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Special Olympics


Therapeutic Recreation


General Information


Special Olympics Palm Beach County is the grassroots level of Special Olympics Inc., which provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for persons eight years of age and older with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympic athletes and the community.

The Special Olympics Oath “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt”, exemplifies the true spirit of our Special Olympians. Since 1968, when Special Olympics was founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, millions of
Special Olympics
athletes with intellectual disabilities have experienced the benefits of improved physical fitness, greater self confidence and a more positive self image through their involvement.

Palm Beach County has one of the largest athlete programs in the State of Florida with close to 1,200 participants currently enrolled. Active recruitment is an ongoing effort and it is hoped that the local program will grow to more than 1,200 participants in the next few years. The new Club Managers Association of America Therapeutic Recreation Complex in Lake Worth is for our athlete’s county wide to train and compete.

Special Olympics Palm Beach County is a program whose strength and durability are shaped by a dedicated professional staff, a Management Team and hundreds of volunteers in local communities throughout the county. Fundraising, coaching, chaperoning, organizing and coordinating of the competitions would not be possible without the many individuals who donate their time to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

With two seasons of competition and tournaments offered throughout the year, Special Olympians have the opportunity to receive training on a year-round basis. Participants are divided into age groups and then placed in divisions according to gender and ability. This enables the fairest competition possible. Athletes progress from local County Games to Area Games to State Games with limited Regional Competitions and the new National Games with a select few advancing to World Games (held every four years).

Athletic competition is divided into two seasons with additional Tournaments. Tournaments allow athletes to expand their competition opportunities.

      Bowling*, Gymnastics, Power Lifting, Softball*

      Athletics* (Track & Field), Bocce*, Cycling, Motor Activities Training Program, Soccer*, Tennis*, Volleyball*

      Aquatics*, Basketball*, Equestrian, Golf*, Ice Skating, Alpine Skiing, Sailing*

      Unified Sports*

It costs Special Olympics Palm Beach County approximately $200,000 per year to operate the program. These funds are raised through individual donations, corporate support, civic groups and special event fund raisers. Special Olympics Palm Beach County is not a part of the United Way and does not receive money from the national level. Donations are spent directly on the actual program and athlete expenses, as administrative costs are covered by the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners through the County Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, please contact Rich Fleming, County Coordinator, Ryan Gilbert, Sports Director or Dan Fawcett, Games Director at (561) 966-7015, write Special Olympics Palm Beach County, 2728 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL, 33461 or email us at

Contact Information


vsa Arts of Florida Palm Beach  County logo

Special Olympics
2728 Lake Worth Road
Lake Worth, FL 33461
(561) 966-7015
[Email Disclaimer]

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  • Rich Fleming
    County Coordinator
  • Dan Fawcett
    Games Director
  • Ryan Gilbert
    Sports Director
  • Lisa Kuntzman
    Program Director

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