Unified Sports® - School Programs

Unified Sports Participants 2018

Special Olympics Unified Sports® is a model that promotes social inclusion. Unified Sports integrates individuals with and without intellectual disabilities (ID) on teams for sport training and competition to promote social engagement and development. Unified Sports includes approximately equal numbers of Special Olympics athletes and partners without an ID of similar ages and abilities on the playing field for both individual and team sports. All athletes and partners are recognized as equal contributors and, as such, develop a sense of belonging, learn to interact meaningfully with others, and forge lasting and mutually rewarding relationships beyond the playing field.

Special Olympics Unified Sports® in Canada does not include a competitive pathway to National or World Games.

For more information or to start a Unified Sports® program in your community, please our Program Director.

Special Olympics NL (SONL) offer the following Unified Sports programs;

Special Olympics Unified Sports® Varsity Program 

Grade Level 7 - 12 

Individual schools choose to participate in Special Olympics Unified Sports®.  Special Olympics NL offers two (2) sports programs through the Unified Sports Varsity Program.  School Sports NL (SSNL) provides support for all participating schools in this program.

Basketball (regional competition in November)   Bocce (regional competition in March)

Schools typically identify a champion staff member who oversees the program and, with support from SONL, involves students either as athletes or partners.  The program is student lead; partners fill the role of coaches, officials, and players.  Unified Sports participants practice weekly or bi-weekly during school time (typically during recess or lunch) and prepare for regional competition with other schools in their area. Regional competitions are held once per school year in each region for each sport offered.  SONL supports these competitions by providing technical resources for school staff and awards for participants.

Unified Sports regional competitions follow the same principles used in all Special Olympics competitions.  Teams of comparable ability are grouped through a process called divisioning; this process allows for meaningful competition.

SONL provides schools starting a Unified Sports program shirts and other items as availability allows.

If you are interested in our Special Olympics Unified Sports® Varsity Program please complete this short expression of interest form and a staff member will follow up with you. 


Special Olympics Unified Sports® Varsity Program participating schools





Gonzaga High School

Holy Heart of Mary High School

Prince of Whales Collegiate

Waterford Valley High

Ascension Collegiate

Carbonear Collegiate

Laval High School

Roncalli Central High School

Coming Soon!




Botwood Collegiate

Leo Burke Academy

Exploits Valley High School

Coming Soon! Coming Soon!


Special Olympics Unified Sports® is partially funded through the Government of Canada


Schools Sports NL is proud to support Special Olympics Unified Sports®