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


October 10, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Unified Sports becomes a reality in Kenya

By Mr John Makathimo

Earlier this year, 12 Sports Directors from African programs were trained to conduct Unified Sports training at a workshop in Johnannesburg. Special Olympics Kenya took full advantage of this training to begin implementing Unified Sport in their country.View Story Special Olympics Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. Earlier this year,12 Sports Directors from different African programs were trained to conduct Unified Sports training at a workshop in Johnannesburg. Special Olympics Kenya took full advantage of this training to begin implementing Unified Sport in their country. They recently hosted their first ever Unified Sports training with 27 Head Coaches at the YMCA in Central Nairobi. Senior Director of Operations and Program Development in the Africa Region, Mr. Charles Nyambe, was on hand to help oversee the training with the assistance of Program Development Manager, Mr. Joe Mutua. The training included both Head Coaches and Regional Coordinators and each participant was encouraged to recruit 20 Unified coaches, 75 athletes, and 60 Unified partners by the end of the year. With this kind of commitment to training and great facilities, Special Olympics Kenya is going to great lengths to achieve their Unified Sports objectives and to contribute to the attainment of Special Olympics Africa’s strategic goals. Thank you to Lions Club International and The Leo's for ensuring that Special Olympics Kenya carried out a successful Unified Sports training.

About Mr John Makathimo:Special Olympics Kenya National Director
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: Zimbabwe

Unified training begins in Zimbabwe

By Mrs Viola Musariri

Special Olympics Zimbabwe held Unified Sports® training at Prince Edward School in Harare in which 21 sports enthusiasts participated. Unified Sports involves teams made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities.View Story Special Olympics Zimbabwe held Unified Sports® training at Prince Edward School in Harare in which 21 sports enthusiasts participated. Unified Sports involves teams made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities. The event began with a theoretical overview of Unified Sport® and ended with a practical play of a 7-A-side football match. The athletes and unified teammates were taught ball skills and how to work together as a team. The participants also took turns to coaching their side to give them a different perspective of the sport. This event truly encapsulated the essence of sportsmanship and unity and Special Olympics Zimbabwe looks forward to reaching their 2016 goal of implementing Unified Sports.

About Mrs Viola Musariri:Special Olympics Zimbabwe National Director
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October 07, 2014 | Europe Eurasia: Romania

Special Olympics Romania celebrates EKS Day

By Emilia Ispas

Special Olympics Romania athletes had a fun participating in Zumba class as part of EKS Day.

Special Olympics Romania celebrated Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day on 27 September 2014 in Bucharest with almost 100 local athletes participating.View Story Special Olympics Romania celebrated Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day on 27 September 2014 in Bucharest with almost 100 local athletes participating. The event was held at the headquarters of the National Academy for Physical Education and Sports. Participants took part in a fun day of aerobics, Zumba, Unified Football and, for the first time, Unified Volleyball, a sport being developed throughout Special Olympics programs in Europe and Eurasia. Sixty-eight volunteers helped run the day;among them were volunteers from Vodafone Foundation, Special Olympics Romania’s main sponsor.

About Emilia Ispas:Emilia Ispas heads the Project Unify initative in Special Olympics Romania.
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Do You Have a Story to Share?

Got news or a great Unified Sports® story to share? Share with our online form.


Unified Sports® Events


Date

Event

Location

Nov 1 - 6 2014

South East Asia Unified Football Tournament

Join us 1-6 November 2014 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam as athletes and Unified partners from around the Asia Pacific region compete six days of exiting 5-a-side Unified football competition. Teams that will be participating in the tournament hail from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and host Brunei Darussalam.
For more information
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Bandar Seri Begawan
BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

