Young Athletes™ is an 8 week-long early childhood sports play program for children with intellectual disabilities aged 2 to 7 years old that includes games, songs, and other fun! We also welcome children without intellectual disabilities to join in the fun as Unified Partners!


Our young athletes learn basic sports skills like kicking and throwing a ball and playing with others! While young athletes practice their sports skills, they gain motor skills like balance, flexibility, strength, and coordination. In fact, in a recent study, children with developmental delays who participated in a structured 8 week Young Athletes™ program showed significantly more motor development than those who did not participate. Not only that, but their teachers and parents also reported improved Confidence, language skills, and social skills. Another benefit was families played more together at home and in the community!

Parents, siblings and other children without intellectual disabilities are welcome to join in the fun and participate in a Unified environment helping to encourage an inclusive community!



1) Columbia North YMCA
1400 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121
2)  Northeast Philadelphia YMCA 
11088 Knights Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154
2 – 4-YEAR-OLDS 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM | 5 – 7-YEAR-OLDS 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM
3)  Christian Street YMCA
1742 Christian Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146
2 – 7-YEAR-OLDS 2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
Demonstration: April 29th during Spring games


4) Start your own! 

The Young Athletes Program is turnkey and user-friendly. If you’re interested in launching your own local Young Athletes Program, please contact us. We can work with you to secure resources, materials, and equipment. Young Athletes can be done in schools, in our home or at a local park or community center!


Please do not commit to a program if you are unable to make at least 6 of the 8 sessions. If that is the case, let me know of your interest and providing there are spaces open in the class I will permit your child to join anyway. If a family joins and their child does not attend 6 or more sessions and/or does not give ample proper notice to the lead volunteers, this will be cause for the removal of your child from the current program. They will be welcome to join again in the future.

Click here to have registration forms sent to your inbox! There are two forms that parents/guardians will need to fill out for their child before they can participate. These will be emailed out to confirmed participants. Spots are limited and will be given on a first come first serve basis.


Please do not commit to a program if you are unable to make at least 6 of the 8 sessions. If that is the case, please request to be placed on our call up list from which you will be contacted in the event that there are not enough volunteers on any given day. 

If you are interested in volunteer for any of the above locations, please contact Britt Kleine now to begin the volunteer registration and background check process.

If you wish to learn more about the Young Athletes Program from Special Olympics, click here.

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Speak to our staff about the Young Athletes Program: how to get your child involved or have your child placed on a waiting list for future sessions. OR DO YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER TO WORK WITH OUR YOUNG ATHLETESContact Britt Kleine, Director of Special Olympics Philadelphia.




The space for the Philadelphia Young Athletes Program in partnership with Special Olympics Philadelphia and the YMCA is being generously donated by the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA. Learn more about their Philadelphia locations and how you can become a member! A big special thank you to the Northeast Philadelphia YMCA, Columbia North YMCA and our newest location, the Christian Street YMCA!