A group of Special Olympics Minnesota athletes and volunteers walk across a track

Competition, Health & Training Associate

Posted April 16, 2019

Special Olympics Minnesota (“SOMN”) seeks a confident, service-oriented, organized person with a sports background to support key elements of SOMN’s core sports and training mission.

The Competition, Health & Training Associate will directly support SOMN’s corps of volunteer coaches by maintaining and continuously updating a full training program that prepares and certifies people to coach the 16 sports offered year-round by SOMN, including managing, updating and publishing sport-specific handbooks, self-guided online training tutorials and other tools to support an informed and effective statewide coaching team that delivers SOMN’s core mission in local communities throughout the State of Minnesota. Additionally, this person will be responsible for managing five or more sport-specific regional- and state- level meets and tournaments throughout the year including all planning, scheduling, and day-of onsite management. Overall management for the rollout of SOMN’s Fit5 program—a fitness resource providing tips and information to lead a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, nutrition and hydration—rounds out the means through which this position improves opportunities for athletes to perform at their best, builds positive attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities, and builds the capacity to support goals.

The successful candidate will join an established mission-delivery team focused on providing excellent sports, health, leadership and inclusion programs in communities throughout Minnesota through SOMN events, community partners, and schools. Throughout each sport season, this position will work directly with the full mission-delivery team and senior leadership to evaluate approaches, implement improvements and achieve growth and quality goals in a collaborative team setting, while providing the highest level of service and support to SOMN’s athletes, volunteers, families and supporters.

This position requires an organized, adaptable person with a strong understanding of organizing meets and tournaments; comfortable with understanding how a wide variety of sports are coached, played and managed; and able to uphold the rules of competition while cultivating positive relationships.

Required: At least 1-3 years of experience in sports (may include, but is not limited to, playing, coaching or officiating) and 1-3 years of work experience.

Preferred: Formal training or commensurate experience in a related field, such as sports management, meeting and event planning, training and education, etc.; experiencing organizing games/meets/tournaments; experience in a customer/client/participant -facing position providing support, supporting positive experiences, and cultivating constructive relationships while upholding quality standards and rules.

A Plus! Experience participating in, volunteering for or running Special Olympics events; experience using the Special Olympics Games Management System; experience playing in, coaching and/or organizing team sports (e.g. hockey, basketball, softball); experience developing and/or providing trainings, classes and/or workshops.

Position requires work and travel outside normal business hours, on-site management of events—sometimes in temperature extremes, lifting of heavy items, driving cargo vans and/or commercial trucks, and other duties as assigned. A valid driver’s license is helpful.

Special Olympics Minnesota offers a first-rate compensation and benefits package including generous work-life balance benefits such as 4+ weeks of paid leave accrued during the first year, more than 11 paid holidays and flexible scheduling. Group medical, dental, vision, life, disability and transportation benefits are combined with an innovative benefits allowance plan enabling individual direction of employer benefit investments to suit each individual’s unique needs. Tax-advantaged 401(k), HSA and FSA accounts provide beneficial financial planning tools, along with an Employee Assistance Program offering quick, free online resources and assistance with everyday issues and work, family and personal challenges. SOMN’s offices are located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, with access to a fitness center that’s free for tenant use, indoor bicycle storage, and multiple retailers. Optional, company-paid MetroPass cards, allowing unlimited rides on most Metro Transit routes, are available.

Submit application materials via email to [email protected] (preferred); via fax at 612.333.8782, attention Human Resources, or via delivery to Human Resources, Special Olympics Minnesota, 900 2nd Ave S, Ste 300, Minneapolis, MN 55402.

Special Olympics Minnesota is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.

Other ways to get involved

Volunteer at an event
Become a coach
Become an athlete
Become a Unified Partner


Unified Schools Program Management Internship – 2019/2020 School Year

Program description

Unified Schools is an inclusive school-based program designed to bring together students with and without intellectual disabilities to participate in activities promoting physical fitness and athletic training, youth leadership, and disability awareness. This education and sports based strategy aims to develop leadership and advocacy skills for all students in the school community.

Position responsibilities

  • Participate in department meetings and activities respective to the role
  • Develop and create content to capture and engage schools
  • Collaborate with other Special Olympics staff to advance Unified Schools marketing and programming resources
  • Contribute during brainstorming sessions to develop upcoming programming initiatives
  • Attend Special Olympics events and competitions in an event manager position

This individual will receive an exit review/evaluation from department staff recapping their work and involvement with the Unified Schools Program. He or she will leave with an increased understanding of the event planning and the inclusive school programming listed above as well as experience working in a large nonprofit organization.


The Unified Schools internship is open to college sophomores, juniors, and seniors or recent graduates majoring in an appropriate field. Candidates must be available to work a minimum of 20 hours per week during normal business hours, with flexible scheduling, and must commit to an entire school year. This position will be compensated $1,000 per semester. The Unified Schools internship may count toward course credits.

