Special Olympics Oregon

Inspire greatness. No other maxim could be more fitting for Special Olympics Oregon, an organization that, at every level, flourishes or fails on its ability to empower individuals. It applies, of course, to the remarkable athletes who, by their very greatness, inspire the staff, board, and volunteers, and extends to excite the community as a whole.
Here in Oregon, while Special Olympics Oregon serves close to 5,000 athletes throughout the state, nearly 70,000 people with intellectual disabilities could benefit from participating in Special Olympics. Still growing, Special Olympics Oregon is efficiently expanding programs to get closer and closer to serving every individual with intellectual disabilities that qualifies to participate in Special Olympics.

The mission of Special Olympics Oregon is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults 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 Olympics athletes, and the community.

Special Olympics Oregon offers training and competition opportunities in 15 different Olympic-style sports. There are three seasons throughout the year, with four statewide competitions: Winter Games, Summer Games and Fall Games.

With 4 State Games events and 14 Regional Competitions, Special Olympics Oregon holds events in every region of the state, every month of the year, providing athletes the opportunity to be competing and training all as often as they choose.

Special Olympics athletes train intensely for eight weeks prior to each State Games event. Volunteer coaches are responsible for training the athletes. Volunteers must complete a certification program prior to becoming Special Olympics coaches and must attend training schools before each season.

Special Olympics Oregon (SOOR) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization incorporated in the state of Oregon to provide sports training and athletic competition for persons with mental disabilities. SOOR is accredited by Special Olympics, Inc. (SOI) and responsible for following the policies and rules established by SOI in the delivery of services in Oregon. It is known as a Program of SOI. A volunteer Board of Directors provides policy decisions and long-range planning for SOOR. The Board employs a staff of people to implement the day-to-day operations.

A Local Program (LP) consists of a local group of individuals with mental disabilities who wish to train and compete in Special Olympics and a Local Program Coordinator (LPC) willing to organize safe, quality training for these athletes. The LPC oversees all aspects of the LP including training, competition, fund raising, public relations, family involvement, financial responsibilities and administration.

Special Olympics Volunteer Oath: I promise to give of the time in my life so that Special Olympics athletes can have the time of their lives. I promise to support Special Olympics not just as an expression of charity, but as a form of respect for my fellow human beings. I promise to spread the word of volunteerism because, in giving, I receive so much more in return.

ACTS International Mission Statement

 The mission of ACTS International is to provide, present, and promote the gospel of Jesus Christ, using sports as a way of communicating with youth; to equip youth with the knowledge and skills necessary to make healthy life-style choices, especially concerning abstaining from the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and regarding sexual abstinence until married; to disciple youth in the Word of God in small groups; and to establish youth into the local church.




ACTS started in 1988 with the Saturday Sports Program. Joe Martin, Executive Director, had a desire to present the gospel in a setting where non-churched children and their families would feel comfortable. The focus of the ministry has always been on adults playing and working alongside the youth, not coaching from the sidelines, because we understand the need to form relationships with youth in order to earn the right to speak into their lives. For ten years Joe and several volunteers ran the Saturday Sports Program on the weekend.

In 1998 Martin sold his business and began raising missionary support in order to devote himself full-time to the ministry. Since then, ACTS has grown to serve over 700 young people and their families annually in four weekly programs and several annual events.