This article examines the Special Olympics’ Youth Unified Sports programme acrossfive countries within its Europe/Eurasia region. It focuses upon the process by whichimpact is achieved, led for the most part by coaches involved in preparing participantsfor competition through training. This is realized through the creation of sportsteams, which in the case of this research means association football and basketballteams, in which athletes (young people with intellectual disabilities, ID) are selectedalongside partners (contemporaries without an ID) to form coherent units that thencompete against other such teams locally, nationally and, occasionally, internationally.The results of this investigation reveal the positive impact, upon integration andinclusion, for athletes offered by the Unified Sports programme and point to thepowerful outcomes for a host of stakeholders, ranging from Special Olympics at anorganizational level, relatives of participants, partners and coaches as well as the athletesthemselves.
Hassan, D., Dowling, S., McConkey, R., & Menke, S. (2012). The inclusion of people with intellectual disability in sport: Lessons from the Youth Unified Sports programme of Special Olympics, Sport in Society, 2012, 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2012.695348