Young Athletes Program

Young Athletes is a unique sport and play program for children ages 2 to 7 with intellectual disabilities. Our focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and physical growth.


Children enjoy games and activities that develop motor skills like balance, flexibility, strength and coordination. In fact, in a recent study, children with developmental delays who participated in a structured 8-week Young Athletes™ program showed significantly more motor development than those who did not participate. Not only that, but their teachers and parents also reported improved confidence, language skills, and social skills. After participating, involved families reported that they played more together at home and in the community.

Young Athletes is easy to get started, fun for all, and a great way to boost confidence and expectations. It can be offered at home, in schools, or in the community using Special Olympics resources, and simple sports equipment. Like all our programs, Young Athletes raises awareness and promotes inclusion and acceptance.

Find a Special Olympics Area program near you to participate. Contact your Region Director if you're interested in starting this program in your Area.