Special Olympics New York Launches Resources for Young Athletes to Use at Home

Follow-Along Videos Created In Partnership with Capital Region, North Country Coaches

Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York today announced the release of a series of videos and supporting materials for children ages 2-7 and their families to stay active and healthy at home while formal Young Athletes programming throughout the state is suspended.

Young Athletes videos and resources are available and free to access at www.specialolympicsNY.org/young-athletes/.

“Special Olympics New York is committed to providing inclusive opportunities for its community of athletes and families during this “new normal” state of engagement, while we are all feeling what it’s like to be isolated from our peers,” said Special Olympics New York President & CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “We are so grateful for the help of our Young Athletes coaches and partners who have taken the time to create content for us that will bring children and families closer together during this time and long into the future.”

The Special Olympics Young Athletes program provides inclusive play opportunities for children of all abilities, ages 2-7. It engages children with and without intellectual disabilities in activities important to mental and physical development, such as running, balance and catching, while also teaching inclusion at a young age and preparing athletes for Special Olympics training and competition when they become eligible at age 8.

The program is comprised of eight units: Foundational Skills, Walking and Running, Balance and Jumping, Trapping and Catching, Throwing, Striking, Kicking and Advanced Sports Skills. Foundational Skills videos created by coaches in the Capital Region and North Country are currently online, with videos in the remaining five units to follow in the coming weeks.

The Young Athletes program is offered by Special Olympics chapters in states and countries around the world. In New York, programs are offered in one of three settings, always with the goal of bringing children with and without intellectual disabilities together. In schools, teachers and advisers use the program to support children in developing motor and communication skills. In community settings such as the YMCA, a certified coach brings children and families together for inclusive play. In homes, families encourage children and friends to use the program for shared activities and ideas.

To get involved or support the growth of Special Olympics Young Athletes in your region or statewide, make an inquiry or a donation online at specialolympicsNY.org.

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About Special Olympics New York

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 67,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with more than 220 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.

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