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.
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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.

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A little girls holding some game flags

Our Athletes In Action

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Introducing Content Squad Athlete Leader Amanda Church

Do think you could swim 25 yards while carrying the weight of two metal rods? Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall Fame athlete Amanda Church does just that every time she jumps in the pool.

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First-time bowler takes home the Gold at the Traditional State Tournament

Sara Lynn is Special Olympics Massachusetts athlete from Living Independently Forever Inc. Cape Cod (LIFE) who participated in bowling for the very first time this year; but that is not all that Sara did.

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First-time swimmer takes home the Bronze at Bridgewater State Qualifier

First-time Living Independently Forever (LIFE) Special Olympics athlete swimmer Matt Oremland competed in his first Special Olympics Swimming Qualifier at Bridgewater State University.

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