Special Olympics Australia is a National Sporting Organisation for People with Disability, that provides grassroots sporting opportunities to children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism.

At Special Olympics, you can get fit, have fun, meet new friends, and feel a sense of belonging, connection, and inclusion as well as confidence and safety in your community.

What is Special Olympics?

Our weekly and regular sports programs differ from mainstream sports in the type and ratio of support provided. Sports training is delivered by a mix of paid and volunteer coaches and team supports and delivered throughout the country to athletes of all ages.

We also offer competition pathways from local interclub competitions to State Games, National Games, and the Special Olympics World Games.

Sports training and programs vary in each area.

You can find out more about disability sports near you by searching here

Support at Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports are generally supported at ratio of 1:4.  

We provide coaches and volunteers trained in sport and physical activity for people with intellectual disabilities and autism. Special Olympics coaches help deliver meaningful participation to meet your goals, interests, and needs in making friends, spending time in the community, and feeling a sense of belonging through sport.   

If your support needs are greater than 1:4, you will need to discuss your participation with us and you will need to provide your own supports. 

NDIS and Special Olympics

Special Olympics Australia is not a NDIS registered provider.

If your NDIS funding is NDIA-managed, you can only use NDIS registered providers to deliver your services, so talk to your provider about bringing you along to Special Olympics.

If your NDIS funding is self-managed or plan-managed, talk to your NDIS supports about meeting your goals through sport and Special Olympics.

There is information in the resources below from the NDIA, and from different NDIS support organisations for you to learn more.

Meet your goals

Sport is a great vehicle for inclusion, social and community participation, health and wellbeing, and personal development outcomes. Special Olympics can help you to achieve your goals in all aspects of life.

Your goals that Special Olympics participation can help you achieve include:

Social and Community Participation

  • Making new social connections
  • Building friendships
  • Meeting people from other places with similar interests.
  • Developing and improving social and communication skills by working with others in a team
  • Improving social skills, including leadership, collaboration, cooperation, sharing and negotiation

Health and Wellbeing

  • Living a healthy life – develop behaviours for lifelong participation in movement and physical activity.
  • Being active, getting fit and improving motor skills.
  • Improving health - learning about health food choices, hydration, and looking after physical wellbeing and mental health and wellbeing.
  • Improving memory and concentration

Personal Development

  • Improving confidence and resilience
  • Increasing motivation and drive to do better.
  • Developing independence - practicing their independent living skills by participating in sporting programs.
  • Improving awareness of one’s self and capabilities
  • Having a break from parents and carers to spend time with peers.

Additional Resources


These pages from the NDIS website provide information on different aspects of your plan and what it can help you access for supports.

Setting Goals

Operational Guidelines - social and community participation

Social and Recreation Support

Reasonable and Necessary Supports

How does the NDIS decide if
support is reasonable and necessary?

NDIS Pricing Arrangements

NDIS Support Resources

The information below is gathered from several support services for NDIS participants.

The Growing Space - leading Independent NDIS Support Coordination

NDIS Sports Guide – Disability Sport and Recreation

Assistance with Social and
Community Participation

Unregistered and Registered Providers


Maximising Core Supports


National Games NDIS Planning Meeting

This document is to support you at your NDIS planning meeting, and for discussions with your supports about whether attendance and participation at the 2022 National Games meets your plan goals. The total cost of participation is made up of costs that are met by our sponsorships and fundraising that cover items which cannot be claimed from an NDIS plan, as well as the costs included in the levy that are listed in the document. The information in the on the document relates to items of support that you may be able to use for your plan. Your plan manager, support coordinator, or LAC will be able to work with you to see if it meets your plan goals.