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.

Social Inclusion Through Sports

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.

Quizzes

Unified Sports® Events

  • 2月
    18
    Nutrition Seminar: Learn About Labels & How to Spot Hidden Sugars
    2月 18, 2016
    6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    Lawrenceville
    New Jersey
    Nutrition Seminar: Learn About Labels & How to Spot Hidden Sugars

    Join us for the first session in this four-part Nutrition Seminar Series, hosted be Samantha Nuzio, RD from ShopRite/Wakefern. In this session, attendees will learn how to read food labels and avoid all of the unnecessary sugar. Open to all Special Olympics New Jersey athletes, coaches, family and friends. Reservation required!

    For more information
    More Details
    Contact: Andrea Picariello
    Email: ap@sonj.org

    2月 18, 2016
    6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    SONJ Sports Complex
    Lawrenceville, New Jersey
    UNITED STATES
  • 2月
    19
    Special Olympics DC-Power Lunch Plunge
    2月 19, 2016
    11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
    Washington
    District of Columbia
    Special Olympics DC-Power Lunch Plunge

    Be one of only 375 people who will be able to “take the plunge” in the heart of the District on the lawn at the historic Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square! Every Power Lunch Plunger will receive a commemorative and unique Polar Plunge keepsake. **Individuals must raise a minimum $1,000.**Teams must raise a minimum of $2,500. NOTE: Individuals or teams who fail to meet the minimum by February 17th will be moved to one of the other 2016 D.C. Polar Plunge dates/locations of your choice. With the rest of the plunges occurring after this date, those who don’t make their goal have 3 different dates to choose from.

    For more information
    More Details
    Contact: Kraig Makohus
    Email: kmakohus@specialolympicsdc.org
    Phone: 202-408-2640

    2月 19, 2016
    11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
    Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square
    801 K Street, NW
    Washington, District of Columbia
    UNITED STATES
  • 2月
    19
    University of Michigan Polar Plunge
    2月 19, 2016
    6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    Ann Arbor
    Michigan
    University of Michigan Polar Plunge

    Show your Wolverine pride! Take advantage of this rare opportunity to take the plunge in The Big House, the largest stadium in the United States that has stood strong since 1927! The University of Michigan Polar Plunge will take place on Friday, February 19th inside Michigan Stadium - The Big House Under the Lights. Registration will begin at 6:30 pm. outside of “The Tunnel”. The parade of costumes will take place down the tunnel and onto the field! The plunge will begin at 8:00 pm. The Awards and Post Plunge Party will begin immediately following the last plunger. This is a great opportunity for Special Olympics Michigan and the University of Michigan! We are partnering to provide plungers an experience of a lifetime in THE BIG HOUSE! Plungers will suit up like a Wolverine when they change in the locker rooms. They will also get the opportunity to walk through the tunnel and take the plunge ON the field, inside a pool.

    For more information
    More Details
    Contact: Sarah Lesch
    Email: henry2s@cmich.edu
    Phone: 734-476-0701

    2月 19, 2016
    6:30 PM - 10:00 PM
    Michigan Stadium
    1201 South Main Street
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    UNITED STATES
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