Champion Schools

What We Do

The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. With sports as the foundation, the three-component model offers a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom, and school climates of acceptance. These are school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all activities, opportunities, and functions.

Our Goals

Why It Matters

200 million people with intellectual disabilities are denied social inclusion in society. SOLA helps pave the way for community-wide inclusion and offers a positive foundation for activity between special education and general education students in school. Over the years, our Unified programs have attracted high-profile partnerships with companies like ESPN, to raise awareness for our mission.

Unified School Offerings


Inclusive Youth Leadership

Whole School Engagement

FAQs & Resources

A UNIFIED SPORT ATHLETE is an individual with intellectual disabilities receiving Special Education services, verified by the site administrator, but also a student who previously, based on their special needs, has not had competitive opportunities to participate in a selected sport. A Unified Sports Athlete works with a Unified Partner to learn the skills of the selected sport. The emphasis is the providing of opportunities, not ultimately how well the unified participants are fair in league or section competition.

​A UNIFIED PARTNER is a general education student attending the same school as a Unified Sports Athlete, not receiving Special Education services. Partners are dedicated to teaching the skills of the sport as well as committed to the social interaction with the special needs student. It is expected that Unified Athletes and Partners practice and compete together consistently throughout the entire regular and post-season. However, in a virtual environment, a Unified Partner can be anyone from your siblings to your parent or guardian.

Need More Information?

If you have more questions or want to get in contact with us, fill out this form, and we’d be happy to help you find an answer or point you in the right direction!

Need More Info Form - Champion Schools

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