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.


ESPN and Special Olympics Unified Sports Program

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.  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.

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


三月 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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三月 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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三月 18, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Hellas (Greece)

Living and playing unified in Attica

By Joanna Despotopoulou

Special Olympics Hellas athletes receive certificates of appreciation for their participation in the Mainstream Schools National Games.

There was amazing energy and excitement in Attica 22-23 February 2014 as young people from Athens met up with Special Olympics Hellas athletes in so-called Mainstream Schools National Games in Aquatics.View Story There was amazing energy and excitement in Attica 22-23 February 2014 as young people from Athens met up with Special Olympics Hellas athletes in so-called Mainstream Schools National Games in Aquatics. The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs included, for the first time, Special Olympics athletes in Mainstream Schools National Games in Aquatics. The result was a celebration of youth activation that gathered youth together so they could all proclaim “Ime Mesa!” (I’m in!). The President of Special Olympics Hellas, Mrs Joanna Despotopoulou, concluded the day’s events by thanking all those involved, saying “When we play and live unified we create a society where everyone is respected and valued, regardless of their abilities.” At the closing, Mrs Despotopoulou was joined by the President of the Hellenic Federation of Aquatics, Mr Diathesopoulos Dimitrios, to present Certificates of Appreciation to all Special Olympics Hellas athletes.

About Joanna Despotopoulou:Joanna Despotopoulou is president of Special Olympics Hellas.
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Unified Sports® Events


Date

Event

Location

五月 1 - 3 2014

Summer Games - Arizona

Join Special Olympics Arizona on 1-3 May at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona as athletes from around the state compete in 3 days of athletic competition. Athletes will be competing in the following sports: athletics, powerlifting, kayaking, Unified kayaking doubles, softball, tennis and Unified tennis. Hope to see you there!
For more information
More Details
Jamie Heckerman
Email:jamie@SpecialOlympicsArizona.org
Phone:602-230-9135
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Grand Canyon University
3300 W. Camelback Rd.

Phoenix, Arizona
UNITED STATES

五月 02, 2014

2014 Unified Outdoor Bocce State High School Invitational

Unified Sports® provides a means which brings together students with and without disabilities in a fulfilling inclusion experience. Unified Sports® teams are composed of a proportional number of students with intellectual disabilities, other types of disabilities, and students without disabilities who train and compete together on the same team. This event is scheduled for Friday, May 2, 2014. Schedule: 10:00 AM Schools Arrive; 10:45 AM Opening Ceremony; 11:00 AM Competition; 2:00 PM Awards; 6:00 PM Departure To register to volunteer, please visit: http://www.somd.org/volunteer/volunteer-opportunities/
For more information
More Details
Melissa Kelly
Email:mkelly@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515 ext 142
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Washington College
300 Washington Ave

Chestertwon, Maryland
UNITED STATES

五月 14 - 16 2014

45th Annual Summer Games - Oklahoma

Join Special Olympics Oklahoma on 14-16 May at Oklahoma State University (Gallagher Iba Area) in Stillwater, Arizona as athletes from around the state compete in 2 days of athletic competition. Athletes will compete in nine sports: Athletics (Track and Field), Bocce, Bowling, Golf, Horseshoes, Powerlifting, Unified 3-on-3 Basketball, and Unified Softball. Other events include Motor Activities and Stars of the Future. Hope to see you there!
For more information
More Details
Teri Hockett
Phone:teri@sook.org
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Oklahoma State University
Gallagher Iba Arena

Stillwater, Oklahoma
UNITED STATES

五月 16, 2014

Tennesse State Summer Games

The 2014 State Summer Games will be held May 16th and 17th in Nashville, TN. Over 2500 athletes, coaches, volunteers, and family members will attend the two day event. Athletes will compete in seven sports:Aquatics, Athletics, Bocce, Unified Bocce, Powerlifting, Tennis, and Unified Volleyball
For more information
More Details
Meg Takahashi
Phone:615-329-1375
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Lipscomb University and Centennial Sportsplex
Nashville, Tennesse
UNITED STATES

