Special Olympics Arizona
Contact via Email
Visit our Website
- Leadership and volunteering
- Year-Round Sports training
- Local, Regional & Statewide competitions
- National and International competition
- Healthy Athletes free screenings
- Social Inclusion activities
- Unified Sports, Elementary-Adult
- Young Athletes fitness for Preschoolers
- Health Education, PreK-High School
Fundraisers We Support
- We are a non-profit
Hours of OperationMonday – Friday 8:30AM to 5:00PM
The purpose of Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ) is to empower children and adults with intellectual disabilities to live healthy, fulfilling and meaningful lives to the fullest extent of their ability. By equipping this population with information, resources, training and opportunity, SOAZ assists individuals with reaching their full potential, participating in their communities, contributing to society and managing their own health, welfare and happiness. Increasing self-determination and inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of family, school and civic life is the motivation behind SOAZ sports, fitness, health and social programs.
SOAZ operates under the assumption that people with intellectual disabilities are capable of participation in all aspects of life by focusing on abilities and treating disabilities as differences, rather than limitations.
UNIFIED STRATEGY FOR SCHOOLS
The Unified Strategy for Schools encompasses inclusive sports, health education and social justice activities to increase inclusion and acceptance for youth with intellectual disabilities.
Unified Sports combines individuals with and without intellectual disabilities on sports teams for training and competition. All players compete alongside one another, each in a meaningful and integral role on the Unified Sports team.
Young Athletes is an inclusive physical activity program for 2 to 7 year olds who have intellectual disabilities and their non-disabled peers. Through Young Athletes a child develops the building blocks of physical skills such as walking and running, balancing and jumping, trapping and catching, throwing, striking and kicking, just to name a few. These building blocks result in notable improvements in a child’s motor, cognitive, social emotional, adaptive and communication skill development.
Healthy Lifestyle Education and Practice provides nutrition, fitness, injury prevention and general health information and practical application to Preschool through high school students with and without disabilities. Coaches who are also certified teachers receive additional training and present Healthy LEAP lessons as part of Unified Sports practice sessions.
The goal of the Unified Strategy for Schools social inclusion activities is to promote school communities where all young people are agents of change; fostering respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. The Unified Program empowers students to speak and act through peer-to-peer education, awareness events and school-wide campaigns.
The ultimate goal of the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program is to improve each athlete’s ability to train and compete in Special Olympics as well as in life. Healthy Athletes improves the health and fitness of Special Olympics athletes through free medical screenings in seven disciplines: hearing, vision, dental hygiene, podiatry, physical therapy, healthy lifestyle choices, and sports psychology and health promotion
The key objectives of Healthy Athletes are:
• Improve access to care at event-based and other health screening clinics;
• Make appropriate referrals for follow-up to community health professionals;
• Train health care professionals and students about the needs of people with intellectual disabilities;
• Collect, analyze and disseminate data on the health needs of people with intellectual disabilities;
• Advocate for improved health policies and programs for people with intellectual disabilities.
TRADITIONAL SPORTS TRAINING AND COMPETITION
Special Olympics Arizona offers training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities who are 8 years or older in 22 sports: Alpine Skiing, Aquatics, Athletics, Basketball, Bocce, Bowling, Cheerleading, Cross Country Skiing, Equestrian, Figure Skating, Flag Football, Floorball, Golf, Kayaking, Powerlifting, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Soccer, Softball, Speed Skating, Tennis, Volleyball. Three Statewide, two regional and 57 Area competitions are offered annually.