What is the Young Athletes (YA) Program
The YA program is a sports play program designed to introduce children ages two to seven to the world of sports prior to Special Olympics eligibility at age eight. The program utilizes physical activities to develop fundamental motor tracking and eyehand coordination play. Children build these skills by participating in specific activities on a regular basis. The program concentrates on applying the skills learned through these activities in preparation for Special Olympics sports competitions.
The YA program was developed in direct response to requests from families wanting to involve their young children in Special Olympics. The program is solely based on participation; there is no competition. The skills these children learn will improve all areas of their lives, including participating in future Special Olympics Texas competitions.
What is the focus of Young Athletes?
Students will work on skills as part of their school day. These skills may be in line with the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals. One to two times a year there will be a culminating day called the Future Stars Sports Day, during which the students will demonstrate the skills they have learned for
Physical activities for Young Athletes
Walking and running
Balance and jumping
Trapping and catching
Children will learn these skills through a series of activities like bunny hop, obstacle course and bean bag throw.
Benefits To Athletes
Coordination and strenght building
Awareness of self worth and self confidence
Introduction to sports and preparation for competitions when they are of age.
Benefits to Families
Introduces families to the resources and support available within Special Olympics
Offers families the opportunity to share in the success of their future athlete
Find out more about Young Athletes Program in your area. Contact your area director.
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