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.


Cambodia - CRS9.jpg

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

Foundational Skills.jpg
Video of activities that develop foundational skills, which help children become aware of themselves and their surroundings. Download: Booklet (PDF) | Card (PDF)
Walking and Running.jpg
Video that highlight different activities to improve walking and running skills. Download: Booklet (PDF) | Card (PDF)
Balance and Jumping.jpg
Video that include activities, like Jumping High and Leaping Lizards, that focus on the core skill of balance. Download: Booklet (PDF) | Card (PDF)
Trapping and Catching.jpg
Video of activities that children use to stop a ball with their body or catch it with their hands. Download: Booklet (PDF) | Card (PDF)
Video that includes activities, like Train Tunnel and Target Practice, that focus on grip, release, aim and other important skills in throwing. Download: Booklet (PDF) | Card (PDF)
Video of activities that teach children how to hit a ball with their hand or an object. These skills develop hand-eye coordination. Download: Booklet (PDF) | Card (PDF)
Video that includes activities, like Penalty Kick and Cone Dribble, that teach children how to kick a ball with their feet. Download: Booklet (PDF) | Card (PDF)
Advanced Sports Skills.jpg
Video of activities that introduce children to basketball, football (soccer) and softball skills. Download: Booklet (PDF) | Card (PDF)

Young Athletes Curriculum

  • Young Athletes Curriculum lessons (ZIP) and resources (all 8-weeks included in one PDF). Resources are in: English | Arabic | French | German | Russian | Spanish
  • 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

Design Materials

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.