Special Olympics Illinois provides year-round sports training and competition for children (age 8 and older) with cognitive disabilities. Through our training and events, we not only provide these athletes with a vital outlet for physical fitness and competitive activity, but also help enhance their motor skills, social skills, self-esteem and personal confidence. For most of the 20th century, children with intellectual disability were isolated from society, typically underestimated and misunderstood, living in large state institutions or at home. There were virtually no opportunities for physical activity let alone competitive events through schools or park districts. That changed on July 20th in 1968 when 1000 children aged 8 to 18 from 26 states and Canada participated in the first-ever 'Special Olympics' at Soldier Field in Chicago. This event has since grown into a worldwide sports movement involving more than 2.25 million athletes with cognitive disabilities in nearly 150 countries. Today, we serve over 20,000 athletes in Illinois alone.
|Address||1318 Mercantile Drive
|Type||Inclusive Physical Activity/Play|