Have you noticed that Special Olympics Unified Sports have been featured a lot in the news lately?
Earlier this month, The New York Times reported on the life-changing impact of Unified Sports on students in Colorado. Together, students with and without disabilities have gained confidence, become friends and reversed bullying both on and off the basketball court. The Times called attention to the fact that now more than 2000 schools in more than 42 states across the USA have Unified Sports programs!
Eager to read more on Unified Sports? Here are some other news stories from the past few months that showcase the incredible impact of Unified Sports in the USA:
- Special Olympics has been part of the United States Bowling Congress’ Open Championships for more than two decades, giving a great platform to showcase Special Olympics Unified Sports. This year nearly 350 bowlers from 15 states made the trip to Baton Rouge to compete in the Special Olympics National Unified Tournament.
- This school year Special Olympics New Hampshire recently had their first-ever Special Olympics Unified Sports soccer NHIAA championship game. Here is an excerpt on that story: “Richard Madore is many things to the people who know him. He’s a student at Spaulding High School, a good friend and an athlete on his school’s Special Olympics Unified Sports soccer team. Now, you can add state champion to that list. The Red Raiders made history over the weekend, capturing the first-ever officially sanctioned NHIAA championship in the sport with a 5-1 win over Laconia on a sun-splashed Saturday morning at Southern New Hampshire University…”
- Starting next spring, students with and without intellectual disabilities at 91 high schools across Arizona will have the chance to play on the same sports teams. Special Olympics Arizona has integrated Unified Sports for first time ever with Arizona Interscholastic Association.
All of this in the USA, but Special Olympics Unified Sports is growing globally also! This past weekend, the power of pairing people with and without disabilities as teammates was on display to a global audience at the 2012 NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando, Florida for the first-ever Special Olympics NBA Cares Unity Sports basketball game. With support from our longtime partner, Coca-Cola, 12 Special Olympics athletes from various NBA markets played alongside NBA legends and WNBA stars to showcase the power of Special Olympics’ Unified Sports. Click here to see a photo slide show and click here to read about some of the global news coverage on that amazing game.
The momentum for Special Olympics Unified Sports continues to grow. There are nearly half-a-million Unified Sports participants worldwide, in every region of the world.
Here is one more great news story from Europe, who has their European football week coming up in just a few weeks. Keep reading the news and get excited to get involved in Special Olympics Unified Sports – an amazing sports program that fosters social inclusion, activates attitude change and fosters community of acceptance worldwide. It’s amazing what sports can do!