“I believe Special Olympics has helped me with opening up to other people, taught me the value of teamwork, and gave me the chance to show that I can play athletic activities. Thank you for giving me a sense of belonging.”– Special Olympics Hawaiʻi Athlete
Improve physical fitness and motor skills
Greater self-confidence and positive self-image
Develop friendships and increase family support
To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics, you must be at least 8 years old and identified by an agency or professional as having one of the following conditions: intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays as measured by formal assessment, or significant learning or vocational problems due to cognitive delay that require or have required specially designed instruction. Athletes can begin training at the age of 6 and can compete in Future Stars divisions.
Our Future Stars program is for those athletes that are 6 and 7 years old who want to become a part of a team. They will train and participate in Area and State events in track and field, softball, soccer, and basketball. Future Star athletes are required to fill out the Special Olympics Registration, Medical and Release forms listed below.
For those younger than 8, the Special Olympics Young Athletes™ program was created for children with and without intellectual disabilities ages 2 through 7. See Initiatives for more information and the registration form
To become an athlete, contact the Area Director nearest you.
To register complete the following:
1. Athlete Registration Form
2. Athlete Medical Form
This form must be signed by a medical professional and is valid for three (3) years. If registering an individual with Down Syndrome an additional page must be completed. This is to ensure Special Olympics that the athlete does not have atlanto-axial instability and may compete in all sports.
3. Athlete Release Form
4. Athlete Code of Conduct
Athletes are expected to follow directions and have good behavior both on and off the field as well as put forth their best effort at practices and competitions. The Athlete Code of Conduct is signed by both the athlete and their legal guardian ensuring that our guidelines are understood. Code of Conducts will be submitted to your Head of Delegation or Coach.
4. Communicable Disease Waiver
Unified Partner Registration
All other individuals that are eight years old and older are eligible to be Unified Partners and may train and compete in the Special Olympics Unified Sports® program.
1. Unified Partner Registration Form
An individual over the age of 18 must complete the Adult Unified Sports® Partner Form and Athlete/Partner Code of Conduct. The application must be submitted to the Head of Delegation/Area Director in order for the partner to begin training. This form is valid for three (3) years.
A unified partner must also view the General Orientation and Protective Behavior videos to complete the Class A certification that is needed for all Unified Partners to participate in Special Olympics.
3. Youth Unified Partner Form
Unified Partners under the age of 18 must complete the Youth Unified Sports Partner Form and Athlete/Partner Code of Conduct. This form must be given to your Head of Delegation/Area Director before you can begin training.