Young Athletes is a sports play program designed to introduce children ages two to seven to the world of physical activity. Children with and without intellectual disabilities participate together, prior to and regardless of Special Olympics eligibility at age eight.
The program utilizes physical activities to develop fundamental motor tracking and eye-hand 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 or traditional sports competitions.
YAP was developed in direct response to requests from families wanting to engage their young children in physical fitness. 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 sports competitions.
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 family and friends. For more information, please download our Lesson Plan Guide below.
Children will learn these skills through a series of activities like bunny hop, obstacle course and bean bag throw.
Contact your area office for more information, or you can contact the Director of Outreach and Families at 1.800.876.5646.