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Unified Sports®

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.


Unfied Sports® Stories and News


марта 18, 2014 | SOI General: Headquarters

Unified on the Court in North Carolina

By Rebecca Ralston

Energy was high and the competition was fierce as students from the University of North Carolina, along with Special Olympics athletes from Orange County, took on the Duke Blue Devils and local Durham County athletes in the first Special Olympics Unified Sports basketball game.View Story Energy was high and the competition was fierce as students from the University of North Carolina, along with Special Olympics athletes from Orange County, took on the Duke Blue Devils and local Durham County athletes in the first Special Olympics Unified Sports basketball game. Despite a tight game and aggressive play, the home team pulled away with the victory – the game’s final score was Duke – 42, UNC – 37. Nearly 400 students and community members came out to support the teams and shared in the energy, passion and determination of Unified Sports.

About Rebecca Ralston:I work for Special Olympics Project UNIFY with a focus in Youth Leadership.
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марта 18, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Israel

Special Olympics Israel - Unified League - Pairs

By Reuven Astrachan

The I.B.F players and Special Olympics athlete warming up before the beginning of the games

The first round of the Unified League was held on Friday, February 21, 2014. Unified League is a special and unique project that kicked off activities a few weeks ago, in the wake of a cooperation agreement signed between the Israel Bowling Association and Special Olympics Israel.View Story The first round of the Unified League was held on Friday, February 21, 2014. Unified League is a special and unique project that kicked off activities a few weeks ago, in the wake of a cooperation agreement signed between the Israel Bowling Association and Special Olympics Israel. The League will be held once a month until July, and will continue after the summer holidays with additional athletes and players who want to join in the activities. 24 Special Olympics Athletes and 24 Players from 5 clubs of Israel Bowling Federation came from far and wide to the competition held at the Petach Tikva Bowling Center. The Bowling Association players and the Special Olympics athletes played together in a pair format, two pairs on each lane. In each League round, each pair will be allocated to a lane with another pair, which will provide an opportunity for all the participants, from all over the country, to get to know one another. Furthermore, the Club players coach the Special Olympics athletes on a weekly basis, outside of the League competition (each pair at its home club), in order to advance the Athletes, both from a professional aspect as well as from the social aspect (such as: Collaborating as a pair during the game, etc.).

About Reuven Astrachan:Acting National Director & National Sport Director
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марта 18, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Hellas (Greece)

Living and playing unified in Attica

By Joanna Despotopoulou

Special Olympics Hellas athletes receive certificates of appreciation for their participation in the Mainstream Schools National Games.

There was amazing energy and excitement in Attica 22-23 February 2014 as young people from Athens met up with Special Olympics Hellas athletes in so-called Mainstream Schools National Games in Aquatics.View Story There was amazing energy and excitement in Attica 22-23 February 2014 as young people from Athens met up with Special Olympics Hellas athletes in so-called Mainstream Schools National Games in Aquatics. The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs included, for the first time, Special Olympics athletes in Mainstream Schools National Games in Aquatics. The result was a celebration of youth activation that gathered youth together so they could all proclaim “Ime Mesa!” (I’m in!). The President of Special Olympics Hellas, Mrs Joanna Despotopoulou, concluded the day’s events by thanking all those involved, saying “When we play and live unified we create a society where everyone is respected and valued, regardless of their abilities.” At the closing, Mrs Despotopoulou was joined by the President of the Hellenic Federation of Aquatics, Mr Diathesopoulos Dimitrios, to present Certificates of Appreciation to all Special Olympics Hellas athletes.

About Joanna Despotopoulou:Joanna Despotopoulou is president of Special Olympics Hellas.
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Got news or a great Unified Sports® story to share? Share with our online form.


