Become an Athlete

When you choose to take your place among Special Olympics New York athletes, you’re joining a group of strong, ambitious competitors. Whether you take home medals or make lifelong friends—or both—you can look forward to building confidence and independence.

Register below to become an Athlete.

When you choose to take your place among Special Olympics New York athletes, you’re joining a group of strong, ambitious competitors. Whether you take home medals or make lifelong friends—or both—you can look forward to building confidence and independence.

Register below to become an Athlete.

“At Special Olympics New York, we believe that people of all abilities can and will succeed when given a chance. Our life-changing programs build confidence, promote and support a healthy lifestyle, and surround our athletes and their families with a sense of belonging. Together, we are creating inclusive communities in New York and around the world.” – Stacey Hengsterman, President & CEO

 

 

Special Olympics New York offers children and adults with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to train and compete in authentic, quality sports at the local, state, national and even international level. We currently offer 22 sports for individuals ages 8 and up throughout the year, over the course of three seasons.

How to Become An AthleteHow to Become An Athlete

Step 1: Choose your sport.

Step 2. Contact your regional office to register as an athlete. 

Step 3. Connect with a training club near you, and start practicing!

EligibilityEligibility

Special Olympics New York athletes must be at least 8 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following:

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment
  • Significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or required specially designed instruction

 

Parallel to this core sports program, we support three seasons of Unified Sports, where teams are comprised of athletes both with and without intellectual disabilities.

We also offer a Young Athletes Program that introduces the concept of inclusive sports to children under age 8, preparing them for our core sports program with activities important to mental and physical development such as running, balance, and throwing/catching. Young Athletes is open to children of all abilities.

Finally, Special Olympics New York offers free health screenings in many disciplines at all major competitive events, and coordinates an Athlete Leadership program that includes public speaking training and mentorship opportunities.

All Special Olympics New York programming is provided at no cost to athletes, families or caregivers.

 

I’m Interested!