VOLUNTEER’S MOTTO: TO THE WORLD I AM ONE PERSON, BUT TO ONE PERSON I AM THE WORLD
Balance 180 is always looking for wonderful volunteers who love working with kids! Volunteering with our athletes is a very rewarding experience. Your time with us will bring so many smiles and special moments, and leave you with lasting memories. Check out our great volunteer opportunities below. No prior experience is required.
- Special Olympics Young Athletes Program (YAP): YAP is an innovative and adaptive sports program for children with intellectual disabilities and their peers who are between the ages of 2 and 7. The goal of YAP is to introduce these children to the world of sports and help develop their motor, cognitive, social, adaptive and communications skills in an inclusive environment. Our volunteers work one-on-one with our athletes to encourage them during the activities, adapt stations according to their ability, and be a great friend. YAP meets once a week during sessions in the Fall and Spring.
- Adaptive Gymnastics: Gymnasts with physical or intellectual disabilities learn foundational skills on the vault, bars, beam and floor in a step-by-step, individualized process. Our volunteers work one-on-one with the athletes and help each athlete work at his or her own pace. Volunteers focus on helping the athletes improve motor skills and encourage them to follow instructions and make new friends. Adaptive gymnastics runs in sessions during the Fall, Spring, and Summer. For an insider perspective of what it’s like to volunteer in the adaptive gymnastics class, check out this wonderful BLOG from one of our awesome volunteers, Emily!
- Recreational Gymnastics: Our recreational gymnastics classes are structured so that a group of athletes follow the instruction of experience gymnastics coaches to learn foundational gymnastics skills on the vault, bars, beam, and floor. Our volunteers assist in the groups by keeping the athletes moving, demonstrating/watching difficult stations, and working with some of our more challenging athletes who need a little extra support. For instance, a volunteer may work with an athlete who is having a hard time independently following instruction or with an athlete who has a disability, but does not need the same level of support as our athletes in the adaptive gymnastics class. Prior gymnastics experience is not required, but can be helpful. Recreational gymnastics is a year-round program and classes are offered at different times throughout the week.
- Summer Camp: Camp is an inclusive program for typically developing children as well as children with special needs. Campers will receive gymnastics instruction and will have the opportunity to learn a dance, make crafts, play games, and do team building activities with their peers. Volunteers work one-on-one with our campers with special needs and some may assist with leading the different activities- crafts, games, etc. This volunteer opportunity is also available to high school students who can join us as junior camp counselors. Camp is offered during the last three weeks of July. If you are in town over the summer, you do not want to miss out! To volunteer, please fill out this application and survey and we will be in touch with more information.
- Group Volunteering: Balance 180 is always open to having large or small groups of people come in and volunteer together. Opportunities are always available for groups to volunteer in these areas, and at special events that Balance 180 puts on. If you are a part of a group that is interested in volunteering please fill out this form. (Click Here)
If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for Balance 180, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will join us in making a difference in the lives of our athletes and the Gainesville community!