Start a Young Athletes ProgramSO_YA_Lockups-sm


  1. Contact the Manager of Young Athletes and let them know that you are interested in starting a program.
  2. Attend a training program/informational workshop offered at a state or regional site. Training is based on the Young Athlete Curriculum Guide w/DVD (provided by Special Olympics Florida) offering training tips and descriptions of how to do the program. (Trainings may also be available upon request depending on the size of the program and the amount of interest expressed by your agency/school).
  3. Upon completion of forms and registration of 6 Young Athletes with Intellectual Disability and 2 Class A Volunteers (Play Pals), an equipment kit and banner is sent to you courtesy of Special Olympics Florida.
  4. Program:  Once you receive your equipment, you can start conducting your sessions. You must conduct 24 sessions. More than one session can be completed each week. For example, if you choose to have 2 sessions per week, then your program will run for 12 weeks.Level 1 Play: Physical activities focused on developing fundamental motor tracking and eye-hand coordination.Level 2 Play: The activities consist of foundational skills, walking & running, balance, and jumping, trapping & catching, throwing, striking, kicking and advanced skills which are a pre-requisite to developing the sports skills needed for Special Olympics training and competition.
  5. Culminating Event: Once you have completed 24 sessions, you are ready to host your Culminating Event. (Please notify Special Olympics Florida a month prior to the Culminating Event so that you can receive the forms necessary to receive your t-shirts, certificates, and ribbons.)This final event showcases the young athletes and unified young athletes learned skills for their parents and the community at large. Each athlete receives a T-shirt to wear at the event. County Commissioners, city councils, school board members and elected officials are invited to attend. This brings awareness to the program.
  6. Certificates of Participation and Ribbons are provided and are given to all Young Athletes at the awards ceremony held at the end of your Culminating Event.
  7. Evaluation: A Site Program Evaluation form is returned to the state office after 24 sessions and Culminating Event.