The Healthy Athletes initiative is a health screening programme designed to ensure that the basic health issues of the special athletes are monitored. It is designed to help them improve their health and fitness, leading to an enhanced sports experience and improved well-being. The 7 disciplines are;
Young Athletes™ is an early intervention programme that promotes fundamental movement skill development of children with intellectual disabilities. It is a non-competitive innovative sports play programme catered to children with intellectual disabilities, aged 7 and below. This programme introduces children to the world of sports prior to Special Olympics competition eligibility at age 8. Through this programme, we hope to raise public awareness about the abilities of children with intellectual disabilities and develop them physically, cognitively, and socially.
The young athletes will develop different loco-motor, object-control/manipulative, stability and basic sport motor skills. Developing movement efficiency and proficiency helps these young athletes to move confidently and efficiently in daily living.
The weekly 1-hour programme runs every Saturday at Rainbow Centre Margaret Drive School from 9.00am to 12.00pm
The Special Olympics Motor Activities Training Programme (MATP) is designed for athletes with severe or profound intellectual disability who are unable to participate in official Special Olympics sport competitions because of their skill and/or functional abilities. The MATP is designed to prepare athletes with severe or profound appropriate for their abilities. Athletes with significant disabilities are those who, because of their physical, mental, of emotional problems, need highly specialized training programmes. As a unique sport-based programme, the MATP does not exclude any athlete. It is designed to provide individualized training program to all athletes with significant disabilities.
The Athlete Leadership Programme (ALPs) recognizes that individuals with intellectual disabilities have the potential and ability to develop leadership skills and to be a voice for their fella athletes. The programme helps athletes to develop communication, social and leadership skills. Special Olympics Singapore had an athletes who was selected as one of the 12 Sargent Shrive Global Messenger (2004-2007) after going through the programme.
Families are very important in the lives of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics Singapore recognizes the vital and significant roles of families in supporting special athletes and in families supporting families. Families are engaged and encouraged to participate in all Special Olympics programmes. The Annual Family day is one of the many initiatives organised by the Family Support Network for athletes and families from the different sports groups to mingle with each other and thus improve their social development and affective attributes.
Besides providing opportunities for training and competition for athletes with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics Singapore also offers a very unique Unified Sports Programme where individuals without intellectual disabilities (known as unified partners) are invited to train alongside athletes with intellectual disabilities. Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle; training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. In unified sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport as the common language for athletes with intellectual disabilities and unified partners is just one of the many ways of sweeping away preconception and stereotype misconceptions about individuals with intellectual disabilities.