Young Athletes welcomes children and their families into the world of Special Olympics.

Young Athletes is an inclusive play program for children ages 2 through 7 that prepares them for future participation in sports while improving gross motor, social and cognitive skills. It’s play with a purpose!

  • Motor skills – Children with intellectual disabilities (ID) 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.

See what this amazing program has done for Special Olympics New Jersey young athlete, Emelia Johns!

Participation Opportunities

We want to reach as many children as possible – see what Young Athletes has to offer at home, at school or in the community.


If you have any questions about Young Athletes, please contact Andrea Moore at