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87 Elizabeth Ave., St. John’s, NL A1B 1R6

Tel: (709) 738-1923        Toll Free: 1-877-738-1913         Email:

Fax: (709) 738-0119

Twitter: @SpecialONL
Facebook: @TeamSONL
Instagram: @nlspecialolympics

Mandate: To provide year-round sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities

Target Population: Children and adults with intellectual disabilities across the province

Highlight of Programs / Services Offered: Special Olympics NL is dedicated to enriching the lives of Newfoundlanders & Labradoreans with an intellectual disability through active participate in sport.

  • Healthy Athletes: Special Olympics Canada offers one free health exam for all athletes during National Games.
    • Exams identify health areas that might need further attention.  These can include:
      • Opening Eyes (vision); Fit Feet (podiatry); FUNfitness (physical therapy); Special Smiles (dentistry); Health Promotion (better health and well-being); Healthy Hearing (audiology); MedFest (sport physical exam).
    • Many Chapters (Provinces) have certified facilitators for the different Healthy Athletes areas. Exams and facilitators are overseen by Special Olympics Inc to ensure global consistency.
  • Active Start: One of two initiatives developed by Special Olympics Canada for young athletes ages 2 to 6.
    • Program leaders introduce children to the world of sport by developing fundamental movement skills like walking, running, jumping and balancing.
    • The rationale behind Active Start is that when children with an intellectual disability receive early instruction in basic motor skills and have the opportunity to experience ‘play’, there is improvement in their physical, social and cognitive abilities.
  • FUNdamentals: FUNdamentals is one of two initiatives developed by Special Olympics Canada for young athletes ages 7 – 12.
    • Program leaders help develop fundamental movement skills like running, jumping, throwing, catching, striking and kicking.
    • These skills provide support for everyday activities as well as a base for Special Olympics sports training and competition as athletes grow older. The objective is Physical Literacy.
  •  Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD):
    • The Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model guides the physical literacy of each individual with an intellectual disability. Special Olympics Canada uses the same LTAD model as sports organizations across Canada.
    • Special Olympics is about creating opportunities for individuals with an intellectual disability to be Active for Life – leading to a healthier life with benefits such as adopting healthy eating habits, a social group, and of course increased physical literacy.
  • Unified Sports – In the Schools: 
    • Promotes social inclusion through shared sport training and competition experiences for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. Unified Sports include Basketball and Bocce.
    • Unified Competitions will follow the same divisioning principles used in all of our Special Olympics competitions.  Teams of comparable ability will be grouped together for meaningful competition.
  • Athlete Leadership:
    • Special Olympics Athlete Leadership allows athletes to explore opportunities for greater participation in the movement beyond sports training and competition: as peer mentors, team captains, spokespeople and Board and committee members.
    • These roles give athletes a voice in shaping the Special Olympics movement, and a chance to spread the word about the transformations Special Olympics can bring to individuals and families.

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