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Developmental Sports

AJ (from Costa Rica) on the tennis court giving a thumbs up and holding a tennis racket.
Developmental sports provides an age-appropriate introduction to sports for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 6 – 12 years old. Resources for Developmental sports include a comprehensive implementation guide and sport-specific curricula from Special Olympics sport federation partners. These sport-specific, inclusive, and age-appropriate activities are not meant to be structured as a new Special Olympics program or initiative, but rather can be used to support a child’s transition to traditional Special Olympics participation, or as an introduction to Unified Sports.

Special Olympics Developmental Sports Implementation Guide

Coaching Special Olympics Athletes Ages 6 – 12 (English) (PDF)

This guide addresses developmental sports activities for children ages 6 – 12. It is packed with ready-to-use resources designed to help schools, communities, and coaches effectively offer and implement developmental sports activities.

Downloadable PDFs: EnglishSpanishPrinter-Friendly Version (English)

International Youth Sport Partnerships

Special Olympics developmental sports actively seeks partnerships with international sport organizations to demonstrate the unique ability of sports to transcend barriers and serve as vehicle for social inclusion for children and youth with intellectual disabilities.
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Badminton World Federation

Shuttle Time is the school age badminton program created by the Badminton World Federation.
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European Volleyball Confederation

Volleyball Teacher’s Handbook has been provided by the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV).
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iCoach Kids

iCoachKids is a project, under the umbrella of the International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) that provides development opportunities and advanced learning for those coaching children and young people.
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International Floorball Federation

The Floorball Youth Start Up Kit: Teaching Floorball to Juniors is an all-encompassing guide to teaching floorball provided by the International Floorball Federation.
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International Ski and Snowboard Federation

Bring Children to Snow Campaign is the key initiative introduced by the International Ski and Snowboard Federation (FIS) to promote snow activities as the healthy recreational activity for children and youth in winter.
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International Tennis Federation

Tennis 10s Manual is provided by the International Tennis Federation for youth tennis participation.
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Michael Phelps Foundation

The Michael Phelps Foundation has developed resources for developmental sports athletes through its IM Program.
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Mini Basketball

Mini Basketball is a coaching guide along with resources by the World Association of Basketball Coaches and the International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
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National Alliance for Accessible Golf

National Alliance for Accessible Golf has partnered with Special Olympics to create a Golf Coach’s Guide for athletes ages 6 – 12.
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National Youth Sports Strategy

Special Olympics is proud to be recognized along with other NYSS Champions on as part of a growing network of organizations partnering with HHS to improve the youth sports landscape in America.
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Strider Bikes

Transition to Competitive Cycling is a 9-lesson curriculum from Strider Bikes that supports children learning to ride on a balance bike and transitioning to a pedal bike.
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Together #WePlayStrong

Resources will be available soon!
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USA Football

USA Football is the sport’s national governing body and member of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.