The Special Olympics of Virginia is the state program of Special Olympics Incorporated, whose mission is "to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community."
Since 2005, Center for Sport Leadership students have volunteered at various Special Olympics competitions such as alpine skiing, basketball, bowling, volleyball, golf and swimming, as well as its annual fundraiser, the Polar Plunge.
Interacting with the athletes has been very rewarding for students such as Andy Farrell, who said "It was a great experience. The smiles on the athletes' faces really made it worthwhile! One athlete told us that he loved us and we were his best friends after he received his first place ribbon. You can't put a price tag on things like that!"
The Center for Sport Leadership continues its service-learning opportunities with the Special Olympics, finding more ways to get involved each year.