Coaches come from all walks of life. Some have coaching experience, but many do not. However, they all have one thing in common. They’re committed to Special Olympics New York and the athletes they coach. All coaches must:
- Be 16 years old for certification (and 18 to travel to competitions with athletes)
- Have government-issued identification (driver’s license, military ID or passport)
- Have knowledge and/or experience in the sport being coached
- Commit two to three hours for practice on one day of each week during an eight- to 12-week season
- Spend an additional one to two hours per week on planning during the season
- Commit two to three weekends to competition during the seasons, plus regional or super-regional, national and world games, as needed
- Complete a full application, background check and multiple online and in-person training courses
- Complete coaching recertification every three years
Special Olympics New York is committed to the highest ideals of sport. We expect all coaches to hold the same values. That means:
- Demonstrating respect for others
- Ensure a positive experience for each athlete
- Acting professionally and taking responsibility for actions
- Providing quality service to the athletes
- Creating a safe physical environment
- Teaching your sport’s fundamental skills and rules in a positive way
- Effectively planning for all aspects of your sport’s season
- Directing athletes in competition and encouraging overall health and fitness
- Helping athletes develop their character and manage their relationships
2019 Coach of the Year Joe Stewart
Joseph Stewart was recently awarded the 2019 Coach of the Year for not only being an excellent coach, but for his selfless determination to improve the lives of his students. Joe puts his heart and soul into his coaching, as well as growing Special Olympics New York programming in the New York City schools to provide more students with opportunities to participate in competitive sports.
Joe volunteers most of his free time to provide athletes with sports programming both before and after school and has traveled with the athletes within the region, state, across the country and internationally to participate in Special Olympics New York competitions.
In 2017, Joe prepared his floor hockey team for the World Games in Austria. This required traveling with his team twice a week to practice with their Unified partners, as well as traveling abroad to Austria to supervise and coach his team, who won the bronze medal.
Joe is a certified Special Olympics New York coach in basketball, soccer, volleyball and floor hockey and coaches during every sports season. The instruction and guidance Joe provides to his athletes is exemplary and high level of knowledge and skill of his athletes does not go unseen at regional, state, international and national competitions.
Joe has served as a great resource and spokesperson for us in the New York City Department of Education as we try to further strengthen our relationship and increase sports programming throughout the five boroughs. He has also been attending workshops along with his athletes to present the Special Olympics mission and programming to current and potential donors in order to increase their participation and funding for our programs.
Joe’s hard work does not go unnoticed by his colleagues and administration at the New York City Department of Education, as he was recently a Nominee for the Daily News Hometown Heroes in Education Award and was a finalist out of 8,000 teachers this year for the Big Apple Teacher of the Year Award.