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What We Do

Young Athletes & Developmental Sports

SUMMER SEASON PROGRAMS

Please join us for our summer season Story Time series on Zoom, starting Thursday, July 9th! We will be meeting on the following dates @ 5:30 pm:

Thursdays: July 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th, 6th, 13th

We will be reading a fun children’s story each week, with different movements incorporated into the reading. The link to register for the Zoom meeting can be found here.

The weekly handouts with some activity ideas to go along with the readings will also be posted below:


Young Athletes

Special Olympics Young Athletes is an inclusive sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities (ID), ages 2 to 7 years old. Young Athletes introduces basic sport and motor skills, like running, jumping, 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. Children of all abilities take part, and they all benefit.

Children learn how to play with others and develop important skills for learning. Children also learn to share, take turns and follow directions. These skills help children in family, community and school activities.

Young Athletes is a fun way for children to get fit. It is important to teach children healthy habits while they are young. This can set the stage for a life of physical activity, friendships and learning. Young Athletes is easy to do and fun for all. It can be done at home, in schools or in the community using the Young Athletes Activity Guide and basic equipment.

Young Athletes At Home

A new resource page, Young Athletes at Home, is now available to families. The webpage includes resources to run Young Athletes activities at home, including the Family Flashcards, At Home Guide and Activity videos. This page will be updated regularly with new materials and also includes COVID-19 specific resource for families with young children from key SO partners. The Young Athletes at Home page can be shared directly with families and educators to encourage children to continue YA activities at home (consider using the short link for easier sharing: https://resources.specialolympics.org/YAFamilies).


Developmental Sports

Special Olympics Young Athletes provides children with a general introduction to the fundamental gross motor movements that will help them become more successful in sport. While children can participate in Young Athletes through age seven, as children get older, they are often ready for more sport-specific coaching and instruction.

Developmental sports activities can provide an age-appropriate introduction to sports for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 6-12 years old. Sport participation helps children develop physically, mentally and socially and contributes to the development of long-term healthy lifestyles. The fundamental skills and training opportunities gained through developmental sports activities can support children in their growth as Special Olympics athletes and unified partners. Developmental Sports is a great option for children who aren’t necessarily ready for a competitive team yet, and still provides the benefits of being in a team environment. Sports covered during a Developmental Sports seasonal program include track & field, soccer, floorball, softball, basketball, tennis, badminton, volleyball and flag football.


Young Athletes (ages 2-7)


IMPORTANT (COVID-19) INFORMATION:

Our Return to Play and COVID-19 Safety Guidelines can be found here. We will continue hosting our virtual Zoom classes into the fall season and will continue to monitor the state guidances to determine when it will be safe to return to in person programming again. For any questions, please contact Eric Archambault.


Resources

Please check out the Athlete Fitness and Young Athletes resource page on our website! This page is filled with great activity ideas, exercises, stretches and tips to help you stay active at home.

A new resource page, Young Athletes at Home, is also available to families. The webpage includes resources to run Young Athletes activities at home, including the Family Flashcards, At Home Guide and Activity videos. This page will be updated regularly with new materials and also includes COVID-19 specific resource for families with young children from key SO partners.

Sign up for our Young Athletes/Developmental Sports email list!


Program Locations

Please refer to the map below to find a Young Athlete program location near you. You can select the icons on the map which includes a link to each program’s registration form. All programs meet at different times during the year. As that information becomes available, we will inform you through email.

Any new Young Athlete program locations will be added to this map throughout the year as well.

Starting a New Program:

If interested in learning more about how to start a Young Athletes program within your local community groups, Early Childhood Centers, Pre-K/Elementary Schools, agencies and universities, we would love to work with you to make that happen! The Special Olympics Young Athletes Resources page contains everything you would need to start a program including the Young Athletes activity guide, instructional videos and coaches training guides.

Please contact Eric Archambault for more details.

Developmental Sports (ages 6-12)


IMPORTANT (COVID-19) INFORMATION:

Our Return to Play and COVID-19 Safety Guidelines can be found here. We will continue hosting our virtual Zoom classes into the fall season and will continue to monitor the state guidances to determine when it will be safe to return to in person programming again. For any questions, please contact Eric Archambault.


Resources

Please check out the Athlete Fitness and Young Athletes resource page on our website! This page is filled with great activity ideas, exercises, stretches and tips to help you stay active at home.

The Special Olympics Inc. Developmental Sports resource page can be found here.

Sign up for our Young Athletes/Developmental Sports email list!


Program Locations

Please refer to the map below to find a Developmental Sports program location near you. You can select the icons on the map which includes a link to each program’s registration form. All programs meet at different times during the year. As that information becomes available, we will inform you through email.

Any new Developmental Sports program locations will be added to this map throughout the year as well.

Starting a Program:

If interested in learning more about how to start a Developmental Sports program within your local community groups, Elementary Schools, agencies and universities, we would love to work with you to make that happen! The Special Olympics Resources page contains introductory information and sport specific resources to use when starting a program.

Please contact Eric Archambault for more details.

Transition

Once an athlete reaches the age of 8 years old, they become eligible to join one of our community based programs that train and compete in the different Olympic style sports that Special Olympics Massachusetts offers. This is the next step in participation after completing the Young Athletes and/or Developmental Sports program.

To find a community program near you, please contact Eric Archambault for more details.