Play Unified

YST Play Unified
Inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to understanding, acceptance and friendship, breaking down the barriers that exist for people with intellectual disabilities.

Play Unified is a Special Olympics global movement aimed at ending the injustice, intolerance and inactivity of young people with intellectual disabilities, by building a unified generation through sport. A Special Olympics Programme, delivered by the Youth Sport Trust across the UK, it is aimed at young people in secondary and special schools.

Play Unified, which has previously been funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and jointly administered by DCMS and Sport England, aims to make a real difference and help create more unified and just communities all around the world through the voice of young people. These young people will be the Unified generation, which will in turn shape the world into one in which respect, tolerance and equality prevail.

Play Unified engaged over 200 schools and impacted on 30,000 young people across England, Scotland and Wales from 2016-2018. Young people with and without intellectual disabilities will come together through sport and educational programmes in schools and communities to transform perceptions and challenge attitudes on and off the field of play. This will also include Unified Sports where young people with and without intellectual disabilities train and compete alongside one another in meaningful competition. Unified Sports is funded through The One 4 All Foundation (led by Thierry Henry) and Special Olympics.

Some of the aims of Play Unified are:
  • Enable young people with intellectual disabilities to have increased opportunities to take part in more regular and inclusive sports activities
  • Equip young people with intellectual disabilities with the skills to lead/promote sport and inclusion, gaining new skills and confidence to fulfil roles as coaches, volunteers and ambassadors of inclusion
  • Empower young people with intellectual disabilities to have a voice in the design of the sporting opportunities they take part in.
For further information, please contact:

Roshni Mistry
Project Officer - Inclusion and Diversity
01509 226614