Unified Sports® Events


Date

Event

Location

ноя 22 - 23 2014

Poly Hockey and Unified Bowling Finals

The 2014 Special Olympics Michigan State Poly Hockey and Unified Bowling Finals presented by Water Warriors will occur on November 22-23 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Poly Hockey event will be held at Eastern High School and the Fieldhouse in Lansing, Michigan. Poly Hockey is an adaptive sport similar to floor hockey where athletes use plastic hockey sticks and pucks and play on a flat surface. The poly hockey competition will consist of both team play and an individual skills contests. The Unified Bowling competition will take place at Royal Scot Lanes in Lansing, Michigan. Unified bowling pairs Special Olympics athletes with athletes without intellectual disabilities on the same team. Please use the link below for a complete schedule of events and competition.
For more information
Full Schedule
Aaron Mills
Email:aaron.mills@somi.org
View More

Lansing Eastern High School and Royal Scot Lanes
East Lansing, Michigan
UNITED STATES

ноября 23, 2014

Elena Delle Donne Girls Basketball Clinics - Pennsylvania

Elena Delle Donne, professional basketball player with the WNBA Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year will host two Girls Basketball Clinics for 2 camps of girls ages 7 – 12 and 13 – 18 years of age that will encourage the importance of activating youth to promote inclusion in schools via Unified Sports® through basketball. Unified Sports pairs players with intellectual disabilities with players without intellectual disabilities to play together. The Unified Basketball Clinic will involve students from Episcopal Academy and local Special Olympics athletes.
For more information
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Episcopal Academy
Newton Square, Pennsylvania
UNITED STATES

ноября 29, 2014

Alabama vs Auburn Unified Flag Football Game

Join us as Special Olympics Alabama Unified Flag Football teams participate in the Alabama vs Auburn Unified Flag Football Game at Alabama University in Tuscaloosa. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
Special Olympics Alabama
Email:soaloffice@aol.com
Phone:334-242-3383
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Alabama University
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
UNITED STATES

ноября 29, 2014

Clemson vs South Carolina Unified Flag Football Game

Join us as Special Olympics South Carolina Unified Flag Football teams participate in the Clemson vs South Carolina Unified Flag Football Game at Clemson University in Clemson. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to link and contact information below.
For more information
South Carolina
Phone:803-772-1555
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Clemson University
Clemson , South Carolina
UNITED STATES

ноября 29, 2014

FSU vs Florida Unified Flag Football Game

Join us as Special Olympics Florida Unified Flag Football teams participate in the FSU vs Florida Unified Flag Football Game at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to link and contact information below.
For more information
Special Olympics Florida
Phone:352-243-9536
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Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida
UNITED STATES

мар 12 - окт 12 2014

2014 Special Olympics MENA Regional Games

Join us for the 8th Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa Regional games on 3-10 December in Cairo, Egypt. Thousands of athletes representing countries from around the region will participate in 8 days of peace, celebration and competition in 13 sports. The games will also host a Unified Sports, Special Olympics Youth Summit, Athlete Leadership Congress, Families Forum, Young Athletes Demonstration and Healthy Athletes Screenings.
For more information
View More

Cairo
Egypt

июня 12, 2014

Capital Area Independent Bowling Tournament

Join us on December 6th at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a day of Unified bowling competition. Male and female athletes and Unified partners from Capital/Florida Parishes area will compete in this event. To play, coach or volunteer for this event, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Charles Guillory
Email:chzgil@gmail.com
Phone:225-963-9028
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All-Star Lanes
9829 Airline Hwy

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
UNITED STATES

июля 12, 2014

10 Pin Bowling Championships

Join us on 7 December 2014 at Bowl America in Gaithersburg, Maryland as athletes and Unified partners from around the state compete in day of bowling competition. Events will include: Traditional singles; Ramp assisted singles; Traditional Doubles; Unified Doubles. For schedule details, please refer to the link below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Bowl America
1101 Clopper Road

Gaithersburg, Maryland
UNITED STATES

августа 12, 2014

Capital Area EBR Schools Bowling Tournament

Join us on December 8th at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a day of Unified bowling competition. Male and female athletes and unified partners from the Capital area will compete in this event. To play, coach or volunteer for this event, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Charles Guillory
Email:chzgil@gmail.com
Phone:225-963-9028
View More

