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. Young Athletes offers families, teachers, caregivers and people from the community the chance to share the joy of sports with all children. Children of all abilities take part, and they all benefit.
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, in schools or in the community using basic equipment. Through Young Athletes, all children, their families and people in the community can be a part of an inclusive team.
Young Athlete events are designed with the idea of “learning through play”. Events are offered by some Area programs, as well as at Winter and Summer Games. Stations are set-up that include hippity-hop balls, obstacle course, parachutes, tunnels, throwing, running, etc.