Young Athletes Play Days

play-day-balance-beamEvery child wants the chance to kick a ball, to throw it well and to share that success with family members. Every child with intellectual disabilities wants the exact same thing.

Young Athletes Play Days are designed to provide play activities and socialization opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities between the ages of two and seven. Play Days were created to serve children too young to participate in formal Special Olympics events (athletes can begin competing at age eight).

An Introduction to Special Olympics

Young Athletes Play Days are a wonderful introduction to Special Olympics. Children participate in 11 different activities, representing 11 different sports offered by Special Olympics. The program helps increase the young children’s strength and coordination for sports while introducing them to group play, cooperation and awareness of rules.

Young Athletes Play Days are held each year throughout the state in the following cities:

  • Ankeny
  • Cedar Falls
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Central Lee
  • Council Bluffs
  • Des Moines
  • Dubuque
  • Muscatine
  • Oskaloosa
  • Sioux City
  • West Des Moines

Teachers are encouraged to register their entire classroom to attend a Play Day. Mainstream and special education students are welcome to attend. If a child is in your classroom who is older than eight, they are also welcome to attend. Children can also register individually.

Participation Forms

For more information on Young Athletes Play Days or to start a Play Day in your area, contact:
Wendy Olinger, Director of Athlete Initiatives

Event Date Event Entries due by Event Location
Feb 6, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Oskaloosa Young Athletes Play Day 01/17/2020 William Penn Activity Center (201 Trueblood Ave. Oskaloosa, Iowa)
Mar 24, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM West Des Moines Young Athlete Play Day 03/04/2020 Valley Community Center (4444 Fuller Road, West Des Moines)
Apr 9, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Cedar Rapids Young Athletes Play Day 03/20/2020 Cedar Rapids Helen G. Nassif YMCA (207 7th Ave. SE Cedar Rapids)
Apr 17, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Ames Young Athletes Play Day 03/24/2020 Forker Building (Iowa State University, 534 Wallace Road, Ames)
Apr 23, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Dubuque Young Athletes Play Day 04/03/2020 Graber Sports Center, Loras College (Cox Street, Dubuque)
Apr 30, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Ankeny Young Athletes Play Day 04/09/2020 Kingdom Hoops (6095 NE Industry Drive, Des Moines)