Year-Round Sports Training in Canada

Jennifer and Derian are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Canada who will lead a Youth Innovation Project to increase engagement in their “Open Gym” program from students with and without intellectual disabilities. Jennifer and Derian also hope to expand Open Gym from a weekly event with a small group of students into separate intramural events over the school year. Jennifer and Derian hope to create a legacy of leadership for students with and without intellectual disabilities to sustain the Open Gym program and the opportunities it provides for years to come. Through Unified Sports,

Jennifer and Derian, as well as the participants, can develop lifelong relationships, growing the Unified Generation throughout Alberta.


Jennifer and Derian were inspired to start this project after they saw what a positive impact Open Gym had on them and everyone who participated. Jennifer and Derian believe that many other students be positively impacted by the program as well. Jennifer and Derian would also like to expand Open Gym by purchasing a Bean Bag toss set, a Bocce Ball set and basketball equipment in hopes of creating a large intramural Unified Sports tournament. After their grant period ends, Jennifer and Derian plan to establish an inclusive intramural sports system. By developing year-round Unified Sports opportunities, Jennifer and Derian are ensuring that inclusion is built into the culture and fabric of their school community.