November 01, 2014

Nebraska Unifed Bowling

Join us on November 1st at either Lepoard Lanes in Bellevue or Cedar Lanes in North Platte to witness an exciting match of Unified bowling. Athletes and Unified partners from around the area will compete to promote acceptance and inclusion through sport. To play, coach or volunteer for this event, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
Rick Childree
Email:rchildree@sone.org
Phone:402-331-5545 Ext. 12
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Leopard Lanes & Cedar Lanes
Bellevue and North Platte, Nebraska
UNITED STATES

November 02, 2014

2014 Soccer Championships

Join us on 2 November 2014 at the Crowne Sports Center in Eden, Maryland as athletes and Unified partners from around the state will compete in one full day of soccer competition. Events will include: Individual Skills Competition; Player Development Unified, 7 v. 7; Traditional Team Competition, 7 v. 7 (Young Adult and Senior Teams); Traditional Team Competition, 5 v. 5 (Elem., Middle, and High School Teams) ; Unified Team Competition, 7 v. 7 (Young Adult and Senior Teams); Unified Team Competition, 5 v. 5 (Elem., Middle, and High School Teams). For schedule 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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Crowne Sports Center
28410 Crown Rd

Eden, Maryland
UNITED STATES

Nov 6 - 8 2014

Special Olympics North America 15th National Invitational Tennis Championships

Join us November 6-8 at Van der Meer Shipyard Resort in Hilton Head Isle, South Carolina for 3 days of golf tournament action! 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
More Details
Kelly Garrick
Email:KGarrick@so-sc.org
Phone:803-772-1555
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Van der Meer Shipyard Resort
116 Shipyard Drive

Hilton Head Isle, South Carolina
UNITED STATES

Nov 7 - 8 2014

Elena Delle Donne Girls Basketball Clinic - Delaware

Elena Delle Donne, professional basketball player with the WNBA Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year will host a Girls Basketball Clinic camp for girls ages 7 – 11 that will encourage the importance of activating youth to promote inclusion in schools via Unified Sports® through basketball. Unified Sports pairs players with intellectual disabilities with players without intellectual disabilities to play together. The Unified Basketball Clinic will involve students from Ursuline Academy and local Special Olympics athletes.
For more information
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Ursuline Academy
Wilmington, Delaware
UNITED STATES

November 08, 2014

Alabama vs LSU 2nd Annual Unified Flag Football Game

Join us as Special Olympics Louisiana Unified Flag Football teams participate in the Alabama vs LSU Unified Flag Football Game at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to link and contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Special Olympics Louisiana
Phone:985-345-6644
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Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
UNITED STATES

November 09, 2014

Elena Delle Donne Girls Basketball Clinic - Delaware

Elena Delle Donne, professional basketball player with the WNBA Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year will host a Girls Basketball Clinic camp for girls ages 12 – 18 that will encourage the importance of activating youth to promote inclusion in schools via Unified Sports® through basketball. Unified Sports pairs players with intellectual disabilities with players without intellectual disabilities to play together. The Unified Basketball Clinic will involve students from the area and local Special Olympics athletes.
For more information
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Tatnall High School
Wilmington, Delaware
UNITED STATES

Nov 9 - 10 2014

NIRSA Unified College Flag Football at the University of Nebraska

Join us as Special Olympics Nebraska Unified Flag Football teams participate in the NIRSA Championship Series at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in Lincoln. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. NIRSA is supporting our Unified Sports program by offering a Special Olympics Unified Sports division. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to link and contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Aaron Dueker
Email:adueker2@unl.edu
Phone:402-472-4770
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University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Lincoln, Nebraska
UNITED STATES

November 12, 2014

Area Bowling Competition for High School Age & Unified

The Laredo area will host a Bowling Competition for all High School age and Unified athletes on Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at Jett Bowl North. The competition is for athletes participating in all assisted, unasssited, bowling and unified events. The competition will start with Opening Ceremonies at 8:30 a.m. and competition starting at 10:00 a.m. Bowling entries are due to the area office by Wednesday, October 1, 2014, no later than 5:00 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering for this competition or any other event please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Maribel Santoya-Maciel
Email:msantoya-maciel@sotx.org
Phone:(956) 712-2144
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Jett Bowl North
701 Gale Street

