SPORTSThrough sports we are able to reach and improve the lives of the intellectually disabled. Special Olympics offers 30-plus Olympic-style individual and team sports that provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities.
1. YEAR round sports programming
In a bid to improve the sports performance of athletes with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics Kenya annually invests in coach training for volunteers who work with athletes with intellectual disabilities. Approximately 400 volunteers are trained annually who subsequently train and organize competitions for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Kenya provides individuals with intellectual disabilities and Unified Partners an opportunity to compete in international platforms. Since 1983, Special Olympics Kenya has participated in all World Games bringing back home tens of medals every time they represent the country. To site a few examples:
Special Olympics Kenya offers 13 – Olympic-style individual and team sports (Athletics, Basketball, Beach Volleyball, Bocce, Cycling, Floor Hockey, Football, Golf, Handball, Netball, Volley ball) that provide meaningful training and competition opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities and Unified Partners.
Competitions we have participated in
- China – 2007 World Summer Games: Gold = 4 and Silver 22.
- Greece – 2011 World Summer Games: Gold = 21, Silver = 13 and Bronze = 1.
- South Korea -2013 World Winter Games: Floor Hockey Team Gold.
- California-2015 World Summer Games— 8 individual Gold medals, 2 team Gold medals, 3 silver medals, 1 individual Bronze medal and 1 team bronze medal.
- Austria-2017 World Winter Games- Floor Hockey Team Gold Medal.
2019 World Summer Games, Abu Dhabi
Special Olympics Kenya will be represented in these Games by a team of 78 players. For the first time, Kakuma Refugee Camp will be represented in these games by 4 athletes with intellectual disabilities.
2. Play activities
The Special Olympics Play Activities Program is for children 6 and 7 years old who do not yet compete in Special Olympics. These play activities increase young children’s strength and coordination for sports, and introduce children to group play and the cooperation and awareness of rules that is requires.
3. YOUNG ATHLETES
What does every child want? The chance to kick a ball, to throw it well, to share that success with family members. What does every child with intellectual disabilities want? The exact same thing.
Special Olympics Young Athletes is a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities (ID), ages 2 to 7 years old and involves activities that develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination.
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. Children of all abilities take part, and they all benefit.
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 get fit. 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 using the Young Athletes Activity Guide and basic equipment.
Through Young Athletes, all children, their families and people in the community can be a part of an inclusive team.
How this helps young athletes
- Motor skills. Children with 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.
- 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.
- Inclusive play helps children without a disability to better understand and accept others.
- Support and Inspiration
Young Athletes supports children all around the world in schools, communities and at home. Young Athletes helps lead children into a bright new world of sports and social skills, pride and possibility.