- Support Programs
- Unified Sports®
To provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
The main philosophy of SOAZ/AIA Unified Sports® is about inclusion and recognition of the Special Olympics athletes on their high school campus. We want the Unified Sports® athletes to enjoy the competition as it is happening by not being overly competitive, thus losing site of the overall spirit of inclusion.
In June of 2011, a partnership was formed between Special Olympics Arizona and the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) with the sole purpose of building a state-wide Unified Sports® system. Unified Sports® is an inclusive program that combines high school students with intellectual disabilities (athletes) and high school students without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition. Through a grant from Special Olympics International, the funds have been established to create a successful Unified Sports® league in high schools throughout Arizona.