What is MATP?

The MATP is for athletes who cannot compete in official Special Olympics sports because they cannot physically perform movements or cannot follow the rules due to cognitive or behavioral limitations. The focus of MATP is on training and participation, rather than competition. For this reason, there are no official rules for competition. Emphasis is placed on achieving personal bests, and it allows for adapted equipment and physical assistance.

Challenge Day

After the eight-week training program is completed, a Challenge Day is offered that meets the needs of every participant and lets the athlete share his/her developed skills with family and friends. Participants are awarded based on participation, not place. Instead of competitions, there are skill stations where athletes are given the opportunity to demonstrate their personal best.


  1. Orient coaches, therapists, teachers and parents to the basic methods in working with people with severe disabilities in a sport, as opposed to a therapeutic setting.
  2. Acquaint coaches and others with the goals and objectives of the MATP and how it fits into the larger scheme of Special Olympics.
  3. Provide coaches and others with the necessary skills to organize and conduct MATP for people with severe disabilities.
  4. Provide coaches and others with the necessary skills to organize and conduct a Challenge Day for people with severe disabilities. 

Seven Basic Motor Skills

The purpose of MATP is to help develop and enhance motor skills that are directly related to those used in official Special Olympics sports. MATP works with the following seven basic motor skills:

  • Mobility – leads to gymnastics and athletics
  • Dexterity – leads to athletics and softball
  • Striking – leads to softball, bowling and golf
  • Kicking – leads to soccer
  • Manual Wheelchair – leads to athletics
  • Motorized Wheelchair – leads to athletics
  • Swimming – leads to aquatics

How to Get Involved

Contact your area office for more information, or you can contact the Director of Outreach and Families at 1.800.876.5646.