Designed exclusively for school teams, the Cool School Challenge gives students in elementary school through high school the opportunity to participate with the combined benefit of raising funds for their school and support Special Olympics Northern California.  Every registered Cool School team that raises $1,500 or more can have 45% of the total money they raise go back to their school to use however they wish.  If your school is recognized as a Special Olympics Unified Champion School you'll get 50% back!   In order to qualify for the donation back, 50% of the team must be students, administrators or teachers at that school.

There are a lot of great reasons for schools to participate in the Cool School Challenge.

  • Instills a sense of pride within the student body
  • Creates teamwork among the students who participate
  • Working together, students build leadership skills
  • Enhances students' esteem through helping others
  • Provides a vehicle to celebrate people with differences and promote acceptance
  • Students feel good knowing that the funds raised will support Special Olympics AND their school


Why Participate in the United Airlines San Francisco 5K/10K & Polar Plunge?

Not only do students have the opportunity to raise funds for their schools, but they will also be supporting Special Olympics Northern California (SONC).  On the playing field, SONC serves nearly 24,000 athletes in 14 sports throughout the year along with promoting inclusion through Unified Sports, which brings together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to play as teammates. On school campuses, SONC impacts more than 130,000 school-aged students by promoting inclusion through the Unified Champion Schools Program, which encourages Unified Sports, Inclusive Leadership programs and Whole School Engagement. SONC is also committed to improving the overall health and well-being of individuals with intellectual disabilities through Healthy Athletes events.  All services offered by Special Olympics are free of charge to children and adults with intellectual disabilities.  

How do I Participate?

The San Francisco 5K/10K & Polar Plunge is a fun way to support local Special Olympics athletes.  There are several ways to participate.  Individuals can register for a 5K or 10K run, they can register to Plunge into the San Francisco Bay, or for the really adventurous type they can run AND Plunge.  Participants register online and pay a flat registration fee if running the 5K or 10K.  Plungers register online and then email family and friends to support their fundraising efforts. 

In order to participate, you only have to raise or pay a minimum of $50, but everyone is encourage to raise more.  Participants who raise a minimum of $125 will receive a very cool Polar Plunge long sleeve T-shirt. There are other incentive rewards that you can earn and don't forget if your school raises $1,500 or more, you can get 45% of the money raised back to your school.  If you are a Special Olympics Unified Champion School you'll get 50% back!   Awards are presented to top fundraisers, best costumes, and the school team that raises the most will receive a plaque to proudly display at school.  Be sure and select the Cool School category when you register.

All participants under the age of 18 must bring a waiver signed by a parent or guardian.

If you have any questions, please contact: [email protected]



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