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Unified Sports Gears Up for Spring Season

Cora Baron

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Unified Sports is a division of Special Olympics in which team-based sports are are a group of individuals with and without disabilities, practicing and competing together.  Unified High School teams focus on inclusion, and they feature Athletes (students with disabilities) and Partners (students without disabilities) competing together against other local high schools.  The unified team at Hamilton wear school sponsored uniforms. In addition, they train and play on the same fields as our varsity football, basketball, and track teams. Finally, the year-round Unified Cheer team performs to support the Unified Teams.

The Unified Huskies are currently in track season. They recently attended a meet at San Tan Foothills where athletes and partners competed together. Brianna Finucane (12) enjoys Unified Track and she wants Unified Athletes to know that, “I do it for their smiles and to build trust with them. It’s nice to have an outlet to talk to that’s not an adult. Hannah Niemi (12), partner and sister of graduated athlete, Jake Niemi, says that, “I love being in Unified because I enjoy the diversity. My favorite sports to participate in are are soccer and football.” Members of Unified are always welcoming with big smiles on their faces. Vivian Nguyen (11)  participated in Unified Cheer last year and she reflects, “It’s been such a positive thing in my life. I’m so happy to be part of it.” Everyone in the group would agree that Unified has made a huge impact on their high school experience.

The Hamilton Unified Sports team encourages all students interested in Unified Sports to pick up athletic paperwork to be partners for next year. Students can participate in flag football, soccer, track, basketball, & cheer, or as many as they would like. They will be recognized at the seasonal sports assemblies each quarter. No experience is needed, this activity is about inclusion and having a fun time. This is a perfect way to expand horizons, be on a sports team, and to meet new people in  the wonderful special education department at Hamilton.

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Unified Sports Gears Up for Spring Season