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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


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

апр 17 - 18 2015

Special Olympics College Unified Soccer Invitational

Join us as April 17-18 as colleges around Washington and surrounding states are invited to participate in Washington's first ever College Unified Soccer Invitational hosted by Seattle University. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
Chara McElfish
Email:cmcelfish@sowa.org
Phone:509-714-0211
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Seattle University
901 12th Ave

Seattle, Washington
UNITED STATES

апр 18 - 19 2015

Spring Sports Basketball Tournament

Special Olympics Vermont Spring Sports is a basketball tournament in disguise. This is an exciting weekend competition that takes places at the University of Vermont’s Patrick Gymnasium. The event includes traditional Special Olympics competition as well as Unified Sports® team basketball.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Vermont
Phone:802-863-5222
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Patrick Gymnasium, University of Vermont
97 Spear Street

Burlington, Vermont
UNITED STATES

апреля 18, 2015

Unified® Ten Pin Bowling Tournament

Join us April 18th at AMF Lanes in Cranston, Rhode Island as our athletes and their Unified Partners compete and show their skill in ten pin bowling competition. Come and cheer them on and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Chris Hopkins
Email:chris@specialolympicsri.org
Phone:401-349-4900
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AMF Lanes
1450 Elmwood Avenue

Cranston, Rhode Island
UNITED STATES

апреля 19, 2015

Regional Swim Meet

Join us April 19th at North Charleston Pool in North Charleston, South Carolina as our as athletes compete and show their skill in aquatics competition. Traditional swim events and unified relays will be offered for this regional competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
Darline Brogdon
Email:darline.amb@hotmail.com
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North Charleston Pool
North Charleston, South Carolina
UNITED STATES

мая 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
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Collins Perley Sports Center
890 Fairfax Road

St. Albans, Vermont
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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