Laredo, Texas
UNITED STATES

November 15, 2014

Elena Delle Donne Girls Basketball Clinics - Virginia

Elena Delle Donne, professional basketball player with the WNBA Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year will host two Girls Basketball Clinics for 2 camps of girls ages 7 – 12 and 13 – 18 years of age that will encourage the importance of activating youth to promote inclusion in schools via Unified Sports® through basketball. Unified Sports pairs players with intellectual disabilities with players without intellectual disabilities to play together. The Unified Basketball Clinic will involve students from Bishop O'Connell High School and local Special Olympics athletes.
For more information
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Bishop O'Connell High School
(Arlington, Virginia
UNITED STATES

Nov 21 - 23 2014

NIRSA Unified College Flag Football at the University of Maryland

Join us as Special Olympics Maryland Unified Flag Football teams participate in the NIRSA Championship Series at the University of Maryland in College Park. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. NIRSA is supporting our Unified Sports program by offering a Special Olympics Unified Sports division. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to link and contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Kurt Klier
Email: kklier@umd.edu
Phone:301-226-4425
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University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
UNITED STATES

Nov 22 - 23 2014

Poly Hockey and Unified Bowling Finals

The 2014 Special Olympics Michigan State Poly Hockey and Unified Bowling Finals presented by Water Warriors will occur on November 22-23 in East Lansing, Michigan. The Poly Hockey event will be held at Eastern High School and the Fieldhouse in Lansing, Michigan. Poly Hockey is an adaptive sport similar to floor hockey where athletes use plastic hockey sticks and pucks and play on a flat surface. The poly hockey competition will consist of both team play and an individual skills contests. The Unified Bowling competition will take place at Royal Scot Lanes in Lansing, Michigan. Unified bowling pairs Special Olympics athletes with athletes without intellectual disabilities on the same team. Please use the link below for a complete schedule of events and competition.
For more information
Full Schedule
Aaron Mills
Email:aaron.mills@somi.org
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Lansing Eastern High School and Royal Scot Lanes
East Lansing, Michigan
UNITED STATES

November 23, 2014

Elena Delle Donne Girls Basketball Clinics - Pennsylvania

Elena Delle Donne, professional basketball player with the WNBA Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year will host two Girls Basketball Clinics for 2 camps of girls ages 7 – 12 and 13 – 18 years of age that will encourage the importance of activating youth to promote inclusion in schools via Unified Sports® through basketball. Unified Sports pairs players with intellectual disabilities with players without intellectual disabilities to play together. The Unified Basketball Clinic will involve students from Episcopal Academy and local Special Olympics athletes.
For more information
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Episcopal Academy
Newton Square, Pennsylvania
UNITED STATES

November 29, 2014

Alabama vs Auburn Unified Flag Football Game

Join us as Special Olympics Alabama Unified Flag Football teams participate in the Alabama vs Auburn Unified Flag Football Game at Alabama University in Tuscaloosa. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
Special Olympics Alabama
Email:soaloffice@aol.com
Phone:334-242-3383
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Alabama University
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
UNITED STATES

November 29, 2014

Clemson vs South Carolina Unified Flag Football Game

Join us as Special Olympics South Carolina Unified Flag Football teams participate in the Clemson vs South Carolina Unified Flag Football Game at Clemson University in Clemson. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to link and contact information below.
For more information
South Carolina
Phone:803-772-1555
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Clemson University
Clemson , South Carolina
UNITED STATES

November 29, 2014

FSU vs Florida Unified Flag Football Game

Join us as Special Olympics Florida Unified Flag Football teams participate in the FSU vs Florida Unified Flag Football Game at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Unified Sports brings people of all abilities together and are formed by combining players without disabilities with Special Olympics players of similar age and ability. Come and see what all of the excitement is all about. For more details, please refer to link and contact information below.
For more information
Special Olympics Florida
Phone:352-243-9536
View More

