Training and competition opportunities are available for every athlete, regardless of gender, age or ability. No matter what their ability level may be, athletes can benefit from Special Olympics. To begin training with Special Olympics read our Steps to becoming an Athlete.
The following are special programs we offer in addition to our regular competitions, which you can read more about here.
Young Athlete Program
The Young Athletes Program, available to children as young as three years old, introduces children with intellectual disabilities and their families to the world of Special Olympics. The Young Athletes Program engages the children through play activities designed to foster physical, cognitive, and social development.
Unified Sports® is a program that combines approximately equal numbers of Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities of similar age and ability on teams that train and compete against other Unified Sports teams. Unified Sports is an important program because it expands sports opportunities for athletes seeking new challenges and increases integration in the community.
Healthy Athletes Program
The Healthy Athletes Program is an initiative developed by Special Olympics Incorporated with a mission of improving the overall health of our athletes through various health screenings. This is a wonderful program that offers our athletes the opportunity to improve their health in an environment that is focused on the needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities.
SOMO offers a week long Sports Camp each summer to give athletes a chance to experience several different sports as well as a traditional camp experience. In addition to sports opportunities, athletes have the opportunity to learn about wildlife, do arts and crafts, fish in the MMA pond, and dance. The 2013 Camp will be a National Games Selection Camp. Find out more about Sports Camp here. If you're interested in participating in our Dare to Dream golf tournament which benefits Sports Camp, click here.
Throughout the year clinics are available to Special Olympics athletes. Check here to see what is currently available.
Motor Activities Training Program (MATP)
This program is designed for persons with limited mobility who do not yet possess the physical and/or behavioral skills necessary to participate in official Special Olympics sports. Challenge Days are a one-day event designed specifically for these individuals so that they too can experience the joy of being a part of Special Olympics.
Individual Sports Skills
Individual Sports Skills allows athletes involved in Special Olympics to develop sports skills in a competitive format. This program is designed to serve as a stepping stone for athletes to compete in non-team sports or as members of a team as they master the skills and concepts that are necessary to advance.
Special Olympics competition places athletes of similar age and ability in divisions to ensure that every athlete has a comparable chance to cross the finish line with dignity. As a result, competitions are much more exciting and fun when athletes of all ability levels are assured of closely contested athletic competitions. In event after event, heat after heat, everyone has a fair chance to compete. Athletes are encouraged to strive for their personal best -- a quest that forever challenges one’s potential and opens the door to undreamed of possibilities, both in sports and in life.
Young Athlete Program Registration Form
General Session Orientation
Principles of Coaching