SPECIAL OLYMPICS FALL FESTIVAL SERVICES
The Special Olympics Pennsylvania Fall Festival is hosted and organized by Villanova University students and is the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event in the world. To volunteer for SPO, click on the links below to learn more on how to get involved!
JOIN THE INCLUSION CREW!
In joining the Inclusion Crew (IC) Villanova students have the opportunity to be a part of the largest Student-Run Special Olympics Program in the World! Students within this mission-based community volunteer for Fall Fest weekend, partake in Unified Sports® throughout the year, help Special Olympic athletes train at local practice facilities, and most importantly, act as campus ambassadors for the mission of inclusion! There is no application required to join Inclusion Crew and ALL Villanova students are encouraged to join! For information on how to join the Inclusion Crew, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members of the Inclusion Crew take part in Unified Sports® and Athlete Practices!
Unified Sports®: Two Unified Sports® events are offered each semester! Special Olympic athletes from across PA and IC members take to the field together to compete in tournament style play! Sports include volleyball, soccer, and basketball! Reach out to email@example.com to find out more!
Athlete Practices: Members of the Inclusion Crew attend local Special Olympic program practices! At an athlete practice, students can choose to participate alongside athletes, or operate in more of a support capacity. Either way, it is an unbelievable experience to participate in a practice and make lifelong friends! Transportation is always provided! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more!
Members of the Inclusion Crew volunteer during Fall Fest Weekend! Typical roles include:
Awards: Volunteer to be a part of the Awards team and help celebrate the athletes’ accomplishments! Awards volunteers help with checking in the Athletes and their coaches and help with ushering, staging, and organizing medals during the ceremony. It is a great way to be involved during the weekend and a great way to commend the athletes for all the amazing things they do.
Competition: Competition volunteers cheer on the athletes, keep score and time, act as flag/line judges, and fulfill any necessary sport-specific roles. The six competition sports include: Bocce, Long Distance Running/Walking (LDR/W), Powerlifting, Rollerskating, Soccer, Volleyball.
Evaluations: Evaluations volunteers roam the venues and events of Fall Festival gathering feedback from athletes, volunteers, coaches, and spectators using a book of questions that we provide.
Fans in the Stands: The “Fans in the Stands” program creates an upbeat, inclusive atmosphere for both Special Olympics athletes and volunteers. By making signs, clapping, and cheering at one of the six venues, you will help keep the athletes energized during their competitions. Being a “Fan in the Stands” is an incredible opportunity to get involved and share in the athletes' spirit of competition.
Food: Food is an integral part of Fall Festival. Each year, we provide food to over 1,500 athletes and guests. Some of the possible volunteering options include serving food and checking credentials at the entrance of the dining halls. This is a great opportunity to interact with athletes outside of competition. Join the food crew! .
Healthy Athletes: Since officially launching in 1997 as a Special Olympics program, Healthy Athletes has grown to provide a multitude of health screenings for Special Olympics athletes. Healthy Athletes strives to improve athletes' ability to train and compete in Special Olympics competitions. Healthy Athletes volunteers help to run a health clinic on Saturday and Sunday of Fall Festival. In addition to the health examinations that will be conducted at Fall Fest at Villanova, Healthy Athletes sponsors a Healthy Habits fair which provides information on sun safety, hydration, nutrition, bone health, and physical activity. Lastly, we have an Active Athletes component which organizes group fitness classes.
Media & Publicity: Media & Publicity has an exciting volunteer opportunity at Fall Festival! We need volunteers to take pictures of athletes at their competitions. We also are looking for volunteers to act as sideline reporters at competition venues, feeding us real-time updates and video highlights to post on our social media platforms. This is a great opportunity to interact with the athletes and see some competition!
Security: Special Olympics is looking for Security volunteers who are dependable and flexible with time and duties. CPR certification is not necessary but preferable. Volunteers will be responsible for monitoring competition for unsafe situations and work closely with Medical volunteers to ensure the safety and well-being of all athletes. Volunteers looking for a fun enjoyable atmosphere coupled with rewarding service should not miss out on this opportunity!
Transportation: Transportation volunteers will have the exciting opportunity to welcome in the athletes, their families, and all volunteers to Fall Festival! Our volunteers will work as parking/hype crew wherein they will organize vehicles in various parking lots around campus and creating spirit lines. If you are interested in blasting music, dancing your heart out, and create a positive first impression of Fall Festival for all in attendance, Transportation volunteering is the role for you! We will segment volunteers in 1-hour blocks so volunteers will have more than enough time to volunteer with other aspects of the weekend!
Young Athlete Program (YAP): always held on the Saturday of Fall Fest. YAP focuses on children ages 2-7 (both with and without different abilities) to introduce basic sports skills while in a playful and inclusive environment! YAP Pro-Vols can expect to help by running different stations that practice a different skill (such as running, kicking, throwing, etc.) throughout the time allotted for the program. We will also need help attending to an arts and crafts table/a face-painting station! Volunteers will also have the opportunity to take the Young Athletes and their families through O-Town and to Healthy Athletes, allowing participants to really experience Fall Fest and welcome them to the world of Special Olympics. We prefer to have volunteers that can commit to the full time of YAP (which will be 9:30 am until about 2:30 pm on the Saturday of Fall Festival) to make the program as smooth as possible. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers
Additional Leadership Roles:
Local Program Host (LPH): Since its inception in 2002, the Local Program Host (LPH) program has become a way for freshmen students to become involved in Special Olympics and have a profound impact throughout the entire weekend. The LPH program is open to all full-time freshmen students entering their first semester in the fall. The application and selection process takes place in mid-September. Throughout the weekend LPH’s are responsible for being a liaison between the Special Olympics Committee and the county participants to which the LPH is assigned. LPH’s get to know your athletes throughout the weekend, cheering them on during competition, creating posters & cheers to support them, and setting an overall positive and exuberant tone for the weekend!
Volunteer Coordinators (VC's): There is an application and interview for this role A Volunteer Coordinator, commonly known as a VC, plays a vital role in the Special Olympics Fall Festival at Villanova University! The application and selection process takes place in late March. VC’s work with the student committee throughout the fall semester to prepare volunteers to assist with the weekend. Each VC is assigned to a specific venue and becomes a knowledgeable resource for volunteers in that area. Click Here to go to the VC page or hover over the Get Involved Page on the main toolbar and click VC Information
Some of a VC's primary responsibilities include:
• Recruiting and training volunteers
• Delegating volunteers at a specific venue
• Collaborating with Villanova's student committee team
• Supporting and energizing athletes, coaches, and volunteers
The 2022 VC Application process will begin in March/April!