Special Programs

Participation in sport helps people with intellectual disabilities become more confident, active citizens and learn important physical and emotional life skils. But, we offer more than just sport – we run education, early intervention training and health screening programmes to create more inclusive communities and improve the general health and wellbeing of our athletes.

Our athletes are encouraged and trained to take on leadership roles through its Athlete Leadership Programme® which supports personal growth and development in areas such as ambassadorial, public speaking, coaching and volunteering.

Play Unified is a Special Olympics global campaign inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to understanding, acceptance and friendship, breaking down the barriers that exist for people with intellectual disabilities.

Young Athletes is an innovative sports play programme for children with intellectual disabilities designed to introduce them to the world of sports prior to Special Olympics eligibility at age six.

The Athlete Leadership Programme provides a way for athletes to showcase their talents and interests, undergo training and learn new skills.   The Programme gives Special Olympics athletes the opportunity to take on new roles and responsibilities, on and off the sports field.

The Healthy Athletes Programme is dedicated to providing health services and education to Special Olympics athletes, and changing the way health systems interact with people with intellectual disabilities.