Unified Champion Schools

Unified Champion Schools promote social inclusion by bringing together young people with and without intellectual disabilities on sports teams (Special Olympics Unified Sports) through inclusive student clubs, together in school or community-wide initiatives, and by fostering youth leadership. At its core, this Unified strategy is about unifying all students— with and without disabilities—using sports as a catalyst for social inclusion and attitude and behavioral change.

Special Olympics Unified Sports®

Unified Sports is an inclusive program that combines individuals with intellectual disabilities (athletes) and individuals without intellectual disabilities (Unified Partners) on sports teams for training and competition. Athletes and partners compete alongside one another, each in a meaningful and integral role on the Unified Sports team. SOMO offers 21 Olympic-type sports divsioned by age and ability for its athletes and each and every sport has the capability of being structured for Unified Sports if someone is interested.

Whole-School Engagement 

Check out our blog for examples of how your whole school can become engaged in bringing students together. 

Inclusive Youth Leadership

The magic of Unified Champion Schools is manifested in the inclusive friendships formed as youth with and without intellectual disabilities work together as leaders to create communities of caring and respect. Youth become core leaders in their school communities using our School of Character program and Spread the Word to End the Word® as the catalyst for fostering positive school climates. Want to find out more about being a youth leader for the cause? Contact Trish about being part of one of our Youth Summits or starting a program at your school. 

Missouri Association of Student Councils 

Much of the success of our Unified Champion Schools program is due to our fantastic partnership with Missouri Association of Student Councils (MASC). Special Olympics has been the charity of choice for the Missouri Association of Student Councils and its members for over 20 years. Learn more about our partnership

Inclusion Revolution Day

Inclusion Revolution Days have a goal not only to be a fun event for our Special Olympics athletes; but also to promote inclusiveness. The day typically starts with a Pep Rally. After the Pep Rally, Special Olympics athletes and their buddies rotate stations playing games, dancing, eating popcorn and sno-cones, face painting and fun. Participants can take the pledge to Choose to Include by signing a banner. Sports stations can include flag football, bocce, kickball, softball home run derby, cheerleading/dance, and pickle ball. Bocce is a sport that many of our athletes have played but may be new to high school students, so it is a way to see the athletes share their knowledge.


Are you ready to join our movement? Contact Trish Lutz for more information.