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Special Olympics and Unified Sports


Federal Way Public Schools works in cooperation with Special Olympics to offer scholars with disabilities the opportunity to participate in athletics. This program is open to scholars attending Kindergarten through 12th grade within the Federal Way Public Schools as well as students in the transition program. Participants build self-esteem and fitness while gaining the opportunity to participate in an extracurricular activity and meet new people. Coaches teach a balance between competition and grace. The Special Populations/Unified program offers the following sports: Bowling, Basketball, Soccer, Track. 

Unified Sports Teams

Unified teams include both participants who are typically developing and intellectually disabled. There is no consistent formula for the make-up of a Unified Team because not all disabilities are equal.  The make-up of each team is unique and individualized due to the diversity of scholar athletes and unified partners. 

Special Populations Sports Teams

Special Populations teams are only for students who are intellectually disabled. Scholars practice and compete with other teams in structured events throughout the season.  This program is less competitive than unified sports teams.

Skills Programs

Skills programs are for students who benefit from a program that is less structured and competitive. Participants practice skills and drills such as kicking and throwing.  The program encourages cognitive, motor and social development.

It is important that participants and families are aware of guidelines prior to committing to the season.

  • For more information about the district’s Special Olympics athletic programs, contact Terry Lathan at 253-945-4441 or email
  • For more information about Special Olympics, visit

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