Unified Sport

What is Unified Sport

 

What are the components of a Unified Sport Program? 

A Special Olympics athlete is an athlete with an intellectual disability; typically, someone who is interested in sport participation, is competitive, and enjoys playing on a team.

A Unified Partner athlete is an athlete without an intellectual disability; typically, someone who is interested in sport participation, is competitive, and enjoys playing on a team. 

Meaningful Competition is an important component of Unified Sport. Coaches are responsible for putting players of comparable skill together on a team and on the court in a game so that an evenly matched competition will allow opportunities for every team member to contribute. 

 

What are the benefits of Unified Sport?

A competitive environment, in which athletes from different social backgrounds compete together, has the potential to bridge perceived and real social divides.  Some research has noted that Unified Sport partners have shown significant improvements in their attitude toward individuals with disabilities as a result of playing on a Unified Sport team. Other research has cited similar conclusions about Special Olympics athletes having a heightened level of awareness of their peers without disabilities. 

The important thing to remember is that, in addition to the universally accepted personal benefits of involvement in sport and competition, Unified Sport provides social benefits for both Special Olympics athletes and Unified Sport partners. Unified Sport offers athletes the opportunity to improve upon their sport-specific skills, gain valuable competition experience, make new friends, and gain a heightened awareness of the social existence of peers facing different obstacles.

All three models, defined below, have social inclusion as the core outcome; however, the structure and function of each model vary.  

 

Division 1 - Competitive

Two things differentiate the competitive Unified Sports model from the other two models:

  1. All athletes and partners must have attained the necessary sport-specific skills and tactics to compete without modification and 
  2. Teams may be eligible for advancement to Regional and World Games

 

Division 2 – Competitive (Player Development)

Two things differentiate this Unified Sports model from the other two models:

  1. Teammates are not required to be of similar abilities
  2. Teammates of higher abilities serve as mentors to assist teammates of lower abilities in developing sport-specific skills and tactics, and in successfully participating in a cooperative team environment

 

Division 3 - Recreational

This model does not follow any prescribed training, competition, and/or team composition requirements established by Special Olympics. These recreational opportunities may take place in partnership with schools, sport clubs, and/or the community.

 

Why Unify?

The combination of students working together provides the best opportunity for creating a positive school climate, which ensures EVERY student becomes a part of the social fabric within their schools.
 
Every student now has the opportunity to become an athlete, unified partner, or student leader while creating a more inclusive environment!

The Unified Sport schedule for Saskatchewan allows for schools to be involved at various levels and to varying degrees at any time during the school year playing Unified Bocce, Cornhole, Basketball and/or Athletics. “Choose to Include” with a sport that works for your athletes, your programs, and your schools.

 

UNIFIED COMMUNITY

Get a team together, one Special Olympics athlete and one Partner athlete (relative, sibling, friend, neighbour, or co-worker - any advocate) and start playing any of our Unified Sport offerings: Bocce, Cornhole, Basketball, Soccer and Athletics. Start participating and then register your team’s scores in the Unified Sports Invitational anytime between July and the end of May.  Play in person each year in June in the Unified Sports Festival in Regina.  Registration is required to participate in person.  Side By Side: Unified! 

Unified Community

 

Unified Bocce 

Special Olympics athletes take the court with Unified Partner athletes to organize, practice and play indoor and/or outdoor Unified Bocce – all ages, all grades and all abilities. Indoor and outdoor Bocce sets are available for loan from Special Olympics Saskatchewan.  Organize your own competition with other schools.  Play virtually each year between September and the end of May in the Unified Sports Invitational.  Play in person each year in June in the Unified Sports Invitational in Regina.  There is no maximum number of teams that schools can enter. Registration is required to participate in person.

 

Unified Cornhole

Special Olympics athletes take the court with Unified Partner athletes to organize, practice and play Unified Cornhole (bean bag toss) – all ages, all grades and all abilities. Cornhole sets are available for loan from Special Olympics Saskatchewan.  Organize your own competition with other schools.  Play virtually each year between September and the end of May in the Unified Sports Invitational.  Play in person each year in June in the Unified Sports Festival in Regina.  There is no maximum number of teams that schools can enter. Registration is required to participate in person.

 

Unified 3 on 3 Basketball

Teams of 6 (4 Special Olympics athletes and 2 Partner athletes) organize and play an 8 week schedule. Host your own tournament if you wish. Provincial championships are in May of each year.  Play virtually each year between September and the end of May in the Unified Sports Invitational.  Play in person each year in June in the Unified Sports Festival in Regina.  There is no maximum number of teams that schools can enter. Registration is required to participate in provincials and in person in the Festival.

 

Unified Athletics

Special Olympics athletes take to the track with Unified Partner athletes to participate in Unified Athletics – all ages, all grades and all abilities. Participate virtually each year between September and the end of May in the Unified Sports Invitational.  Participate in person each year in June in the Unified Sports Festival in Regina.  There is no maximum number of athletes that schools can enter. Registration is required to participate in person.

 

Unified Curling and Badminton

Special Olympics athletes take to the ice or court with Unified Partner athletes to organize, practice and play. There are no schedules or divisions.  This is an opportunity to benefit from Unified Sport while enjoying the sport of curling and/or badminton.  Any athlete, team, club, and/or school interested in playing Unified Curling and/or Badminton, please contact Special Olympics Saskatchewan’s Youth Coordinator, Chris Hamilton, for more information.

 

 

 

Special Olympics Saskatchewan Unified Sports Invitational proudly provides sport training and competition opportunities to athletes with and without intellectual disabilities. This initiative strives to offer athletes of all ages and abilities in any community, town, city, province, state or country a fun and inclusive sport environment regardless of their level of skill or experience. Any age. Any grade. All abilities. All the world! Be engaged! Be competitive! Be included!

Special Olympics athletes participate with Unified Partner athletes in any of our Unified Sport offerings: Bocce, Cornhole, Basketball, Soccer and Athletics.  Participate virtually each year between September and the end of May in the Unified Sports Invitational.  Participate in person each year in June in the Unified Sports Festival in Regina.  There is no maximum number of athletes that schools can enter. Registration is required to participate in person.

 

Unified Sports Invitational 2022 - Leaderboard

  Division 1 (Grades 1-5) Division 2 (Grades 6-8) Division 3 (Grades 9-12) Division 4 (Adult)
BAGGO Gold: Kelliher 1-21 NA

Gold: Bethlehem 4-32

Silver: Bethlehem 5-25

Silver: Bethlehem 3-25

Bronze: Bethlehem 7-24

NA
Bocce No Submissions Yet No Submissions Yet

No Submissions Yet

No Submissions Yet
Basketball No Submissions Yet No Submissions Yet

Bethlehem 13-24

Bethlehem 8-23

Bethlehem 11-16

No Submissions Yet
Soccer No Submissions Yet No Submissions Yet

No Submissions Yet

No Submissions Yet

 

For More Information

 

 

Unified Sports Dates

Basketball:

 

Unified Sports Invitational - VIRTUAL

  • Sport offerings (Bocce, Cornhole, Basketball and Soccer) are open for global participation from September to the end of May each year
  • Registration deadline is Tuesday, May 31st
  • Register here

 

Unified Sports Festival

 

 

Contact Information

Christ Hamilton, Special Olympics Saskatchewan Youth Coordinator

Phone: 306-780-9401

Email: chamilton@specialolympics.sk.ca

 

For more information on Unified Sport, please visit our Unified Resources.