Region K Young Athlete Culminating Event at Andy Hall
Special Olympics Young Athletes is an early childhood play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old. Young Athletes introduces basic sport skills, like running, kicking and throwing. Young Athletes offers families, teachers, caregivers and people from the community the chance to share the joy of sports with all children.
Young Athletes provides children of all abilities the same opportunities to advance in core developmental milestones. Children learn how to play with others and develop important skills for learning. Children also learn to share, take turns and follow directions. These skills help children in family, community and school activities.
Young Athletes is a fun way for children to stay active and establish healthy habits for the future. It is important to teach children healthy habits while they are young. This can set the stage for a life of physical activity, friendships and learning. Young Athletes is easy to do and fun for all. It can be done at home, in schools or in the community.
Young Athletes welcomes children and their families into the world of Special Olympics.
- Motor skills. Children with intellectual disabilities who took part in Young Athletes developed motor skills more than twice as fast as others who did not take part.
- Social, emotional and learning skills. Parents and teachers of children who took part in the Young Athletes curriculum said the children learned skills that they will use in pre-primary school.
- Expectations. Family members say that Young Athletes raised their hopes for their child’s future.
- Sport readiness. Young Athletes helps children get ready to take part in sports when they are older.
- Acceptance. Inclusive play helps children without a disability to better understand and accept others.
The activities consist of:
Walking and Running
Balance and Jumping
Trapping and Catching
Review of Skills as Sports
Special Olympics is a global organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world. Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, allowing them to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support.
Masks must be worn: at tournament central, team staging areas, entering the facility to use the restrooms, in the restrooms, staging areas, during the competition and at any time or place when social distancing is not an option. Special Olympics will not be providing masks. Athletes and coaches must bring their own.
To make sure we abide by the in-person maximum set by the IDPH, parents and spectators are unfortunately not allowed to attend and only registered athletes, coaches and partners are allowed at the event. It is very important you relay to all parents and guardians the importance of only allowing registered persons into the event.
Special Olympics Illinois is committed to providing the best athlete, volunteer, coach and supporter environment possible. While we are excited to resume in-person events, the health and well-being of our constituents remains our top priority. All of our in-person events follow the COVID-19 recommended IDPH and CDC guidelines.