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Young Athletes

Special Olympics Young Athletes is an early childhood play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 8 years old.

Young Athletes offers families, teachers, caregivers and people from the community the chance to share the joy of sports with all children.

Young Athletes introduces basic sport skills, like running, kicking and throwing.

A Head Start

Young Athletes welcomes children and their families into the world of Special Olympics. Research conducted by Special Olympics and their partners found that:

Children with intellectual disabilities who took part in Young Athletes developed motor skills more than twice as fast as others who did not take part.

Parents and teachers of children who took part in the Young Athletes curriculum said the children learned skills that they will use in pre-primary school.

Family members say that Young Athletes raised their hopes for their child’s future.

Young Athletes helps children get ready to take part in sports when they are older.

Inclusive play helps children without a disability to better understand and accept others.

Young Athletes at Home

Young Athletes offers families a collection of resources and activities for inclusive play at home. Share in the joy of sports with your child!

Young Athletes activities make it fun and easy to continue your child’s learning at home.

Resources for Families


Young Athletes at Home

Young Athletes offers families a collection of resources and activities for inclusive play at home.


Young Athletes at Home Guide

Guide for families and caregivers to continue at home the Young Athletes activities their child is doing in a school or community program.

Resources for Coaches

Quality Young Athletes activities begin with well-trained coaches, supported family members and individuals engaged in supporting children through Young Athletes and beyond.

Special Olympics Australia’s Young Athletes Coach Accreditation course provides practical tips and resources to support community coaches, educators and parents to improve the fundamental movement skills of young Australians, helping make the pathway to physical activity more accessible for all children.

The curriculum and activities have been developed by Special Olympics Australia with the support and collaboration of Sport Australia, Gymnastics Australia and Department of Social Services.

Sign up for free access to the course.