Play Unified. Live Unified.
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. 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!
New for 2015: Special Olympics Virginia is embarking on a new partnership with the Virginia High School league to develop an Interscholastic Unified Sports® Track and Field program. Interscholastic Unified Sports increases school athletic participation by including a new population of students - the Special Olympics athletes and the Unified Partners.Team members experience invaluable social inclusion and new sports opportunities. Participation changes attitudes about people with disabilities and positively impacts the climate in each school. For more information on this new program, contact Nancy Morehouse, Senior Director of the Southwest Region & Unified Sports Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can click here to access the Unified Sports® Quick Reference Guide, or visit our Unified Sports® Resources page.
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