五月 23 - 25 2014

Louisiana State Summer Games

Join us May 23-25 at Southeastern Louisiana University in the city of Hammond as athletes from across the state will compete in Athletics (Track & Field), Bocce, Powerlifting and Unified Volleyball. Sign up today to play, coach or volunteer for this event. For more details, refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Louisiana
Email:volunteer@laso.org
Phone:1-800-345-6644
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Southeastern Louisiana University
Hammond, Louisiana
UNITED STATES

五月 30 - 六月 1 2014

New Mexico State Summer Games

Join us for 3 days of competition at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque as athletes from around the state compete in athletics, bocce, unified soccer, Unified volleyball. Experience the power sport and cheer on our athletes. We hope to see you there. See link below for more details.
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More Details
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University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
UNITED STATES

五月 30 - 六月 1 2014

Georgia State Summer Games

More than 1,800 Special Olympics athletes, Unified Partners and coaches from around the state will descend on Emory University to compete in Aquatics, Athletics, Soccer, Badminton, Volleyball, Tennis, Gymnastics, and Table Tennis with over 600 coaches to guide them in competition. The games are free and open to the public.
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Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia
UNITED STATES

五月 30 - 六月 1 2014

Rhode Island State Summer Games

After weeks of training and competing at Area Games, athletes from all over Rhode Island will be compete against their peers in aquatics, athletics, bowling, cycling, motor activities training program, powerlifting and unified soccer. We invite you to join us on the University of Rhode Island campus and watch our athletes achieve their personal best! For more details click on the link below.
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University of Rhode Island
Kingston, Rhode Island
UNITED STATES

六月 13 - 15 2014

Open Water Swimming Coaches Training

Special Olympics Netherlands is organizing a Coaches Train the Trainer workshop on Open Water Swimming and hosting a Unified Open Water Swimming competition for 50 athletes on June 13-15 in Heerenveen/Sneek, Holland.
For more information
More Details
Natascha Bruers
Email:n.bruers@specialolympics.nl
Phone:+31 30 659 7349
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Heerenveen/Sneek
The Netherlands, Holland
NETHERLANDS

十月 10 - 12 2014

Special Olympics Bangladesh National Games

Special Olympics Bangladesh’s National Games will welcome an estimated 800 athletes and 100 Unified Sports® partners across Bangladesh. Ten sports will be played: athletics, badminton, basketball, bocce, cricket, football, handball, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. The three day event will be held across different venues: Bangabandhu National Stadium, Army Stadium, National Indoor Stadium & Swimming pool and the Bangladesh Sports Education Institute (BKSP).
For more information
Faruqul Islam
Email:sobangla@gmail.com
Phone:+880 1819 259844
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Bangabandhu National Stadium & other venuesDhaka
BANGLADESH

十月 29 - 十一月 10 2014

Special Olympics Unified Football Cup

Modeled after the FIFA World Cup, the biggest single-event sporting competition in the world, the Special Olympics Unified Football Cup will bring together qualifying Unified Sports football (soccer) teams from 25 countries representing each of the Special Olympics seven regions to compete and showcase as never before, the bravery, ability and joy of Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners worldwide. Countries that rose to the top during qualifying events and are participating in the Unified Football Cup include: Ivory Coast, South Africa, Tanzania, Libya, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Thailand, China, Korea, France, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Honduras, Jamaica and the United States of America.
For more information
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MALAYSIA

十一月 6 - 8 2014

15th National Invitational Tennis Championship

Join us as Special Olympics South Carolina hosts the Special Olympics North America 15th National Tennis Championships. Athletes will compete in 5 levels of competition: Level 1 – Individual Skills Competition; Level 2 – Singles/Doubles/ Unified Doubles; Level 4 – Singles/Doubles/ Unified Doubles; Level 5 – Singles/Doubles/ Unified Doubles. Come fill the stands to cheer and support our athletes. See you there!
For more information
Kelly Garrick
Email:kgarrick@so-sc.org
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Van der Meer Shipyard Tennis Resort
116 Shipyard Drive

Hilton Head Island, 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.

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.

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