Special Abilities Teams

Welcome to Ultimate Athletics’ special abilities cheer and dance program, home of Worlds qualifiers, UA Gems!

We are very excited to offer a program for our friends in the special needs community. Participation on a Special Abilities team will provide the opportunity for challenged individuals to be physically active, set goals and make friends. A typical season runs June through March with practices held once per week. Additional tumbling skills training is also offered. All practices and classes are led by certified cheer and dance professionals who also hold academic degrees and/or additional positions in a field working with individuals with disabilities .

Special Abilities teams are co-ed and are comprised of athletes ages 5 and above with any type of disability. Special needs are defined as a disability characterized by impairment of skills and overall intelligence in areas such as cognition, language, motor and social abilities. We welcome athletes on the entire spectrum of their disability. Athletes in wheelchairs/walkers are also welcome.

In the special abilities program, we utilize Buddies. Buddies are athletes from other teams within the UA program that are assigned to special abilities athletes to assist in teaching routines. Buddies attend all Special Abilities team practices and participate in all performances and competitions. In order to qualify as a Buddy, an athlete must be 11 years of age and have the maturity to handle the added commitment.

For more information on our special abilities program, download our program packet or contact program manager Joanna Hammond at (847) 487-6500 or jamhammond@att.net