Special Olympics Young Athletes is a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities (ID), ages 2 to 7 years old.
Young Athletes introduces basic sport skills, like running, kicking and throwing, and offers families, teachers, caregivers and people from
the community the chance to share the joy of sports with all children.
Family involvement in the lives of young children is important. Parents, grandparents, caretakers, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins should
have every opportunity to be involved in Young Athletes. Through Special Olympics Young Athletes in the home, families can play together in a fun and caring environment.
How It Works
Young Athletes is activity rich and designed to easily be conducted in the home, at school, or as part of a community program, with resources to span at least 8 weeks. When implemented in more than one setting, the young athlete sees greater benefit, as skill development is reinforced through repetition.
Children learn how to play with others and develop important skills for learning. Children also learn to share, take turns and follow directions. These skills help children in family, community and school activities.
Young Athletes is a fun way for children to get fit. It is important to teach children healthy habits while they are young. This can set the stage for a life of physical activity, friendships and learning.
Young Athletes is easy to do and fun for all. It can be done at home (led by parents), in schools (led by teachers) or in the community (led by coaches and volunteers) using the Young Athletes Activity Guide and basic equipment.
Through Young Athletes, all children, their families and people in the community can be a part of an inclusive team.
Connect with Us
Are you interested in receiving additional resources as they become available? Would you like to get Young Athletes going in your community or school? Or maybe join an existing program?
Click on the Contact Us button below. After filling out the form, someone from our team will reach out to you based on your interests.
MEET OUR FANS
As a parent, we get to meet more parents who have challenges similar to ours. No one looks at you weird like, "what's wrong with your kid?" We all get it. And everyone is there to support each other. Thank you Special Olympics for making programs like this possible.
I know the importance of providing enrichment programs for children. Without the Young Athletes program, I am not sure what else I would find for my son. It is an important stepping-stone into Special Olympics. I have told the parents of a few of my son’s classmates about YA, and now those children are in the program getting the same benefit as my son.