Unified Sports enables Special Olympics athletes to:
- Learn new sports
- Have new competition experiences
- Socialize with peers and form friendships (the initiative provides a forum for positive social interaction between teammates and often leads to long-lasting friendships), and
- Develop higher-level sports skills
- Experience meaningful inclusion (each athlete is ensured of playing a valued role on the team)
- Participate in their communities and have choices outside of Special Olympics
Unified Sports programs often are initiated by community partners, including parks and recreation departments, schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and community sports organizations. These partnerships help further include athletes in their community. Special Olympics Arizona offers Unified Sports competition in Athletics, Aquatics, Bocce, Bowling, Basketball, Cheerleading, Golf, Flag Football, Floorball, Kayaking, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, and Volleyball.