Florida State University
Tallahassee, Florida
UNITED STATES

Dec 3 - 10 2014

2014 Special Olympics MENA Regional Games

Join us for the 8th Special Olympics Middle East-North Africa Regional games on 3-10 December in Cairo, Egypt. Thousands of athletes representing countries from around the region will participate in 8 days of peace, celebration and competition in 13 sports. The games will also host a Unified Sports, Special Olympics Youth Summit, Athlete Leadership Congress, Families Forum, Young Athletes Demonstration and Healthy Athletes Screenings.
For more information
View More

Cairo
Egypt

December 06, 2014

Capital Area Independent Bowling Tournament

Join us on December 6th at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a day of Unified bowling competition. Male and female athletes and Unified partners from Capital/Florida Parishes area will compete in this event. To play, coach or volunteer for this event, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Charles Guillory
Email:chzgil@gmail.com
Phone:225-963-9028
View More

All-Star Lanes
9829 Airline Hwy

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
UNITED STATES

December 07, 2014

10 Pin Bowling Championships

Join us on 7 December 2014 at Bowl America in Gaithersburg, Maryland as athletes and Unified partners from around the state compete in day of bowling competition. Events will include: Traditional singles; Ramp assisted singles; Traditional Doubles; Unified Doubles. For schedule details, please refer to the link below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
View More

Bowl America
1101 Clopper Road

Gaithersburg, Maryland
UNITED STATES

December 08, 2014

Capital Area EBR Schools Bowling Tournament

Join us on December 8th at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a day of Unified bowling competition. Male and female athletes and unified partners from the Capital area will compete in this event. To play, coach or volunteer for this event, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Charles Guillory
Email:chzgil@gmail.com
Phone:225-963-9028
View More

All-Star Lanes
9829 Airline Hwy

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
UNITED STATES

Dec 12 - 13 2014

2014 Chapter Flag Football Competition

Special Olympics Texas has a serious case of football fever! Flag football is the newest sport out of 22 sports offered, and our state competition is growing each year. Traditional and Unified teams will face off in Waco, and you’ll be amazed at the level of competition, sportsmanship and spirit of our athletes. Athletes will also have the opportunity to compete in individual skill events: Run & Catch, Throwing for Accuracy, Throwing for Distance, Agility and Speed (hands-off), and Flag Pulling. Come enjoy the fun of Texas’ favorite sport!
For more information
More Details
Tela Mange
Email:tmange@sotx.org
Phone:512-491-2928
View More

Baylor University
Waco, Texas
UNITED STATES

December 12, 2014

Capital Area EBR Schools Bowling Tournament

Join us on December 12th at All-Star Lanes in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for a day of Unified bowling competition. Male and female athletes and unified partners from the Capital area will compete in this event. To play, coach or volunteer for this event, please refer to the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Charles Guillory
Email:chzgil@gmail.com
Phone: 225-963-9028
View More

All-Star Lanes
9829 Airline Hwy

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
UNITED STATES

December 13, 2014

State Unified Flag Football Invitational

Join on us on December 13th at National Training Center in Clermont, Florida as our athletes and Unified Partners take the field to compete in an exciting day of flag football. Opening ceremonies will be held from 8:45 am - 9:15 am with the first round competition being held from 9:30 am - 12:00 pm and the second round of competition being held from 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm followed by awards. For more information please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Akin Joseph
Phone:352-243-9536 ext. 52
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National Training Center
1935 Don Wickham Drive

Clermont, Florida
UNITED STATES

Feb 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
View More

Ski Whitetail
13805 Blairs Valley Road

Mercersburg, Maryland
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
View More

Hood College
401 Rosemont Ave

Frederick, Maryland
UNITED STATES

Jun 5 - 7 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
View More

Towson University
8000 York Ave

Towson, Maryland
UNITED STATES

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