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Young Athletes

Special Olympics Young Athletes is an early childhood play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2-7 years old. Young Athletes introduces basic sport skills and fundamentals like running, kicking and throwing. This program offers families, teachers, caregivers, and others in the community a chance to share the joy of sports with all children completely free of cost.

Young Athletes Program Models

YOUNG ATHLETES IN COMMUNITIES

The Community Based Model is implemented in a community setting (park, church, school facility, recreation center, etc.) by trained volunteers and coaches.

YOUNG ATHLETES IN SCHOOLS

The School Based Model is implemented in a pre-school, day care, or elementary school setting in classes, conducted by a teacher.

YOUNG ATHLETES IN HOMES

The At-Home Model is implemented at home by a parent, caregiver, or family members.

Benefits Of Young Athletes Program

Motor Skills

Children with intellectual disabilities developed motor skills more than twice as fast as others who did not take part, for a seven-month gain.

Social, Emotional, And Learning Skills

Children learn important skills that are useful in pre-primary school and throughout life.

Fun And Easy

Learn how to play with others in an inclusive environment that’s fun and engaging.

Sport Readiness

Young Athletes prepares children for participation in sports when they are older.

Acceptance

Inclusive play is beneficial to everyone in the community so that we better understand and accept each other.

Physically Active

It is important for children to learn healthy habits at a young age. This program encourages staying physically active while learning!

Get Started Today!

Whether you are looking to enroll your child in a program, launch your own Young Athletes Program, volunteering or just looking for more information, we’ve got you covered. Click on the link below to submit an inquiry and a staff member will be in contact with you soon!

Join a Young Athletes Program

Are you interested in signing up your child to participate in a Young Athlete Program?

Host a Young Athletes Program

Are you interested in starting your own Young Athletes program or maybe you are interested in volunteering for Young Athletes?

Get More Information About Young Athletes

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Additional Resources

YOUNG ATHLETES ACTIVITY GUIDE

This is a comprehensive guide for Young Athletes that covers everything from getting a program started, specifics on activities used in the program, and tips for doing programs at home, schools and communities.

GUIDE FOR NEW PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH INTELLECTUAL DISABILITIES

This is a resource guide to support parents and families of children newly diagnosed with intellectual disabilities.