Special Olympics PEI launched Youth Programs in 2011 in an effort to reach even more Islanders with an intellectual disability. Sport programs are now offered for Islanders as young as 2 years of age.
Special Olympics PEI’s youth programs were launched in 2011 in an effort to offer physical activity opportunities to young Islanders with an intellectual disability. These new youth programs are for children between the ages of 2-21 years. These programs are based on the knowledge that if young athletes with an intellectual disability are provided early instruction in the areas of basic motor skills and developmentally appropriate play, there is an excellent opportunity for improvement in physical, social and cognitive abilities.
These programs are aimed at teaching the participants, and their parents/guardians, new techniques which will benefit the child throughout their life.
Special Olympics PEI has three Youth Programs:
Active Start (ages 2-6)
Active Start is designed for children aged 2 to 6 years with an intellectual disability. This fun program uses colorful activities and movements in a close setting. Children learn basic motor skills in small groups, helping them to grow and become more confident in their movements. Program leaders introduce children to the world of sport by developing fundamental movement skills like walking, running, jumping and balancing. These skills provide support for everyday activities as well as a base for Special Olympics sports training and competition as athletes grow older. Parents / guardians work one-on-one with their child while being led by a head coach. Programs run once a week for one hour.
The rationale behind Active Start is that when children with an intellectual disability receive early instruction in basic motor skills and have the opportunity to experience ‘play,’ there is improvement in their physical, social and cognitive abilities. Active Start provides lessons for young athletes to learn about running, kicking, throwing and jumping, but then builds on these experiences from the gym and provides caregivers educational information and resources that allows them to offer similar opportunities in the home environment.
FUNdamentals (ages 7-12)
FUNdamentals is designed for children aged 7-12 years with an intellectual disability. FUNdamentals is a skills specific training program for children with an intellectual disability. Children are taught basic sport motor skills in a fun atmosphere. These skills provide support for everyday activities as well as a base for Special Olympics sports training and competition as athletes grow older. Athletes learn basic rules of sport like softball, basketball, and soccer. FUNdamentals also teaches children cooperation and social skills, along with nutritional information. The many benefits of this program include building trust, feelings of accomplishment and making new friends. FUNdamentals programs are run by a head coach and program volunteers. Programs run once a week for one hour.
FUNdamentals focuses on developing basic sport skills while creating a level of enjoyment for physical activity in young athletes. Through these ideals we hope that this will encourage athletes to live a healthy active life through sport. FUNdamentals uses activity sessions that look at specific sport skills such as transportation skills, kicking, throwing and catching that can be transferred into a number of various sports and can be used in everyday tasks.
Youth Multi Sport (ages 8-21)
This NEW Youth Program offers an introduction to a variety of Special Olympics sports, in a recreational, non-competitive environment. Sports being considered for the program include soccer, basketball, bocce, and athletics. This program was launched in October 2016, and interested athletes are volunteers are being recruited for this exciting new opportunity. Interested athletes and volunteers are asked to get in touch with the Special Olympics PEI office to register for this new program.
Want more Information?
If you or someone you know is interested in our youth programs please contact Sarah Profitt-Wagner, Membership Services Coordinator, by calling 902-368-8919 or emailing email@example.com.
To register your child with Special Olympics please fill out our Athlete Registration Form. More information for potential new athletes can also be found on our Athletes page. To find an youth program near you please see our full Program Schedule. If you don't see a program that works for you, please contact us directly to discuss starting up a new program.