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Sports Essentials

Young Athletes

Special Olympics Young Athletes is a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities (ID), ages 2 to 7 years old.


Young athlete holding two plastic cones attached to one another by a plastic bar.

Young Athletes welcomes children and their families into the world of Special Olympics by showing how all children can be valued for their talents and abilities. The following section includes basic and introductory information on Young Athletes. This section also includes the Young Athletes Activity Guide, which provides activities to run Young Athletes in schools, communities and homes.

Introductory Information

Young Athletes Activity Guide

Young Athletes Activity Videos

Watch Young Athletes have fun demonstrating activities that build critical skills for a healthy life. Gifs are short and repetitive videos that can be downloaded and easily shared over text, WhatsApp, or any messaging service. Gifs are perfect for reaching parents, coaches, and volunteers who need quick examples on how to lead Young Athletes activities at home, school, or in the community.

Young Athletes Curriculum

  • Young Athletes Curriculum lessons (ZIP) and resources (all 8-weeks included in one PDF). Resources are in: EnglishArabicFrenchGermanRussianSpanish
  • Summary Cards Weeks 1 – 8 (PDF): Lesson Summary Cards are provided as prompts for teachers and coaches to use while teaching. They also serve as a resource for families to learn about their child’s experience in the program.


Quality Young Athletes activities begin with well-trained coaches, supported family members and individuals engaged in supporting children through Young Athletes and as they transition to competitive Special Olympics sports opportunities.

Training Young Athletes Coaches

Development Sports

Resources for Families


Additional tools and resources for coaches, teachers, families and Special Olympics Programs supporting Young Athletes.

Resources for School and Community Programs

Registration Forms

Young Athletes Design Materials

Early Childhood Development (ECD) Brand Guidelines

Best Practices from SO Programs


Resources to support implementation of Young Athletes that are in one of Special Olympics’ five (non-English) primary languages: Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, French and Russian. (More resources coming soon.)

Atletas Jóvenes en Español

All resources in this section are in Spanish.

Jeunes Athlétes en Français

All resources in this section are in French.