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Sports

Special Olympics New Jersey is a statewide sports training and athletic competition program, which provides year-round opportunities to children and adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in sports.

Download the Sports Information Handbook

In New Jersey, athletes participate in:

Athlete Training

Athletes who participate in Special Olympics New Jersey are expected to make a commitment to training. There are basic elements to an athlete's selection of sport and training.

Selection of Sport - Athletes should be included in the selection of their sport, recognizing that there may be some limitations on resources and facilities. For example, if your athlete joins an existing local program, he or she should be able to select a sport each season from the sports offered. A parent or coach's assistance with the selection will help guide an athlete to entry level participation that could eventually develop an athlete to qualify for other advanced opportunities.

Seasonal Training - Once a sport is selected, an athlete is required to make a commitment to training and seasonal play to qualify for Sectional and Statewide competition opportunities. Training and competition experience through practice or league or club play should be incorporated into an 8-10 week sports season that includes:

Equipment - All training should be conducted with proper sports clothing and equipment at a facility that provides a safe and obstruction-free venue for activity. Parents and family members should only be part of the training if requested by the coaching staff. Parents/guardians and athletes need to commit to the entire seasonal experience.

Coach Training - Special Olympics New Jersey strongly encourages family members to attend a coaches training course so that they can assist in practice if requested to do so by the coach or to begin another local program. If interested in becoming a coach, please visit the Volunteer As A Coach page.