By Justin Adams

DENVER (CBS4) – A group of 100 Colorado athletes ages 2 to 7 years old learned the value of all kinds of sports on Friday. Special Olympics Colorado partnered with Kroenke Sports Charities to host the children with special needs for their Youth Sports Day.

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“The Young Athlete program develops gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social skills, and it’s really, really important that we’re reaching kids as early as age 2 so that those skills can be foundational for them,” said Megan Scremin, President and CEO of Special Olympics.

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The Special Olympics Young Athletes program is an early childhood play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities. Representatives from the Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, Colorado Mammoth, Colorado Rapids, and Nuggets’ dancers all helped the kids try out the new sports.

(credit: CBS)

“It’s really introducing kids at the earliest age to sports. All different sports in a fun, welcoming and safe environment, where you can really figure out what sports you like and start that passion at an early age,” Scremin said.

That passion has carried over to Finn Kennedy, to the delight of him mom, Kaylee.

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“Finn, has been a part of this for many years so he knows many of the directors and other athletes, but the directors of Special Olympics and he calls them by name and hugs all around,” said Kaylee.

The games and friendships help build a lasting bond with other young athletes.

(credit: CBS)

“It just makes you feel that you are a part of something so much bigger,” Kaylee said. “We’re just a big family. We look out for each other and that’s what we love.”

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The next event for the young athletes is on Aug. 7 in Aurora for the State Summer Classic.

Justin Adams