an Athlete Leader for 4 years. The ALPs program is continuously changing and athletes are encouraged to sign-up for additional workshops when they are offered in their communities.  Re-taking the workshop will ensure that athletes have the most updated Special Olympics information when acting as an Athlete Leader in their community.  

How can athletes stay connected within the ALPs community?   

Once an athlete completes the ALPs workshop and becomes and Athlete Leader, they will be invited to an Athlete Leadership Facebook group.  This group will allow athletes to connect with other graduates to discuss their experiences, ongoing leadership opportunities and other leadership-related topics. 

Can I receive more information about the topics discussed during my ALPs workshop?   

Yes, any information that you would like to have can be provided to you easily. Contact the ALPs workshop facilitator during the workshop or via email at a later date for any documents that you would like to review.  

Self Service (Membership) Portal

How to find Active programs in your community on the Self-Service Membership Portal

To check currently active programs in your community available for online registration with out being logging in the portal

Copy and paste the following URL in the browser:


From Home page, select Our Programs tab

Select SO Ontario in Chapter Province/Territory field

Select your community in Community field

Click Search

Search Results window will provide you list of all currently active programs.


Why do Athlete/Volunteer profile updates not show up in Membership Reports?

Scenario: I have been updating athlete information today in the Portal and though the changes show up in the individual profiles within the database, when I print out a report the old information is still there and not the updated data.

Scenario: I have approved enrollments but they do not show in club listing.

Portal is front end of MRMS (Membership Registration Management System). There is a time delay between entering information on Portal and being update on the CRM Reports for Portal. System update tools run at midnight daily to sync portal data with MRMS to reflect updates in clubs and reports.



How do I know that we have potential athletes/volunteers on portal?

All new members registered through Portal will be listed in Enrollments Requiring Region or Chapter Approval section of Approving Enrollments window.


Why my Test Portal credentials are not accepted by Live Portal?

Test Portal and Live Portal are two separate databases so credentials of one will not work on other site.. Use Portal User Registration tab to register yourself on both portals separately.

Note: Test Portal is to get training on it, any update done on this site will not reflect in real reports. For real updates use Live Portal.


How do I know on which portal I am logged in?

Check URL of your browser to find out in which portal you are currently logged in.

Test Portal


Live portal


Health Programs

How is consent obtained from athletes?

Athletes and/or legal guardians are required to sign a standardized consent form when they register for an event or on the day of the event if they would like to participate in a Healthy Athletes screening. words  

For additional information please visit:  www.specialolympicsontario.com/health  

Why is data collected?

Data is collected for a number of reasons, below are some the reason why data is collected in conjunction with a Healthy Athletes screening:  

  • To learn about the health needs of Special Olympics athletes, 
  • To create educational materials 
  • To advocate for programs, resources and policies to enhance health care for individuals with 
  • Intellectual disabilities. 
  • To electronically store and retrieve information from screenings

Is data collected during Healthy Athletes screenings?

Yes, data is collected through the Healthy Athletes Software system (HAS), which enables the electronic capture of screening data across the Healthy Athletes disciplines.   

Can athletes not participating in a competition participate Healthy Athletes screenings?

Yes, non-participating athletes, as well as any individual with an intellectual disability (including those who are not registered with Special Olympics Ontario), is eligible to participate in the screening. 

What is required to run a Health Athletes event?

  • A local sporting event or non-sport related event with 70 or more Special Olympic athlete participants 
  • At least 65 days’ notice before the scheduled event 
  • 2-4 rooms/spaces in close proximity to the playing field, gym or event space 
  • Access to tables and chairs (not mandatory) 
  • Scheduled breaks for the athletes to attend the Healthy Athletes screening 
  • Pre-event distribution of the Healthy Athletes Consent Form and event details