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Motor Activity Training Program

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This page draws together Motor Activity Training Program-related information for all of Special Olympics. The coaching materials and other links will help you get a good sense of how this sport contributes to Special Olympics.

Preparing Athletes

The Special Olympics Motor Activity Training Program is designed for athletes who are unable to participate in official Special Olympics sport competitions because of their skill and/or functional abilities. The Motor Activity Training Program is designed to prepare athletes—including those with severe or profound intellectual disability and significant physical disabilities—for sport-specific activities appropriate for their ability levels.

Global Signature Partner for the Motor Activities Training Program (MATP)

The Motor Activity Training program (MATP) is designed for those athletes with severe disabilities whose physical and/or behavioral limitations preclude participation in traditional Special Olympics team and individual sports competitions.  The emphasis in MATP is on training and participation rather than competition. The program develops core motor skills that are linked to Special Olympics official sports and places an emphasis on achieving an athlete’s personal best. Through MATP, Special Olympics demonstrates that people with severe disabilities can also participate and benefit from physical activity and experience social inclusion through sport.

Since 2001, the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) has generously supported the Special Olympics movement, expanding the reach and scope of key programs in health, inclusive sport and community building.  In 2023, the LCIF made a further commitment to support the unique and vitally important Motor Activity Training Program.  Through the support of LCIF, Special Olympics will be able to expand the global reach of MATP, ensuring that adults and children with intellectual disabilities will be able to access high quality, evidence informed sport and training opportunities, helping them to develop fundamental motor skills and sports skills appropriate for their ability levels.  In addition, the partnership will also create increased service activities for Lions Clubs and Leo volunteers in support of Special Olympics athletes and their families.  

Athlete works with rings as as a coach cheers him on.

Motor Activity Training Program Coaching Resources

Coaching guide, rules and other materials for coaches.