The Special Olympics Texas Young Athletes Program was held at Lone Star Early Childhood Center on Friday, March 1. The event brought together students aged 3 to 7 who participated in a range of activities aimed at introducing them to basic sports skills.

Some events included football toss, soccer, basketball, an obstacle course and running under the colorful big parachute.

These young athletes showcased their talents as elementary and early childhood students from across the district were represented.

The event, designed specifically for children in this age group. Once students turn 8-years-old, they can participate in the larger Special Olympics event.

Parents, teachers, and volunteers cheered on the young participants. This program also aims to prioritize inclusivity and team work.

The Young Athletes Program promotes essential life skills in a supportive environment.

Young Athletes provides children of all abilities the same opportunities to advance in core developmental milestones. 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 stay active and establish healthy habits for the future. 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. Young Athletes is easy to do and fun for all. It can be done at home, in schools or in the community using the Young Athletes Activity Guide and basic equipment. Through Young Athletes, all children, their families and people in the community can be a part of an inclusive team.

Young Athletes welcomes children and their families into the world of Special Olympics.

• Motor skills. Children with intellectual disabilities who took part in Young Athletes developed motor skills more than twice as fast as others who did not take part.

• Social, emotional and learning skills. Parents and teachers of children who took part in the Young Athletes curriculum said the children learned skills that they will use in pre-primary school.

• Expectations. Family members say that Young Athletes raised their hopes for their child’s future.

• Sport readiness. Young Athletes helps children get ready to take part in sports when they are older.

• Acceptance. Inclusive play helps children without a disability to better understand and accept others.

For more information about Young Athletes, visit the Young Athletes Resources Page.