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Unified Sports®

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.


Unfied Sports® Stories and News


octobre 02, 2014 | Africa: Togo

Special Olympics Togo un gala de football unifié

By Mr Belo Mofou

Special Olympics Togo a organisé le samedi 07 juin 2014 un gala de football unifié sur le terrain de football d’Akassimé au quartier Hanoukopé de Lomé.View Story Special Olympics Togo a organisé le samedi 07 juin 2014 un gala de football unifié sur le terrain de football d’Akassimé au quartier Hanoukopé de Lomé. Organisée dans le cadre de la reprise de ses activités, cette rencontre de football a connu la participation d’une cinquantaine de personnes aussi bien « normales » que celles vivant avec une déficience intellectuelle. L’objectif selon M. Komla Galley, Directeur National de Special Olympics Togo était de passer un message : « les personnes vivant avec une déficience intellectuelle peuvent vivre dans la société et faire tout comme toute personne qu’on peut qualifier de normale». C’était dans une atmosphère empreinte de bonne humeur et de gaieté que la compétition s’est déroulée. Bien qu’il y ait eu une équipe victorieuse sur le terrain, il n’y a eu ni vainqueur ni vaincu. Seul Special Olympics Togo est le gagnant

About Mr Belo Mofou :Special Olympics Togo Board Chair
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mars 18, 2014 | SOI General: Headquarters

Unified on the Court in North Carolina

By Rebecca Ralston

Energy was high and the competition was fierce as students from the University of North Carolina, along with Special Olympics athletes from Orange County, took on the Duke Blue Devils and local Durham County athletes in the first Special Olympics Unified Sports basketball game.View Story Energy was high and the competition was fierce as students from the University of North Carolina, along with Special Olympics athletes from Orange County, took on the Duke Blue Devils and local Durham County athletes in the first Special Olympics Unified Sports basketball game. Despite a tight game and aggressive play, the home team pulled away with the victory – the game’s final score was Duke – 42, UNC – 37. Nearly 400 students and community members came out to support the teams and shared in the energy, passion and determination of Unified Sports.

About Rebecca Ralston:I work for Special Olympics Project UNIFY with a focus in Youth Leadership.
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mars 18, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Israel

Special Olympics Israel - Unified League - Pairs

By Reuven Astrachan

The I.B.F players and Special Olympics athlete warming up before the beginning of the games

The first round of the Unified League was held on Friday, February 21, 2014. Unified League is a special and unique project that kicked off activities a few weeks ago, in the wake of a cooperation agreement signed between the Israel Bowling Association and Special Olympics Israel.View Story The first round of the Unified League was held on Friday, February 21, 2014. Unified League is a special and unique project that kicked off activities a few weeks ago, in the wake of a cooperation agreement signed between the Israel Bowling Association and Special Olympics Israel. The League will be held once a month until July, and will continue after the summer holidays with additional athletes and players who want to join in the activities. 24 Special Olympics Athletes and 24 Players from 5 clubs of Israel Bowling Federation came from far and wide to the competition held at the Petach Tikva Bowling Center. The Bowling Association players and the Special Olympics athletes played together in a pair format, two pairs on each lane. In each League round, each pair will be allocated to a lane with another pair, which will provide an opportunity for all the participants, from all over the country, to get to know one another. Furthermore, the Club players coach the Special Olympics athletes on a weekly basis, outside of the League competition (each pair at its home club), in order to advance the Athletes, both from a professional aspect as well as from the social aspect (such as: Collaborating as a pair during the game, etc.).

About Reuven Astrachan:Acting National Director & National Sport Director
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Got news or a great Unified Sports® story to share? Share with our online form.


Unified Sports® Events


Date

Event

Location

févr. 23 - 24 2015

2015 Winter Games - Maryland

Join us 23-24 February 2015 at Whitetail Ski Resort in Mercersburg, Maryland for two days of snowshoe and alpine skiing competition. The alpine skiing events will include: Advanced Giant Slalom, Advanced Slalom, Advanced Slalom (Unified), Advanced Super G, Advanced Super G (Unified), Intermediate Giant Slalom, Intermediate Slalom, Intermediate Slalom (Unified), Intermediate Super G, Intermediate Super G (Unified), Novice Giant Slalom, Novice Slalom, Super Glide, Glide. The snowshoe events will include: 25 meter, 50 meter, 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, 1600 meter, 5 kilometer, 10 kilometer, 4 x 100 meter relay, 4 x 200 meter relay, 4 x 400 meter relay, 4 x 100 meter relay (Unified), 4 x 200 meter relay (Unified), 4 x 400 meter relay (Unified). For more information please refer to the details and contact info below.
For more information
More Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Ski Whitetail
13805 Blairs Valley Road

Mercersburg, Maryland
UNITED STATES

mars 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

mai 29 - 31 2015

2015 New Mexico State Summer Games

Join us for the largest state competition of the year May 29-31. Athletes from across the state will compete in track & field, bocce, and Unified volleyball at the University of New Mexico Track and Field Stadium. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. Hope to see you there!
For more information
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University of New Mexico Track and Field Stadium
Albuquerque, New Mexico
UNITED STATES

mai 6 - juil. 6 2015

2015 Maryland Summer Games

Join us 5-7 June 2015 at Towson University in Towson, Maryland as our athletes compete in 3 days of exciting summer sports competition. Events will include: Aquatics – traditional individual events and team relays, Unified team relays; Athletics – traditional and Unified track, mini-javelin, high jump, long jump, pentathlon, softball throw, shot put, standing long jump, tennis ball throw; Bocce – singles, doubles, Unified doubles; Cheerleading – traditional and Unified team competition; Softball – traditional team competition, Unified team competition, individual skills competition. For schedule details please refer to the link, below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
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Towson University
8000 York Ave

Towson, Maryland
UNITED STATES

Do you have an event to add?

Tell us about it so we can publish the details to our calendar.

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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.

Special Olympics near you»

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.

LEARN MORE»

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