The program, sponsored by Minnesota Special Olympics, brings together children ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. It starts January 6 at McKinley school in Owatonna.

The 'Young Athletes' program will meet every Tuesday from January 6 to April 28 at McKinley School, 423  14th St NE in Owatonna from 5:30 - 6:30PM. The class is FREE.

Activities will include:

  • foundational skills
  • balancing and jumping
  • trapping & catching
  • kicking
  • walking & running
  • throwing
  • striking
  • advanced skills

The goals of the program:

  • engage children with intellectual disabilities through developmentally appropriate play activities designed to foster physical, cognitive and social development
  • welcome family members of children with and without intellectual disabilities to the Special Olympics network of support
  • raise awareness about the abilities of children with intellectual disabilities through inclusive peer participation, demonstrations and other events.
  • developing skills for success as a future Special Olympics athlete
We believe there is no better way to bring these young athletes into the Special Olympics family than through a program like Young Athletes - fostering inclusion in a fun and engaging setting for all.
-mission statement

Registration information and other program details are available online at www.specialolympicsminnesota.org/programs/young-athletes/

The following is an interview with site coordinator Amanda Gislason: