Young Athletes™ Program

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Young Athletes at 2013 Summer Games



Young Athletes™ Program Sponsor:

Young AthletesTM is an innovative sports play program for children with intellectual disabilities, designed to introduce them to the world of sports prior to Special Olympics eligibility at age 8. Children as young as two years old can begin their journey through Special Olympics as a Young Athlete. It’s just the beginning!

Take the first steps together. Contact Special Project Manager Anne Rogers at (734) 222-8283 or

This program will expand the world of possibilities for your child as they begin to engage in activities they may have never thought possible. Young Athletes introduces children with intellectual disabilities and their families to the world of sports by pursuing the following goals:

  • Engage children with intellectual disabilities through developmentally appropriate activities designed to foster physical, cognitive and social development;
  • Welcome family members to the Special Olympics network;
  • Raise awareness about the abilities of children with intellectual disabilities through inclusive peer participation, demonstrations and other events.

The activities consist of but are not limited to:

  • Foundational Skills
  • Walking and Running
  • Balancing and Jumping
  • Trapping and Catching
  • Throwing
  • Ball Striking
  • Kicking
  • Advanced Skills


“The Young AthletesTM Program gives children a sense of increased mastery and competence. It leads to more willingness to initiate interactions with peers.” -Teacher

Witness the growth of Special Olympics Michigan!!! Volunteer for a local program.