Promoting Inclusion and Acceptance Through Sports

Unified Sports is a registered program of Special Olympics. It is a program that combines approximately equal numbers of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on sports teams for training and competition.

All Unified Sports players, both athletes and Unified partners, are of similar age and matched by sport skill ability. Unified Sports teams are placed in competitive divisions based on their skill abilities, ranging from training divisions (focused on skill-learning) to high-level competition. 

SOCT Unified Sports Participants


97% of Connecticut's public high schools offer Special Olympics Unified Sports programs


81 middle schools and 62 elementary schools currently hold Unified Sports events and tournaments


5,865 athletes and Unified Sports partners participated in Unified Sports at their schools


Over 1,500 individuals participated in our Young Athletes program
CIAC logo Men and women wearing royal blue golf shirts holding a red ball together.

Partnership with CIAC

In 1992, as part of an effort to reach school-aged athletes, Special Olympics Connecticut formed a partnership with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) to bring Special Olympics Unified Sports to schools across the state.

Special Olympics Unified Sports school programs administered by CIAC operate throughout the school year and closely follow the academic calendar. Unified Sports events are organized in each sport season for elementary, middle and high school students. All public and parochial schools in Connecticut are invited to participate.
This inclusive program gives all school-aged children opportunities to participate in organized team sports, build friendships with their peers, and help inspire a school environment where inclusion, acceptance and respect are cornerstones.

Unified Champion Schools

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® successfully demonstrate a commitment to inclusion by fully adopting three components: the Special Olympics Unified Sports program, Inclusive Youth Leadership and Whole School Engagement.


A Unified Champion School receiving national banner recognition is one that has demonstrated commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence. Connecticut has more Banner Unified Champion Schools than any other state with a total of 70 schools receiving and/or renewing banner status.

Group of athletes on an outdoor track holding up a banner that reads Broadview United Unified Sports.
Three young girls playing outside with cones and hurdles.

Young Athletes

Children between the ages of 2 to 7 can take part in our Young Athletes program, which helps participants improve physically, cognitively and socially at the earliest phase of their development.

Presenting Sponsors