Some characteristics we are looking for in an intern and that will make them successful in this position:

  • Self-directed and self-motivated to engage in meaningful and impactful work
  • Able to take the initiative and complete intern responsibilities independently
  • Self-ware and is able to serve as an advocate for the Unified Schools program and demonstrate the values associated with Special Olympics Minnesota


The Special Olympics Minnesota office is located in downtown Minneapolis. Candidates applying for this position must be prepared to take public transportation or pay for parking. The Unified Schools intern will be required to travel to some off-site events as needed.


To apply, please send a cover letter, writing samples, and resume to [email protected].

Event Management Internship

September-December 2018
Approximately 150-200 hours

Special Olympics Minnesota is seeking a motivated individual to fulfill a 2018 Event Management Internship.

Special Olympics Minnesota Special Olympics Minnesota offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities year-round sports training and competition. Through Special Olympics’ athletic, health and leadership programs, people with intellectual disabilities transform themselves, their communities and the world.

Candidates should possess excellent communication and organization skills. This internship is a volunteer unpaid position based in our Minnesota office located in downtown Minneapolis. The position will work closely with Special Olympics Minnesota staff in coordinating school/college events and state competitions through State Summer Games, June 22-24. Must be able to work evenings and weekends as events are scheduled.

The Event Management Internship Responsibilities include:

  • Volunteer outreach
  • Assisting with the coordination and planning of local/regional/state competitions
  • Creating Unified sports experiences
  • Attendance at various events and state competitions
  • Data entry into Games Management Software, GMS
  • Projects as assigned

Interested candidates should submit cover letter and resume to [email protected].

Job Coaching Internship

Special Olympics Minnesota (“SOMN”) is offering an internship with our staff to work directly with and support SOMN’s receptionists, who are people with intellectual disabilities. This internship is a great opportunity for hands-on experience working with SOMN’s athlete population in a business setting, and a great resume-builder for those training in social work, occupational therapy, job coaching and related fields.

The internship will feature:

  • Opportunities to earn real-world experience working directly with people who have intellectual disabilities, coaching them to accept, prioritize and complete tasks. Primary tasks will include general reception duties, but receptionists also assist all other staff through a variety of other projects. Interns will gain experience across a wide range of administrative tasks and standard Microsoft Office software.
  • Opportunities to gain experience working in an office setting on a variety of administrative tasks as part of coaching and supporting SOMN’s staff members.
  • Opportunities to evaluate and communicate strengths to better support receptionists by coaching other staff as to what type of tasks they’re best suited for.  Gain experience collaborating with staff to identify skill-level-appropriate projects.

The internship:

  • Is a volunteer opportunity open to college juniors and above.
  • Requires a minimum of 12 hours per week. SOMN must first fill a Monday-Wednesday-Friday internship from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. before other time slots can be considered.
  • Most work will occur at SOMN’s offices in downtown Minneapolis, nearby many Metro Transit bus and light rail lines. SOMN’s office in Oracle Centre is skyway connected for easy access to all the restaurants and retail outlets in downtown.

SOMN offers year-round sports training, competition, leadership, health, wellness and inclusion programs to all Minnesotans regardless of age or intellectual ability. In addition to work with SOMN’s marketing team, interns have the opportunity to volunteer additional time for other SOMN events, if interested, to increase the training and experience afforded by their internship.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected].

Community Outreach Internship – Bemidji

Special Olympics Minnesota’s Program Department currently seeks a community outreach intern in the Bemidji area. The community outreach intern is tasked with helping to develop and maintain relationships between colleges and universities in the Bemidji area and the Special Olympics Minnesota program, recruiting student and faculty volunteers, piloting Special Olympics Minnesota initiative programs, and assisting with local team administration as needed.

The community outreach intern will have the opportunity to:

  • Develop relationships with local colleges, students, faculty, and administrators
  • Establish new programming for the Bemidji Community Special Olympics team
  • Participate in local leadership team meetings and assist in volunteer management

In the course of the internship, individuals will gain experience:

  • working in a collaborative team environment to accomplish shared goals,
  • recruiting and managing volunteers, and
  • communicating and marketing to internal and external audiences

The community outreach intern will receive an exit review/evaluation from department staff recapping their work and involvement as the community outreach intern. The intern will leave with an increased understanding of, as well as experience, working as part of a non-profit program team.

Program description
Special Olympics Minnesota is an inclusive program designed to bring individuals with intellectual disabilities to participate in activities promoting physical fitness and athletic training, youth leadership, & disability awareness and advocacy.

Internships are open to college freshman, sophomores, juniors, and seniors or recent graduates majoring in an appropriate field. Candidates must be available to work a minimum of 20 hours per week during normal business hours, with flexible scheduling.  The community outreach internship may count toward course credits.

The position is located in Bemidji with some potential for remote work.  Interns will be asked to travel as needed within 10 miles of Bemidji.

To apply
Please send a cover letter and resume to [email protected].