ways to Play

Young Athletes Program

Designed specifically for children aged 2 to 12, our dedicated team of coaches and volunteers will guide you through a series of engaging activities with a focus on inclusivity and fostering a love for physical activity. From running and jumping to kicking and throwing, every session is packed with laughter, learning, and new experiences.

young athletes program

Unlock the world of sports for your young one

Jump into an early introduction of Special Olympics through this fun sport and play program, where children stay active and establish healthy habits for the future—setting the stage for a life of physical activity, friendship, and learning.

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Increase in motor skills after children participating in an 8-week Young Athletes Program.


Of parents felt that participation in Special Olympics has raised their expectation of their children.


Of athletes’ siblings felt that participation in Special Olympics brought their family closer together.

Program Details

We offer different programming based on age and ability to best prepare
young ones for their future at Special Olympics.
A man and a girl wearing their volunteer tshirts smiling
A girl standing up and smiling with thumbs up
young athlete

Level 1

Typically, between ages 2-7 years old, we offer an inclusive sport & play program where children learn basic sport and locomotor movements, such as running, jumping, balancing, kicking, and throwing. The children learn how to play with others, to share, take turns, and follow directions, which will help them in family, community, and school activities.

young athlete

Level 2

As children grow physically and emotionally, usually between ages 6-12 years old, they enter a program designed for children who become comfortable with the Young Athletes program. This level focuses on individual sport skill development and early game play concepts.

This is a bridge program for children who may not be ready for competitive Special Olympics team sports but are interested in more structured sport activities like track & field, soccer, basketball, tennis, volleyball, and flag football.

A man with sunglassesA group of three women smiling and waving up
A little girls holding some game flags

Our Athletes In Action

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Seasoned Special Olympics athlete, Ashley Aldrich, is proud to share her story on 2024 Final Leg Team

Ashley, a dedicated Special Olympics athlete and advocate, is proud to join the 2024 Final Leg team! With a positive attitude and years of involvement, she aims to inspire others to join the cause.

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Pro Sports Preview: 2024 PGA Championship

Special Olympics Massachusetts Golfer, Tyler Lagasse breaks down the field and previews the 2024 edition of the PGA Championship. Learn a bit of history and get a sense for what storylines may play out on the course.

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How to run the Boston Marathon as a college student

For lifelong athletes, running the Boston Marathon can be seen as a ''bucket list" item. But how can someone run the Marathon if they aren't selected as a Boston Marathon qualifier?

Young Athletes

Frequently Asked Young Athlete Questions

Couldn’t find what you were looking for? write to us at Ops@SpecialOlympicsMA.org

What is Special Olympics Young Athletes?
How much does it cost to participate in Special Olympics Young Athletes programs?
Are Young Athletes programs adaptive?
How long do Young Athletes programs run?
Can my child without an intellectual disability participate in Young Athletes?

Young Athletes In Action