Special Olympics Young Athletes™ is an early childhood sports play program for children aged 2 to 7 years old
that includes games, songs and other fun physical activities.

Our young athletes learn basic sports skills like kicking and throwing a ball and playing with others. Children
with and without disabilities play together. Families also have the opportunity to get involved in the fun and
connect with the Special Olympics community of support.

While young athletes practice their sports skills they gain motor skills like balance, flexibility, strength and
coordination. In fact, in a recent study, children with developmental delays who participated in a structured 8
week Young Athletes™ program showed significantly more motor development than those who did not
participate. Not only that, but their teachers and parents also reported improved confidence, language skills,
and social skills. Another benefit was families played more together at home and in the community.
YOUNG ATHLETES
The focus is on fun activities that are important to mental and
physical growth.  Activities are designed to develop motor skills and
things, play and have lots of fun!  Parents say their children in Young
Athletes also develop better social skills. The confidence boost makes
it easier for them to play and talk with other children on the
playground and elsewhere.
A HEAD START
Family members and supporters see more of the children's abilities, not their disabilities. And everyone
becomes part of the Special Olympics community.

A proud parent says Young Athletes has really made a difference with her son. "Brendan has changed
physically and socially on many levels since he has participated in this program. He's jumping; he's running;
he's hitting balls; he's running bases," she says. He's also "shown a lot of interest socially with his friends and
with his typical peers. It's been an amazing program."

Young Athletes works in many different places. Families can follow the program at home. Schools and
preschools can use it as well.
A NEW WORLD
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"LET ME WIN, BUT IF I CANNOT WIN, LET ME BE BRAVE IN THE ATTEMPT."