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, in partnership with the Virginia High School League, our Champions Together program, which features an interscholastic unified track & field team, an awareness piece and fundraising opportunities.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
New for 2018: Unified Sports® Online Course! This free, one-hour course is designed to explain Special Olympics Unified Sports and offer guidance on how to become a successful Unified Sports coach. Hosted by ESPN’s Kevin Negandhi, the course includes historical background, testimonials, tutorials and quizzes.
Want to be an athlete? A coach? A volunteer? A supporter?
Find out what's happening near you, and help us transform lives through the joy of sport.Find Special Olympics Near You
Want to join or start a Unified Sport in your Area? Contact your Region Director or:
Unified Sports Specialist
Visit our Unified Sports® Resources page for information on activating Unified Sports® programs in your school.Unified Sports® Resources