Learn: SOMD Programs – Young Athletes

Start Early. Finish Strong.

Click here for Young Athletes Individual Registration & Release 2016 7 18

A Head Start

Special Olympics Maryland Young Athletes is a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities, ages 2 to 7 years old. 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. The Young Athletes Program serves as an introduction to the world of Special Olympics while providing support and resources available within Special Olympics Maryland.

Online Resources:

The Young Athletes Resource Toolkit provides information and resources for individuals who are looking to become more involved with the Young Athletes Program.


Introduction to Young Athletes

Basic facts and information about Special Olympics Young Athletes Program

    • Young Athletes Stories: Stories and experiences of impact from Young Athletes around the state of Maryland. 


  • Young Athletes Equipment: A list of equipment and resources needed to conduct Young Athletes activities in a home, school, or community.



Young Athletes Activity Guide

The Young Athletes Activity Guide includes activities to run Young athletes in schools, communities, and homes.



Young Athletes Activity Videos

Video clips demonstrating the individual skills included in Young Athletes.



Young Athletes Curriculum

  • The Young Athletes Curriculum builds on Young Athletes Activity Guide, providing scripted Lesson Plans to use over an 8 week period.
  • YAP Lesson plans 1-6



Tools and Resources for Implementers

Tools and resources for coaches and families supporting Young Athletes:

Resources for Community Programs:

Registrations forms:



Resources for Families

  • Community Builder Toolkit for Family Leaders: Sample materials for family leaders to use. The toolkit highlights effective strategies for recruiting, retaining and engaging families to make Special Olympics better for athletes, families and communities.


 Live Links to Participating County Websites:

Anne Arundel County

Baltimore County

Carroll County

Montgomery County

Young Athletes is a win-win program for everyone – building stronger bodies, stronger citizens, stronger families, and ultimately a stronger community.  

For more information about Young Athletes and how to find a program near you, contact Mackenzie Irvin at
mirvin@somd.org or 410-242-1515.