Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too, and much more - in a really fun way!
Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.
“Unified Sports is an unbelievable opportunity to become a part of something much greater than we are as individuals," said Unified Partner April Staton. "Being part of their team as a coach or a partner allows you to see and feel much more.”
Unified Sports® teams are made up of an approximately equal number of athletes (people with intellectual disabilities) and Unified partners (people without intellectual disabilities). Our Unified teams dramatically increase inclusion in the community, using sports to help break down barriers that have historically kept people apart. Teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all.
We offer unified basketball, soccer, volleyball, bowling, and track & field teams in many Area programs across Virginia. We also offer Unified Sports for pre-school through college students as part of our Unified Champion Schools program.
You can become involved in one of our Unified Sports® programs as a teammate or coach, or help us start a new Unified team in your community or school! To get involved in Unified Sports®, contact your Region Director or Nancy Morehouse, Senior Director of the Southwest Region & Unified Sports Specialist, at [email protected].
Want to learn more? Take our Coaching Unified Sports Online Course.