Special Olympics Young Athletes is a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities (ID), ages 2 to 7 years old.
The program introduces children to basic sport skills like running, kicking and throwing. Young Athletes offers families, teachers, caregivers and people from the community the chance to share the joy of sports with all children.
Everyone benefits from Young Athletes
Children with ID who took part in an eight-week Young Athletes curriculum saw seven month's development in motor skill. This is compared to a three month gain in motor skills for children who did not participate.
Parents and teachers who took part in the Young Athletes curriculum said the children learned skills that they will use in school. The children were more enthusiastic, confident and social.
Young Athletes provides opportunities for families to come together to share challenges and rewards. Family members say that the program raised their hopes for their child's future.
Young Athletes helps children develop important movement and sport skills. These skills get them ready to take part in sports and recreation activities when they are older.
Inclusive play has a benefit for children without ID as well. It helps them to better understand and accept others.
More information about the Young Athletes Program as part of the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023 will be available on this page soon.
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