The Hopewell Valley YMCA is proud to run programs for special needs athletes in Mercer County through Special Olympics New Jersey.

Each season the Hopewell Valley YMCA will take part in a SONJ Competitive sponsored event as well as developmental and unified programs. Below you will find current events available for registration.

Eligibility requirements: Individuals with intellectual disabilities must meet the required SONJ eligibility requirements and MUST have a valid SONJ medical. Please refer to the Special Olympics New Jersey website,, for a full description of requirements. All athletes must be able to work on a 4:1 ratio. Unfortunately, there are no accommodations for anyone requiring one to one assistance. Sports tournaments often require teams to stay overnight.

Membership to the Hopewell Valley YMCA is not required for participation. Spaces are filled on a first come, first serve basis. To make sure your child has a spot on the team, please make sure register prior to the registration deadline. For general questions concerning Special Olympics, contact Heather O’Connell or Daniel Williams.


What is needed to participate in HVYMCA SONJ Programs:

All participants must complete a Special Olympics Athlete Registration and Medical Form:

Special Olympics New Jersey Participation Packets are valid for three years from the date of exam listed on the form. Athletes and families are encouraged to keep track of when an athlete’s medical will expire.

All participants must complete a Special Olympics Communicable Disease Waiver:

Please make a copy of the packet for your personal records.


SONJ Active Sports Programs

The Hopewell Valley YMCA is proud to run FREE programs for special needs athletes in Mercer County through Special Olympics NJ.

All practices are mandatory to participate in the SONJ events.

Volunteers and Coaches are needed in order to offer these programs at no cost. If you are able to lend your talent, we look forward to having you join the team.


Swimming – Ages 8 +

The SONJ swimming program will be located at The Pennington School. Athletes must be able to swim and participate within a competition pool. Athletes should come dressed for practice each day.

Athletes are required to swim 25M independently and without any assistive devices.
All medical & waiver forms must be current.

Dates: January 21, 2024 – June 2, 2024

When: Sundays

Location: The Pennington School Pool





Bowling – Ages 8 +

Bowling will be held at Slocum’s in Ewing. A parent meeting will be held on the first night.

The bowling program is for athletes who have expressed interest in the program. Athletes will practice once a week to work on their skills and grow as an athlete.

Game scores will be kept and submitted to SONJ. Athletes who meet the criteria will have the opportunity to compete at local competitions against other athletes throughout New Jersey.

Dates: November 6 – February 26

When: Mondays

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Hamilton Lanes





Upcoming Sports



(SPRING) Tennis/Track & Field/Bocce – Ages 6 +

The SONJ program will be offering TENNIS,TRACK & FIELD, and BOCCE for the Spring 2021 season.

Dates: March – June

When: Sundays

Location: Timberlane and YMCA Office

Time: 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm


Register today for the program of your choice!





All athletes need to complete the SONJ COVID risk waiver, prior to participation in the strider/cycling program.
All athletes will need to complete the health Check on TeamSnap prior to arrival and then complete the in-person screening as per SONJ.
If your athlete’s medical is due to expire at any time, visit to complete a new participation packet.