Young Athletes is a unique sport and play program for children ages 2 to 7 with intellectual disabilities. Our focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth.
Children enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills like balance, flexibility, strength and coordination. In fact, in a recent study, children with developmental delays who participated in a structured 8-week Young Athletes program showed significantly more motor development than those who did not. Not only that, but their teachers and parents also reported improved confidence, language skills and social skills. After participating, involved families shared that they played more together at home and in the community.
"My proudest moment is when I see my oldest son cheering for Nick at Special Olympics events, looking at him with sincere love and admiration. My second proudest moment is when others view him that way as well!"
Young Athletes is easy to start, fun for all, and a great way to boost confidence and expectations. It can be offered at home, in schools, or in the community using Special Olympics resources, and simple sports equipment. Like all our programs, Young Athletes raises awareness and promotes inclusion and acceptance.
Find a Special Olympics Area program near you to participate. Visit our Unified Champion Schools Preschool/Elementary page to learn how Young Athletes activities can be incorporated in school setting.