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Unified Sports®

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Team sports are about having fun, promoting physical health and bringing people together.  Special Olympics Unified Sports® teams do all of that and shatter stereotypes about intellectual disabilities in the process. 


Unified Sports® is a program that combines approximately equal numbers of Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (known as unified partners) on sports teams for training and competition.


Unified Sports® Outcomes:

  • Provides positive social interactions between teammates and often leads to long-lasting friendships on and off the field
  • Each athlete is given a valued role on the team
  • Promotes physical health
  • Shatters stereotypes about intellectual disabilities
  • Provides an opportunity for students to create social change through sport





Inspiring Leadership

Special Olympics Unified Sports is fun for all ages - but is particularly powerful as an education tool in schools.  Special education teachers have reported the program to be extremely effective at integrating youth, promoting physical activity and inspiring leadership.  One teacher reported, "I've seen more interaction on the field today between classmates than I've seen in my classroom all year."






“These kids have become more than just teammates.  A lot of them have become my best friends.” – Colleen McNeely, Unified Partner, Forest Grove High School









If you would like more information on Unified Sports, please email bjmealy@soor.org