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


March 24, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: France

2015 Basketball School World Champions to be show how to Play Unified

By Sabine Menke

The demonstration opportunity follows a partnership agreement signed between Special Olympics and the International School Sport Federation, organisers of the Championship.

For the first time, a Special Olympics Unified Basketball demonstration will take place at the 2015 Basketball School World Championship in Limoges, France from April 18 to 24.View Story For the first time, a Special Olympics Unified Basketball demonstration will take place at the 2015 Basketball School World Championship in Limoges, France from April 18 to 24. Two Special Olympics France Unified Basketball teams will be involved with young players training from 15 to 18 from a high school and special needs institution who have been training together since October 2014. “I made new friends and we share together very good moments” says Christopher, 18. Alexis, aged 15 and playing basketball since 2010, says: “We have learnt respect”. For Maxime, 15 years old, she now has “a new mind set, a more interesting way of playing.” Coach Eric Noireaud commends the athletes for their team spirit “During their training sessions, athletes and partners have got to know each other. They have developed a mutual friendship. They have learnt to play together and respect their differences”.

About Sabine Menke:I am responsible for Unified Sports and Youth Activation in Europe Eurasia.
Share
View less ▲

March 20, 2015 | Europe Eurasia: France

Special Olympics France Unified Basketball demo game at ISF Basketball World Championship

By Nathalie Dallet-Févre

Special Olympics France will present two Unified basketball teams at the Basketball School World Championship to be held in Limoges (France) from April 18 to 24, 2015.View Story Special Olympics France will present two Unified basketball teams at the Basketball School World Championship to be held in Limoges (France) from April 18 to 24, 2015. This major sport event is organized by the International School Sport Federation (ISF) and UNSS its French branch. It will gather around 700 young players from around the world. During the opening ceremony, Special Olympics athletes and partners will play a demonstration game of unified basketball. This is one of the first initiatives following the partnership agreement signed in September 2014, by Laurent Petrynka, President of the ISF and Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics International. The Special Olympics French Unified basketball players are aged from 15 to 18, and come from a secondary school and a special institution. Christopher, 18, says: “I made new friends and we share together very good moments”. Alexis, aged 15 sums up: “we have learnt respect”. Their coach, Eric Noireaud states that “during their training sessions, athletes and partners have got to know each other. They have developed a mutual friendship. They have learnt to play together and respect their differences”.

About Nathalie Dallet-Févre:Nathalie Dallet-Févre is CEO of Special Olympics France
Share
View less ▲

March 08, 2015 | Latin America: El Salvador

Unified Athletics Tournament

By Guisele Calderón

On October 24 we held a Unified Athletics tournament where athletes, families, coaches and volunteers participated in competitions full of joy and inclusion.View Story On October 24 we held a Unified Athletics tournament where athletes, families, coaches and volunteers participated in competitions full of joy and inclusion. Unified Sports program is the greatest challenge to promote the inclusion of athletes through sport. The participation of athletes with and without disabilities is the best example of the potential of sports social integration. Special Olympics Unified Sports brings together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities, called "Unified partners", to train and compete in the same team. Twenty unified peers who competed in the tracks of Estadio Jorge "Magico" Gonzalez in different tests. The judges of the event came from the Salvadoran Athletics Federation, who at all times encouraged the athlete and unified partners.

About Guisele Calderón:Marketing Coordinator, Communications and Public
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

Mar 28 - 29 2015

Unified® Duckpin Tournaments

Athletes across the state of Rhode Island will be competing in Unified Duckpin Bowling tournaments at Town Hall Lanes in Johnston, Rhode, Island. Athletes and Unified partners will compete in teams of 4. Teams will compete on a selected competition day. Saturday March 28th competitions will be held from 2:30-4:30pm. Sunday, March 29th competitions will be held from 12-2pm.
For more information
More Details
Chris Hopkins
Email:chris@specialolympicsri.org
Phone:401-349-4900
View More

Town Hall Lanes
1463 Atwood Avenue

Johnston, Rhode Island
UNITED STATES

Apr 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
View More

Seattle University
901 12th Ave

Seattle, Washington
UNITED STATES

April 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
View More

AMF Lanes
1450 Elmwood Avenue

Cranston, Rhode Island
UNITED STATES

Apr 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
View More

Patrick Gymnasium, University of Vermont
97 Spear Street

Burlington, Vermont
UNITED STATES

April 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
View More

North Charleston Pool
North Charleston, South Carolina
UNITED STATES

May 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 us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 226 worldwide locations.

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU »

Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »


Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »



*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan