In the summer of 2013, Special Olympics New York and NYSPHSAA launched a partnership to bring Unified Champion Schools (UCS) programming to NYSPHSAA member schools. The UCS approach incorporates Special Olympics Unified Sports, inclusive youth leadership and whole school engagement activities that empower youth to be agents of change in their schools and communities. Through the implementation of all three components, schools find the greatest impact on social inclusion and improved school climate.
Message to parents
Thank you so much for your interest in this new and exciting opportunity for your son/daughter to represent our school in the interscholastic program.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association, the high school athletics governing body, and Special Olympics New York have partnered together to provide schools the opportunity to have an interscholastic Unified Basketball team. Unified Basketball brings students with and without disabilities together to form a single team. The Unified Basketball team will represent our school competing against other schools in authentic competition in the sport of basketball.
Student athletes in this program will have to meet the same eligibility requirements as all of our student athletes in order to participate. This program will give students an opportunity to represent our school in the interscholastic program. In some cases it may not be appropriate for a student to be on the actual team but they can be involved in the skills challenge that is part of the program. These students will compete against other students from different schools in a skills challenge that will be held on the day of the contest. Skill challenge athletes will still practice with the team and prepare for competition in the skills challenge.
Another very important component of this program is the Youth Activation Committee (YAC). This committee’s primary goal is to support the Unified program and help increase the awareness and acceptance of students with disabilities. We encourage as many students as possible to get involved with the YAC and the activities they have planned for the school. The goal of the YAC is to improve school climate and bring students together within the school and from the Unified league.
Each school will compete in six contests during the regular season and then the YAC committees and the teams will get together for a culminating event at the end of May. There will be games played that day with many other fun activities as well. Awards and t-shirts will be provided to all participants competing that day.
Please feel free to contact the athletic department if you have any further questions or concerns. Thank you again for your interest in this program.