Through the Young Athletes Program, children between the ages of 2 and 7 are introduced to the world of sport, with the goal of preparing them for Special Olympics training and competition when they get older. The program focuses on the basics that are crucial to cognitive development: physical activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and the application of these physical skills through sports skills and programs.

In addition the Young Athletes Program offers children with intellectual disabilities and their peers opportunities for meaningful interaction that leads to future relationships of mutual respect, friendship and inclusion.  The program also serves as an introduction for new families to use resources and support available within Special Olympics, while providing a vehicle for families to network with each other.

The program is appropriate for various learning situations, preschools, schools and play groups with small groups of young children.  It is also versatile enough for families to play with their young athletes at home in a fun, safe atmosphere.  The flexibility of the Young Athlete Program ensures the opportunity to welcome families and their young children into the Special Olympics family.

For more information about our Young Athletes Program please contact

Young Athlete Parent Testimonial

With this event, he is actually participating. He is engaged and really likes the stations. He is responding to the other kids.


Proud parent to 4 year old Nikolas