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Unified Sports®

In a Unified basketball game between host Egypt and Algeria, Esraa Hussien of Egypt looks up before shooting. Basketball was one of several sports played that featured teams of people with and without intellectual disabilities.

Team sports bring people together. Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do that, too and much more. Half a million people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities in a really fun way.


300x200 New Jersey Soccer team

Members of the unified soccer team for Special Olympics New Jersey saw the new unified sports legislation signed into law. Learn More

Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away.

U.S. States Embracing Unified Sports  

Young people with disabilities don't often get a chance to play on their school sports teams, but more and more U.S. states are adopting the unified sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered. The governor of New Jersey just signed a bill into law that encourages schools to make opportunities for sports participation available to all students. Special Olympics New Jersey, which championed the new law, is cited in the new law as a consulting organization. For almost 20 years, Special Olympics has offered sport teams that blend people with and without intellectual disabilities, and that is a model that encourages sports and fun, and which also gets people together to learn more about each other. Read more about the new law in our press release.

Building Unified Sports With ESPN and Disney 

The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics have announced a two-year global initiative that will leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program. With a multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment, Disney and ESPN will support Special Olympics’ goal of registering one million Unified Sports participants--athletes with intellectual disabilities, teammates without intellectual disabilities and coaches--by 2015. Read more about this exciting news.

In addition, thanks to the generosity of Special Olympics Board Member Kim Samuel and her family’s foundation, Special Olympics has been able to build capacity for Unified Sports through technology, enhanced education materials and seed grants to Special Olympics Programs that would not otherwise have the funds to start or expand Unified Sports.


Unified Sports® Coaching Guides

Unfied Sports® Stories and News


diciembre 23, 2014 | Latin America: Mexico

Orlando Daniel Martínez Compañero Unificado

By Paola Martinelli

equipo de futbol unificado Guanajuato

Ser parte de un equipo unificado de Olimpiadas especiales me ha hecho madurado como atleta y como persona, la experiencia del poder viajar y competir a un gran nivel con mis compañeros de mi pais es lo que me a encantado de Olimpiadas Especiales.View Story Ser parte de un equipo unificado de Olimpiadas especiales me ha hecho madurado como atleta y como persona, la experiencia del poder viajar y competir a un gran nivel con mis compañeros de mi pais es lo que me a encantado de Olimpiadas Especiales. Los mayores retos de entrenar en un equipo unificado es poder ganar los próximos Juegos Mundiales en los Angeles California.Lo que le diría a otras personas que no pertenecen a un equipo unificado es que se acerquen a conocer las distintas disciplinas de Olimpiadas Especiales porque son cosas muy bonitas la inclusión de estar en un equipo unificado es tratando bien a mis compañeros y que allá hermandad.

About Paola Martinelli:Directora Nacional de Comunicación y Mercadotecnia
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diciembre 23, 2014 | Latin America: Mexico

Hector Romo Entrenador de Deporte Unificado

By Paola Martinelli

Mi participacion en Olimpiadas Especiales ha sido como entrenador en diferentes disciplinas:atletismo, bochas, futbol 5 y unificado actualmente entreno con jóvenes del cam num. 20. de educación especial ubicado en Tulancingo de bravo estado de Hidalgo.View Story Mi participacion en Olimpiadas Especiales ha sido como entrenador en diferentes disciplinas:atletismo, bochas, futbol 5 y unificado actualmente entreno con jóvenes del cam num. 20. de educación especial ubicado en Tulancingo de bravo estado de Hidalgo. Al trabajar con un equipo de fútbol unificado en la experiencia que tuve con el equipo me permitió observar a los jóvenes especiales sentirse mas seguros en su participación y en realidad poder ser parte de equipo de competencia. La integración grupal el que los jóvenes unificados el que VAYAN apoyado cuidando entre todos da como resultado la sensibilizacion de ellos y también de sus familias ya que fue una experiencia nueva para ambos grupos.

