Special Olympics Canada (SOC) has an opportunity to extend its tradition of quality programming by injecting new ideas
stimulated by Sport Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model. The overall objective of LTAD is to provide a progressive pathway for athletes to optimize their development. With the ultimate aim of promoting fitness, physical literacy, and well being, the athlete development component of this model is driven by tenets of human growth and maturation and a complementary focus on strengthening interconnections among the many systems – school, sport, and community – that provide physical activity, sport, and competition avenues for all Canadians.

There are three overarching goals being promoted:
- Individual fitness and well being through programming that optimizes physical literacy by referencing instruction and competition according to growth and development principles.

- Equal respect for the interests of those who wish to participate in programs for fitness, fun, and socializing and for those who are committed to pursuing personal excellence through more intensive sport training and competition.

- A system of program and competition delivery that enables Special Olympics to preserve its unique character while fostering stronger linkages with the broader sport delivery system in Canada, thereby enhancing opportunities and increasing options for athletes and ensuring organizational efficiency.

The overall objective of LTAD is to provide an optimal development pathway and environment for every participant. LTAD can be thought of as a life-long training program that offers the right training, competition, rest and recovery and other factors, supported by the right coaching and specialists, in the context of the right system, at every step along the way.