Unified Sport

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.


Chapters are also adopting Special Olympics’ Project Unify, an education-based project that uses sports and education programs to activate young people to develop school communities where all youth are agents of change.


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


Learn to Train/Youth Multi-Sport

Age: 13-21 years

Priority: Development of Sport specific skills

Objective: Build a foundation of multi-sport skills

Skills: Reinforce all fundamental motor skills and acquisition of basic sport skills

Youth Multi-Sport is considered to be a transition point in athlete development. Athletes may choose to stay at this stage for an extended period of time before progressing to the next stage, which could be competitive programs in the community or ones to keep them Active for Life.  The Youth Multi-Sport program (also called Learn to Train) has been developed to introduce athletes to a number of sports that they enjoy and for which they have a predisposition. The intent is to build a multi-skill foundation that will provide the athlete with options. The selection of 2 to 3 seasonal sports will keep the athlete active throughout the year, developing fitness and skills.

For more information on Unified Sport programs in your community, please contact your local Chapter.