Unified Sports to Celebrate Differences

Cole and Helena are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Brazil who will lead a Youth Innovation Project to create a Unified Sports program at their school so students with and without intellectual disabilities feel welcomed and celebrated. By starting Unified Sports at their school, Cole and Helena are giving all students the opportunity to learn a new sport, make new friends, be a part of a team and grow their athletic and social skills.


Over the course of 12 months, Cole and Helena plan to make their school a Unified Champion School, engage over 300 participants with and without intellectual disabilities and train six new Youth Leaders. Their school will hold monthly basketball and soccer practices that will culminate at the end of the year with a sports festival and competition. Cole and Helena are showing that Unified Sports do not separate people based on their differences and ability within a certain sport, but bring them together to build off each other’s strengths, enabling young people to be successful both on the field/court and in society as members of the Unified Generation.