The achievements of intellectually challenged athletes in the Special Olympics are not always accompanied by their sense of self-esteem. Often training focuses more on physical training and pays less attention to psychological and social aspects. Efforts to increase athletes' self-esteem have not been maximized which are believed to have an effect on the achievement of improving the quality of athletes in inclusive spaces so that the Youth Activation Program was formed. The purpose of this study was to obtain an overview of the opportunities and challenges faced in the Youth Activation program in improving athletes' self-esteem. The research method used is descriptive qualitative. Data was collected through interviews, observation and documentation, with research subjects namely 3 program administrators, 5 Youth Leaders and 5 athletes. The results showed that the opportunities are (1) the opportunity for athletes to socialize, (2) a place to train courage in leading, (3) motivation for other athletes. Meanwhile, the challenge is that there are differences in principles among program administrators. The conclusion is that the Youth Activation Program has the opportunity to be able to increase self-esteem in athletes, especially in shaping the character of leaders, accommodating athletes' abilities in socializing, and creating inclusive spaces.
Opportunities, challenges, youth activation program, self-esteem