Help us make a difference!


Unified Sports®

In a Unified basketball game between host Egypt and Algeria, Esraa Hussien of Egypt looks up before shooting. Basketball was one of several sports played that featured teams of people with and without intellectual disabilities.

Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too and much more. Half a million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.


300x200 New Jersey Soccer team

Members of the unified soccer team for Special Olympics New Jersey saw the new unified sports legislation signed into law. Learn More

Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away.

U.S. States Embracing Unified Sports  

Young people with disabilities don't often get a chance to play on their school sports teams, but more and more U.S. states are adopting the unified sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered. The governor of New Jersey just signed a bill into law that encourages schools to make opportunities for sports participation available to all students. Special Olympics New Jersey, which championed the new law, is cited in the new law as a consulting organization. For almost 20 years, Special Olympics has offered sport teams that blend people with and without intellectual disabilities, and that is a model that encourages sports and fun, and which also gets people together to learn more about each other. Read more about the new law in our press release.

Building Unified Sports With ESPN and Disney 

The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics have announced a two-year global initiative that will leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program. With a multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment, Disney and ESPN will support Special Olympics’ goal of registering one million Unified Sports participants--athletes with intellectual disabilities, teammates without intellectual disabilities and coaches--by 2015. Read more about this exciting news.

In addition, thanks to the generosity of Special Olympics Board Member Kim Samuel and her family’s foundation, Special Olympics has been able to build capacity for Unified Sports through technology, enhanced education materials and seed grants to Special Olympics Programs that would not otherwise have the funds to start or expand Unified Sports.


Unified Sports® Coaching Guides

Unfied Sports® Stories and News


abril 22, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

No Differences on the Playing Field

By Maria Jose Gonzalez

I love sports, specially soccer!!! When you work for the world wide leader in sports you have got to love it, but on February 6 2015 we were invited to play a unified game with the Special Olympic Athletes in Mexico and then the love I had for sports meant a whole lot more.View Story I love sports, specially soccer!!! When you work for the world wide leader in sports you have got to love it, but on February 6 2015, we were invited to play a unified game with the Special Olympic Athletes in Mexico and then the love I had for sports meant a whole lot more.I realized that in a soccer field there is only one goal and that the passion for the game is shared by ALL. There are no differences in a playing field, we are all equal and we all want to give our best. The experience while playing the unified game was one of a kind. First of all I have never played with actual members of the Mexico´s National Soccer team, come July I´ll be rooting for them hoping they come home with a gold medal. Second of all I realized that the only boundaries that I could encounter in that field were the ones that limited the side lines and goal lines. Third and last, I was able to recognize a bit of myself in all of my teammates, we all love soccer and we all love to play together.

About Maria Jose Gonzalez:I am the finance manager for ESPN Mexico
Share
View less ▲

marzo 18, 2015 | Latin America: Panamá

Generals of the Unified Basketball Tournament

By Maryorie Patiño

La liga se ha hecho especialmente para preparar al equipo de Baloncesto Unificado que viajará a Los Angeles a los juegos mundiales.

The preparatory league for the unified basketball team to go to the World Summer Games, Los Angeles 2015, continues.View Story The preparatory league for the unified basketball team to go to the World Summer Games, Los Angeles 2015, continues. This March 7 the third and fourth games of the tournament were performed leaving at the head of the table The Generals, representatives of the General Bank. In the first game The Generals defeated The Crickets 55 points by 37, making another 50 points on your score. In the second game The Braves the Special Olympics team in preparation defeated The Roosters 58 points by 55, making their first 50 points.

About Maryorie Patiño:Director of Public Awareness of Special Olympics Panama.
Share
View less ▲

marzo 08, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

Special Olympics Unified Football ESPN Mexico

By Paola Martinelli

ESPN OEM

Special Olympics Mexico and ESPN sports network conducted a unified football match between Special Olympics athletes and the staff of a TV Broadcasting station.View Story Special Olympics Mexico and ESPN sports network conducted a unified football match between Special Olympics athletes and the staff of a TV Broadcasting station. The sporting event that brought together nearly one hundred players, held at the Six Year Plan Sports Complex. Through work on physical activity, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is concerned with inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, and this leads to a society more welcoming and inclusive.

About Paola Martinelli: National Director of Communications and Marketing
Share
View less ▲

Do You Have a Story to Share?

Got news or a great Unified Sports® story to share? Share with our online form.


Unified Sports® Events


Date

Event

Location

mayo 21, 2015

School Unified Bocce and Track

The School Unified Bocce and Track event officially kicks off the 2015 Vermont State Summer Games (a week early) as athletes and unified partners from across Vermont will travel to BFA-St. Albans’ Collins Perley Sports Complex in St. Albans, Vermont to compete, while using bocce and track to promote our schools communities of acceptance and inclusion where all young people are agents of change.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Vermont
Phone:802-863-5222
View More

Collins Perley Sports Center
890 Fairfax Road

St. Albans, Vermont
UNITED STATES

Do you have an event to add?

Tell us about it so we can publish the details to our calendar.

Register Your Event

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.

LEARN MORE»

Follow us11

Ayúdenos a encontrar un atleta más

Donar »

Buscar eventos locales y obtener información sobre oportunidades para voluntarios en una de nuestras 226 oficinas en todo el mundo.

BUSCAR UNA LOCALIDAD PRÓXIMA »

*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan