To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-style sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Who is eligible to participate in Special Olympics?
To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, you must be at least 6 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specially designed instruction. The Special Olympics Young Athletes™ program was created for children with intellectual disabilities ages 2 through 7.
Can individuals with profound disabilities participate in Special Olympics?
Yes, almost all sports have a Skills component and Adaptive sport component and through Special Olympics Motor Activities Training Program (MATP), developed by physical educators, physical therapists and recreation therapists. MATP emphasizes training and participation rather than competition.
Special Olympics New York is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization and is funded primarily by donations from individuals, corporations and foundations. Special Olympics New York never charges athletes, their families or caregivers to train or compete.