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.
Young Athletes welcomes children and their families into the world of Special Olympics. Research conducted by Special Olympics and their partners found that:
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.
Email us to find out more
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 here for free access to the course.
Email us if you would like to start Young Athletes at your Club!
After 2 months of participation in Young Athletes, children with intellectual disabilities experienced a seven-month gain in motor skills.
The benefits of Young Athletes continue even after the program ends. At 5 and 10-month follow ups, children who participated maintained a 4-month advantage in development.
91% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that participation in Young Athletes made them more hopeful about their child’s future.