Unified Sports Program
Special Olympics Unified Sports® combines people with intellectual disabilities (traditional Special Olympics athletes) and without intellectual disabilities (called partners) on sports teams for training and competition. In Rhode Island, Unified Sports® programs are offered in soccer, basketball, volleyball, softball, golf, sailing, bowling, flag football, tennis, cross-country running, cycling, croquet and senior sports.
Using sports to help break down barriers that have historically kept people apart, Unified Sports® promotes meaningful inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual disabilities in the community. In fact, 93% of partners say they gained a better understanding of their teammates through Unified Sports®.
Unified Sports® is particularly successful in school settings, creating an inclusive environment where everyone benefits. Special education students experience new social opportunities and make new friends they may not have otherwise. Their non-disabled peers learn valuable lessons of character development and may serve as mentors. Many parents and siblings also find that Unified Sports® offers a new way to spend time together and meet other families.
Unified Sports® is for anyone who enjoys competition, fun and friendship. To get involved, contact Chris Hopkins more details on our Unified Sports Programs.