Young Athletes Programs (YAP)

Welcome to the Young Athletes™ Program (YAP)!

The Mission of Special Olympics

The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics Athletes and the community.

The age of eligibility to train and compete in Special Olympics is age 8 and older. The Young Athletes Program (YAP) was designed to welcome younger children and their families into the world of Special Olympics to make friends, expand networks and enjoy movement and sport.

Young Athletes Program (YAP) (Winter) Basketball

Winter 2017-2018  

Program Director:   Shelly Bogasky at

Head Coach:  Melanie Tommer 

Practice Time: 10:30 to 11:30 for ALL age groups

Please arrive on time so everyone can get started together.

Dates: January 20, 27, February 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2018.  With exhibition February 25, 2018

Where:  The Katherine Thomas School, 9975 Medical Center Drive, Rockville – Please enter through the entrance on the right side of the school (as you are looking at the school)

YAP Athletes will be invited to participate at Landon’s Junior League Exhibition (date not confirmed at this time) This is the League that will be the next step for the YAP Athletes.

See bottom of page for signup process



YAP in partnership with  MSISoccer

Fall 2017 Soccer program: TOPSoccer ( in partnership with MSI Soccer). Our Fall soccer program is in partnership with MSI Soccer and is called TOPSoccer. All interested athletes MUST register online at Look for the Recreational programs tab and find TOPSoccer under it. There is a line that says “click her” to register and that link will take you to the registration for MSI TOPSoccer! We are excited to welcome our youngest athletes to the soccer experience! If you have any questions contact Pam Yerg at or Shelly Bogasky at

We are always looking for committed volunteers and for a Head Coach to take the lead in this program – please give it some thought!

Melanie Tommer and Elena Hayes are coaches. Shelly Bogasky is coordinator and can be contacted at:

Practice Time:  Sundays 12:00 – 1:00


  • September 17 to 29th 2017
  • November tbd (TOPS Festival)

Where:  The Potomac Community Center 11315 Falls Road, Potomac

Click HERE to view current YAP MSISoccer information.

Signup is at    NOT the site.


Young Athletes Program (YAP) ATHLETES

Spring 2018  Practice Dates and Location TBD

Program Director: Shelly Bogasky

Head Coach:  Melanie Tommer

Practice will begin In April and end on May 20, 2018 at Spring Games.  We will practice from 12 to 1:00pm at Location to TBA Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, 17301 Old Vic Blvd, Olney, Maryland 20832.  There will be no practice on April 16th Easter Sunday or May 14th Mother’s Day. Also Practice on April 23rd will be at the Potomac Community Center 11315 Falls Road in Potomac. The last session May 21st will be Spring Games which will be held at The Landon School 6101 Wilson Lane in Bethesda.  More information about Spring Games will be given out later in the season.

  • Montgomery College – Rockville Campus – Rockville, 20850. Entrance to Track Stadium is off of Rockville Pike. 
  • Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, 17301 Old Vic Blvd, Olney, Maryland 20832

See bottom of page for signup process


About the Young Athletes Program (YAP)

Young Athletes introduces children with intellectual disabilities and their families to the world of Special Olympics by pursuing the following goals:

  • Engage children with intellectual disabilities through developmentally appropriate play activities designed to foster physical, cognitive, and social development;
  • Welcome family members of children with 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.

Young Athletes is a versatile program that can work in various learning situations. The program is designed for families to play with their young Athletes at home in a fun atmosphere. It is also appropriate for preschools, schools and playgroups to use with small groups of young children with and without intellectual disabilities. The flexibility of Young Athletes ensures the opportunity to welcome families and their young children into the Special Olympics family.

The Young Athletes program includes several resources to guide family members, educators and other professionals as they conduct Young Athletes activities with their children, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandchildren, students or patients.

Young Athlete Program for 2 – 4 year olds

The Montgomery County Infants and Toddlers Program (MCITP)  runs inclusive, community-based YAP Ages 2-4 teams, called Doing Recreational and Educational Activities with MCITP (DREAM) teams. At least 50% of participants at each site must be MCITP clients. The rest of the spaces are open to all children ages 2-4. A parent/guardian for each child must participate. Please contact them directly for information.

Other YAP Ages 2-4 teams

SOMO is developing additional partnerships. If you would like to run a YAP Ages 2-4 team, or if you know a school or other group you think would benefit from running a YAP Ages 2-4 team, please email:


How to signup for any of the YAP sessions:

All athletes/volunteers must sign up for sport training prior to attending practice. Please sign up online as soon as possible so that we can make plans for coaching needs.

Athlete and volunteer application’s must be current UP TO THE date of the State Games for your sport. If you are unsure of a person’s status, click HERE to see list of names and expiration dates.

ATHLETES – Click HERE to sign up on-line for this sport’s training season. YOU MUST have the required Athlete Application (also know as Athlete Medical) already on file to sign up for a sport. If you are not sure if you have completed all the paperwork, please click HERE to review the requirements.

VOLUNTEERS – Click HERE to sign up on-line for this sport’s training season. YOU MUST have the required volunteer application already on file to sign up for a sport. If you are not sure if you have completed all the paperwork, please click HERE to review the requirements.

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