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® Primary/elementary program 

Grade Level K-6

Individual schools choose to participate in Special Olympics Unified Sports®.  Special Olympics NL is offering a pilot primary/elementary school program during the fall of 2021.  Schools Sports NL (SSNL) provides support to participating schools that are also members of SSNL.  Member schools qualify to receive rewards in the form of draw prizes and pins, and/or certificates. If your school is participating in our program wants to become a member of SSNL, please visit School Sports NL.

The goal of the Special Olympics Unified Sports® Primary/Elementary School Program is to have a long-lasting positive effect on overall health and well-being for students in grades K-6.  Based on a model of inclusion, the goals and objectives of the program are met by participating in mental wellness activities, educating students on the importance of leisure participation, increasing physical literacy, and helping to establish healthy daily habits.  To meet the model of Unified Sports, this school program is designed to be fully inclusive.  It is to be completed as a team, allowing for a fun, engaging and compelling environment.

Schools can register the entire school or specific classes or grade levels.  There is no cost to participate, and Special Olympics NL will provide all materials needed to support the program.  This program can be completed in a classroom, gymnasium, or for students who are unable to return to in-person learning at this time from the comfort of their home.  

Themed Bingo and activity cards and interactive insert games for the classroom or student are designed to enhance current curriculum outcomes!  Each school that participates will receive the following, Program Guide complete with interactive games for each themed week (1 per classroom), a 4-week tracker poster (1 per classroom), School Poster (1 per school) and a Unified Sports® Activity Kit (to enhance physical education programming year-round).

Please click on each image below to view the program resources.

Program Guide
Classroom 4-Week Tracker
School Poster
Week 1 Interactive Insert Dice Game
Week 2 Interactive Insert Character Creativity Game
Week 3 Interactive Insert Roll A Rainbow Game
Week 4 Interactive Insert Holiday Haven Game









For additional virtual and at-home programs, resources check out our Programs from Home page.

Registration for the Special Olympics Unified Sports® Primary/Elementary School Program is now closed. For more information contact our Program Director.

Special Olympics Unified Sports® Primary/Elementary Program Participating Schools





St. Teresa's School

St. Edwards School

St. Andrew's Elementary

Riverside Elementary

Cabot Academy

St. Anne's Academy

Baltimore School Complex

Stella Maris Academy

St. Augustine's Elementary

Woodland Elementary




Holy Cross School Complex

Woodland Primary

Dunne Memorial Academy

St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary

LeGallais Memorial

CC Loughlin Elementary


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


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