All-Star Lanes
9829 Airline Hwy

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
UNITED STATES

дек 12 - 13 2014

2014 Chapter Flag Football Competition

Special Olympics Texas has a serious case of football fever! Flag football is the newest sport out of 22 sports offered, and our state competition is growing each year. Traditional and Unified teams will face off in Waco, and you’ll be amazed at the level of competition, sportsmanship and spirit of our athletes. Athletes will also have the opportunity to compete in individual skill events: Run & Catch, Throwing for Accuracy, Throwing for Distance, Agility and Speed (hands-off), and Flag Pulling. Come enjoy the fun of Texas’ favorite sport!
For more information
More Details
Tela Mange
Email:tmange@sotx.org
Phone:512-491-2928
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Baylor University
Waco, Texas
UNITED STATES

декабря 12, 2014

Capital Area EBR Schools Bowling Tournament

Join us on December 12th at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a day of Unified bowling competition. Male and female athletes and unified partners from the Capital area will compete in this event. To play, coach or volunteer for this event, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Charles Guillory
Email:chzgil@gmail.com
Phone: 225-963-9028
View More

All-Star Lanes
9829 Airline Hwy

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
UNITED STATES

декабря 13, 2014

State Unified Flag Football Invitational

Join on us on December 13th at National Training Center in Clermont, Florida as our athletes and Unified Partners take the field to compete in an exciting day of flag football. Opening ceremonies will be held from 8:45 am - 9:15 am with the first round competition being held from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm and the second round of competition being held from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm followed by awards. For more information please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Akin Joseph
Phone:352-243-9536 ext. 52
View More

National Training Center
1935 Don Wickham Drive

Clermont, Florida
UNITED STATES

фев 23 - 24 2015

2015 Winter Games - Maryland

Join us 23-24 February 2015 at Whitetail Ski Resort in Mercersburg, Maryland for two days of snowshoe and alpine skiing competition. The alpine skiing events will include: Advanced Giant Slalom, Advanced Slalom, Advanced Slalom (Unified), Advanced Super G, Advanced Super G (Unified), Intermediate Giant Slalom, Intermediate Slalom, Intermediate Slalom (Unified), Intermediate Super G, Intermediate Super G (Unified), Novice Giant Slalom, Novice Slalom, Super Glide, Glide. The snowshoe events will include: 25 meter, 50 meter, 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, 1600 meter, 5 kilometer, 10 kilometer, 4 x 100 meter relay, 4 x 200 meter relay, 4 x 400 meter relay, 4 x 100 meter relay (Unified), 4 x 200 meter relay (Unified), 4 x 400 meter relay (Unified). For more information please refer to the details and contact info below.
For more information
More Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
View More

Ski Whitetail
13805 Blairs Valley Road

Mercersburg, Maryland
UNITED STATES

мар 21 - 22 2015

2015 Basketball Tournament

Join us 21-22 March 2015 in Frederick, Maryland as over 400 athletes and 70 Unified partners from around the state compete in two days of basketball tournament action. Events will include 5 v. 5 traditional competition and well as 5 v. 5 Unified competition. For schedule and location details please refer to link below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
View More

Hood College
401 Rosemont Ave

Frederick, Maryland
UNITED STATES

май 6 - июл 6 2015

2015 Maryland Summer Games

Join us 5-7 June 2015 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland as our athletes compete in 3 days of exciting summer sports competition. Events will include: Aquatics – traditional individual events and team relays, Unified team relays; Athletics – traditional and Unified track, mini-javelin, high jump, long jump, pentathlon, softball throw, shot put, standing long jump, tennis ball throw; Bocce – singles, doubles, Unified doubles; Cheerleading – traditional and Unified team competition; Softball – traditional team competition, Unified team competition, individual skills competition. For schedule details please refer to the link, below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
View More

Towson University
8000 York Ave

Towson, Maryland
UNITED STATES

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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.

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