The Fitness Advisor will advise and support the Special Olympics International (SOI) global fitness team to achieve strategic goals in alignment with SOI’s Sport and Health Division strategic plan. This position is critical to preventing chronic diseases and health disparities and improving overall health and wellness for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), by bringing more Special Olympics athletes into ongoing fitness opportunities and improving the inclusiveness of community fitness organizations for all people with ID. The individual will create and enhance fitness resources, templates and toolkits; advise/ conduct trainings for fitness professionals and SO coaches, athletes and family members/caregivers; and support the establishment and leveraging of partnerships with fitness centers/gyms and associations to deliver on the Special Olympics fitness and inclusive health strategic plan. The position will also work with the SOI Research and Evaluation, Inclusive Health, Health, and Sports teams as needed. The outcomes of the position will increase the number of people with ID participating annually in year-round wellness, including individuals who do not directly participate in Special Olympics.
Primary Responsibilities: (List the key responsibilities in order of importance)
Provide expertise on fitness programming and resource development, including the creation of materials, to support SOI fitness team and SO Programs (countries and states) to deliver highest quality and impactful fitness programming for people with ID;
Support the continued strengthening, development and implementation of fitness programming across SO Programs and departments to weave fitness and health throughout the organization and external touch points;
Serve as driver for an inclusive fitness training curriculum within academic institutions, academies, and certification organizations related to fitness industries;
Advise the in-person and online development of inclusive fitness trainings for fitness professionals and fitness trainings for SO coaches, athletes, family members/caregivers, SO Programs and local communities, and conduct trainings as necessary;
Support the identification and building of partnerships with gyms (e.g. YMCA, Gold’s Gym, Anytime Fitness, etc.) and fitness industry organizations (e.g. SHAPE America, North America Federation of Adapted Physical Activity, National Strength and Conditioning Association, etc.), to bring inclusive health and fitness policy and programmatic changes to benefit all with ID, and to offer volunteer opportunities and promotion of SO Programs and events;
Leverage SO fitness data to further promote the need for improved policies and practices in the fitness industry for people with ID;
Advise on fitness testing and assessments protocols;
Attend, as applicable, industry-related meetings and conferences to speak about the
importance of fitness for people with ID;
Collaborate with other SOI Health and Sports teams, staff, consultants and advisors.
Required Qualifications: (list what the candidate must have to do the job)
Advanced degree in Exercise Physiology, Kinesiology, Adaptive Physical Education/Activity, or similar, relevant discipline (e.g. physical education, health promotion, health administration), preferably with experience in the field of fitness/health;
Experience with and passion for bringing fitness opportunities, access and education to everyone, specifically people with intellectual disabilities;
Network of fitness and health industry leaders, academics, celebrities, companies, associations, etc.;
Proven experience in program development and management, ideally with a focus on improving fitness and health outcomes;
Ability to think creatively, assist with program planning, and deliver on targets;
Excellent written and oral communication skills in English, including ability to communicate
effectively with a culturally and professionally diverse range of stakeholders;
Proficiency in Microsoft Office; and
Ability to work effectively in a team environment as well as independently.
Desired Qualifications: (list any additional qualifications that would make the candidate more desirable)
Experience working with people with intellectual disabilities;
Advanced knowledge of and professional experience in fitness, nutrition and health
promotion, motivation and adherence, including an understanding of the main health
systems challenges in a resource poor setting;
Nationally or internationally recognized fitness certification (e.g. ACSM, NASM, ACE); and
Additional language skills.
Internal Number: SOIFitAdvisor2
About Special Olympics Inc.
The mission of Special Olympics 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.