Special Olympics Young Athletes™ is a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old. Young Athletes introduces basic sport skills, like running, kicking and throwing. Children learn how to play with others and develop important skills for learning. Young Athletes™ is a fun way for children to get fit. It is a good way of teaching children healthy habits while they are young. Parents say their children in Young Athletes also develop better social skills. The confidence boost makes it easier for them to play and talk with other children on the playground and elsewhere.
Most Young Athlete programs are eight to twelve weeks in length and meet once or twice a week. Each week athletes focus on the basic skill designated towards that week in a fun atmosphere. Existing Young Athletes programs range anywhere from a handful of Young Athletes in their program, to dozens of Young Athletes in their program. No program is too small, nor too big!