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Special Olympics Washington

52. Recreation Spotlight Special Olympics

Community Recreation Spotlight:

Special Olympics Washington

The opportunity to participate in sports and recreational activities is important for everyone.

Details related to the “where,” “what” and “how” of our participation in sports and recreation may vary, but regardless of where we find our best fit, the benefits of recreation abound. Physical activity can improve both our health and wellness, and provide other, more intangible benefits such as peer connection and friendships, community engagement and the development of leadership skills.

Special Olympics is a non-profit organization with a global impact. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver to provide recreational and sporting opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities, the program has expanded to support over 5.7 million athletes worldwide in some 200 countries and jurisdictions. (Click here to read more about the history of Special Olympics.)

In our state, over 19,500 athletes take part in programs offered by Special Olympics Washington. Youth can begin training and competing in Special Olympic activities at age eight. (There is no upper age limit for athlete eligibility). These athletes are supported in their programs by more than 10,000 volunteers, who serve as coaches and game officials, fundraisers and event staff.

Snohomish County is part of the Cascade Division of Special Olympics Washington. Depending on the season, sports opportunities may include: Alpine skiing, Athletics (a Track-and-Field based program), Basketball, Bowling, Powerlifting, Snowboarding, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Volleyball. To learn more about sporting opportunities in Snohomish County, contact



Marysville Special Olympics
Eligibility: Athletes age 8 or older with an IEP in Marysville School District
Sports: Soccer (M/W) and Track & Field (T/TH)
Contact: Kathy Vanney – / 425-210-5904
Lake Stevens Special Olympics
Eligibility: Athletes in the Lake Stevens School District
Sports: Swimming (T/W/TH)
Contact: Patty Studdard –
Other Programs
Contact: Cascade Division Area Director


Whitney Stohr is a Parent to Parent Coordinator at The Arc of Snohomish County. She is passionate about advocating for medically complex children and children with disabilities and their families. She is a mom and medical caregiver herself, who is energized by working closely with other parent/family caregivers. She lives with her four-year-old son Malachi and husband Jason in Lynnwood. Connect with her on Instagram @rollin.w.spinabifida. Contact:

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The Arc office is open by appointment only

Monday - Friday from 10am - 3pm

127 E. Intercity Ave. Suite C
Everett, WA 98208

(425) 258-2459