FUNdamental Sports (formerly MATP)
FUNdamental Sports includes three core principles: Foundational Skills, Unified Partners, and No Limits. Together, these three concepts put the “FUN” in FUNdamental Sports. This program establishes individualized programs for athletes ages two and older who, due to their physical and/or developmental abilities, are working on foundational motor skills to prepare them for possible competitions in official Special Olympics events. As the athlete learns the sport progressions, he/she comes closer to acquiring skills considered essential for participation in official Special Olympics competitions and daily life activities. FUNdamental Sports are also designed for athletes who are unable to participate in official Special Olympics sport competitions because of their skill and/or functional abilities
Through the inclusion of Unified Partners as one-on-one assistants, the athletes and partners have the opportunity to develop friendships. Additionally, the Unified Partners will have the opportunity to grow in their awareness of the athletes’ unique abilities. FUNdamental Sports athletes participate in a variety of sports that have been adapted to accommodate all ability levels.
Participation is accomplished through use of adapted equipment and physical assistance that are matched to the individual’s level of need. Athletes are not limited in the number or types of equipment and assistance that is used in order to achieve success.
After completing a minimum eight-week training program, athletes participate at the Infinitus Games. “Infinitus”, which means “unlimited”, offers athletes a culminating event to display learned skills in a variety of sports.
Athletes receive awards for participating and striving towards demonstrating their personal best efforts at the Infinitus Games.
These games are now offered outside of the school based program at Area, Regional and State Level Personal Best Events.
1. Provide opportunities for athletes to acquire abilities considered essential in the skill progressions leading to participation in official Special Olympics sport competitions.
2. Provide opportunities for athletes to improve daily life skills.
3. Provide opportunities for athletes to develop friendships with Unified Partners.
4. Provide opportunities for athletes to demonstrate the acquired skills at the Infinitus Games culminating event.
5. Inform coaches, teachers, parents and others of the goals and objectives of FUNdamental Sports and how it fits into Official Special Olympics sport programs.
6. Provide coaches with the necessary skills to organize and conduct FUNdamental Sports programs and Infinitus Games events.
Through the support of their families and community members, the athletes are enabled to transfer acquired motor skills into their daily activities at home and in the community. FUNdamental Sports focus on five areas of basic motor skills which improve the athletes’ sport skills as well as daily life activities. Following are examples of sports and life activities impacted by improved motor skills:
● Mobility – increased movement can lead to Track & Field, Cycling, Gymnastics, rolling over, sitting up, and wheelchair independence.
● Dexterity – control of an object can lead to Basketball, Golf, Tennis, using a spoon to eat, and picking up a pencil.
● Striking – can lead to Softball, Bowling, Volleyball, Badminton, hitting a switch, playing video games, and activating a communication device.
● Kicking – can lead to Soccer, Flag Football, and improved balance.
● Swimming – can lead to skills competition, along with increased endurance, muscular strength, and relaxation.
Contact your Special Olympics Area/Program Director for more information. To locate the office closest to where you live, go to sotx.org/area-offices.