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 and without 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
Apr 9, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Cedar Rapids Young Athletes Play Day (CANCELLED) 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 (CANCELLED) 03/24/2020 Forker Building (Iowa State University, 534 Wallace Road, Ames)
Apr 21, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Des Moines Young Athletes Play Day (CANCELLED) 03/25/2020 Lincoln High School (2600 SW 9th Street, Des Moines)
Apr 23, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Dubuque Young Athletes Play Day (CANCELLED) 04/03/2020 Graber Sports Center, Loras College (Cox Street, Dubuque)
Apr 24, 9:45 AM – 12:00 PM River Hills Young Athletes Play Day (CANCELLED) 03/27/2020 River Hills School (2700 Grand Blvd, Cedar Falls)
Apr 29, 8:45 AM – 2:30 PM Des Moines Early Childhood Young Athletes Play Day (CANCELLED) 04/03/2020 Woodlawn Early Learning Center (4000 Lower Beaver Road, Des Moines)
Apr 30, 9:30 AM – 12:00 PM Ankeny Young Athletes Play Day (CANCELLED) 04/09/2020 Kingdom Hoops (6095 NE Industry Drive, Des Moines)
May 6, 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM Iowa City Young Athletes Play Day (CANCELLED) 04/10/2020 Liberty High School (1400 Dubuque St NE, North Liberty)
Nov 4, 8:45 AM – 2:00 PM Muscatine Young Athletes Play Day 10/09/2020 Muskie Early Learning Center (149 Colorado Street, Mascatine)