About Paola Martinelli:Directora Nacional de Comunicación y Mercadotecnia
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diciembre 24, 2014 | Latin America: El Salvador

Torneo Unificado de Bádminton

By Guisele Calderón

Iniciamos el mes de noviembre con actividad deportiva con el Torneo Unificado de Bádminton en donde 12 atletas con y sin discapacidad demostraron sus habilidades y destrezas en dicha disciplina.View Story Iniciamos el mes de noviembre con actividad deportiva con el Torneo Unificado de Bádminton en donde 12 atletas con y sin discapacidad demostraron sus habilidades y destrezas en dicha disciplina. Contamos con la presencia de entrenadores, padres de familia y voluntarios que apoyaron y animaron en todo momento a nuestros atletas. El programa de Deporte Unificado es el mayor reto para fomentar la inclusión de los atletas a través del deporte, y es que la participación de deportistas con y sin discapacidad es la mejor muestra de las osibilidades que ofrece el deporte como herramienta de integración social. Deportes Unificados de Olimpiadas Especiales une a atletas con y sin discapacidad intelectual; llamado “Compañero Unificado” para entrenar y competir en el mismo equipo. Gracias a la Federación Salvadoreña de Bádminton el Torneo Unificado fue todo un éxito, los asistentes demostraron su felicidad al culminar un año lleno de éxitos y medallas.

About Guisele Calderón:Coordinadora de Mercadeo, Comunicaciones y Relaciones Públicas.
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Unified Sports® Events


Date

Event

Location

marzo 14, 2015

Second Annual Basketball Invitational

Join on us on March 14th at Bees Landing Rec Center and West Ashley in Charleston, South Carolina as our athletes compete and show their skill in basketball competition. Events will include: Youth and adult – traditional skills; 3 vs 3; traditional 5 vs 5; Unified 3 vs 3 and Unified 5 vs 5. In addition this event, we will be hosting opening ceremonies and a dance at Bees Landing Rec Center on Friday March 13th at 6pm.
For more information
Jennifer Tissot
Email:MOLIZONJ@charleston-sc.gov
Phone:843-708-3651
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Bees Landing Rec Center & West Ashley High School
Charleston, South Carolina
UNITED STATES

mar 21 - 22 2015

2015 Basketball Tournament

Join us 21-22 March 2015 in Frederick, Maryland as over 400 athletes and 70 Unified partners from around the state compete in two days of basketball tournament action. Events will include 5 v. 5 traditional competition and well as 5 v. 5 Unified competition. For schedule and location details please refer to link below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Hood College
401 Rosemont Ave

Frederick, Maryland
UNITED STATES

mar 28 - 29 2015

Unified® Duckpin Tournaments

Athletes across the state of Rhode Island will be competing in Unified Duckpin Bowling tournaments at Town Hall Lanes in Johnston, Rhode, Island. Athletes and Unified partners will compete in teams of 4. Teams will compete on a selected competition day. Saturday March 28th competitions will be held from 2:30-4:30pm. Sunday, March 29th competitions will be held from 12-2pm.
For more information
More Details
Chris Hopkins
Email:chris@specialolympicsri.org
Phone:401-349-4900
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Town Hall Lanes
1463 Atwood Avenue

Johnston, Rhode Island
UNITED STATES

abril 18, 2015

Unified® Ten Pin Bowling Tournament

Join us April 18th at AMF Lanes in Cranston, Rhode Island as our athletes and their Unified Partners compete and show their skill in ten pin bowling competition. Come and cheer them on and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Chris Hopkins
Email:chris@specialolympicsri.org
Phone:401-349-4900
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AMF Lanes
1450 Elmwood Avenue

Cranston, Rhode Island
UNITED STATES

abril 19, 2015

Regional Swim Meet

Join us April 19th at North Charleston Pool in North Charleston, South Carolina as our as athletes compete and show their skill in aquatics competition. Traditional swim events and unified relays will be offered for this regional competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
Darline Brogdon
Email:darline.amb@hotmail.com
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North Charleston Pool
North Charleston, South Carolina
UNITED STATES

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How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

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Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.

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