Participation in Special Olympics Youth Programs leads to a greater involvement within the participants' community, increases social opportunities, helps to create strong friendships, provides Families with an opportunity to be active together, and increases quality of life for those with an intellectual disability.
Special Olympics Youth Programs Special Olympics offers child and youth programs designed to help children with an intellectual disability develop basic motor and sport skills through Fun and positive movement experiences. Special Olympics promotes opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, enhance skills and create Friendships.
Active Start (ages 2-6) A Family-centred activity program targeting children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 to 6 Through the program, children learn basic motor skills such as walking, running, jumping, and throwing in a fun and safe environment.
Skills Developed Through Active Start:
1. Physical Skill Acquisition
2. Physical Fitness
3. Social Skill Development
4. Decision Making
5. Knowledge, Understanding, and Appreciation of Physical activity
FUNdamentals (ages 7-12) A continuation of the Active Start program for athletes ages 7 to 12. This program transitions from basic movement skills to basic sport skills while maintaining an atmosphere of Fun and meaningful inter action. This program Also promotes specific sport education, proper nutrition, and social inclusion through participation in positive sport experiences.
Skills Developed through FUNdamentals
1. Learn physical literacy skills.
2. Improves Fundamental motor skills.
3. Participate in a structured physical activity Increase understanding of game structure
What are the benefits for participants?
• Substantial and improved development of physical, cognitive, and social abilities.
• Introduction of positive social experiences through Fun play activities alongside peers.
• Development of self-esteem and a sense of belonging.
• Opportunities to transition into other year-round Special Olympics sport programs offered in many communities around the countries and to continue a lifelong love of sport What are the benefits for parents &caregivers?
• Education For parents/caregivers about the value of sport in the lives of their children.
• Education in nutrition, basic motor skills, and the Special Olympics organization. • Opportunities for parents/caregivers to expand their networks and support systems.
Programs have either started or are just about to start and are looking for more athletes to become involved. If you know of an athlete who would benefit from being a part of the Active Start program, please do not hesitate to contact Sport Program Coordinator– Alexis Wolbaum. by phone at 204-925-5631 or by email.