Athlete Leadership

Athlete Leadership University

Fall registration opens by Aug. 21 • Spring Practicums due Sept. 18

Special Olympics Indiana’s foundational program is Athlete Leadership University, which meets two weekends per year (Fall and Spring). Starting with the “Introduction to Athlete Leadership” course, athletes learn about Special Olympics, create a personal mission statement, and plan how they can lead in the organization.

Athletes then select one of seven majors — communication, events, governance, health and fitness, sports, technology, and leadership through visual arts. Each major consists of a series of courses leading to graduation two to three years later. Following each class session, an athlete must complete a practicum related to the course topic. Review our Handbook for Athlete Leaders for more details on Athlete Leadership University and the curriculum.

All practicums from Spring 2023 Session are due by Sept. 18. Practicums turned in after this date may not receive credit for the course. All practicum forms are available in the Resource Library under Athlete Leadership.

Fall 2023 Session

Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 7 – 8 at Butler University

Fall 2023 Courses

  • Core Course: Introduction to Athlete Leadership
  • Core Course: Understanding Leadership (must have completed Introduction to Athlete Leadership)
  • Communications: Global Messenger I
  • Events: Event Planning
  • Governance: Athlete Leadership Councils
  • Health & Fitness: Health Advocates (must have completed Introduction to Health & Fitness)
  • Sports: Training Fundamentals (must have completed Principles of Coaching)
  • Technology: Digital Media
  • Technology: Internet Communications or Basic PowerPoint
  • Visual Arts: Leadership Through Visual Arts I
  • Core Course: Leadership Capstone

Fall 2023 Schedule

DAY 1 (tentative)

  • 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Registration and Networking
  • 11:30 AM – 5:30 PM – Opening Session, Course Instruction, including Lunch Break

DAY 2 (tentative):

  • 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM – Course Instruction, including Lunch Break
  • 2:00 PM – 3:45 PM – Closing Session
  • 3:45 PM – Class Photo

* All times Eastern

Hotel Information

SOIN ALU has arranged for a block of rooms at the Drury Inn Carmel. SOIN is not paying for the rooms, we only reserved a block of rooms at a special rate. You must make your reservation by September 6 to take advantage of the special rate. You will be asked to hold your rooms with a credit card. Please contact your county coordinator for more information in August 2023.

Contact Elesia Yoon with any questions.

General Information


Graduates of Athlete Leadership University become members of the Special Olympics Indiana Athlete Leadership University Alumni Association. This special group of athlete leaders promotes the organization through numerous leadership roles in various projects and management teams. The association newsletter, ALPs Alumnus, is publish quarterly. For more information, contact the association at

*Area and County Programs that seek to involve athletes in leadership roles are required to attend a two-hour certification session.

Athlete Leadership Councils

Athletes who participate in ALCs discuss ideas and problems, respond to program proposals, make suggestions, and propose recommendations to the State Office and County programs. Athletes have the opportunity to participate in their County ALC and State ALC.  The SOIN Board of Directors approved the athlete-led recommendation for every county program to have an Athlete Leadership Council (ALC) by the end of 2022. The Indiana Athlete Leadership Council was reimagined in 2019 and added to the SO Indiana organizational by-laws. The policy provides guidelines to counties for participation in the statewide ALC. For more information, read the Athlete Leadership Council Overview and the Athlete Leadership Council handbook.

ALU Partners:

Butler University College of Education logo

Current Leadership Opportunities

Visit Leadership Opportunities to explore how you can use your leadership skills.

ALC Registration Form

Ready to register your local ALC? Fill out the ALC Registration Form

SO Indiana State Office Contact

Elesia Yoon
Dean, Athlete Leadership University
Director, Organizational Development

Please visit our Resource Library for more information about current and upcoming Athlete Leadership University semesters.