Unified Sports

2012 State Indoor Games officer and runner Opening Ceremonies

Dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

 

In Unified Sports, teams are made up of people of similar age and ability, which makes practices more fun and games more challenging and exciting for all. Having sport in common is just one more way that preconceptions and false ideas are swept away.  

Young people with disabilities don’t often get a chance to play on their school sports teams, but more and more U.S. states are adopting the unified sports approach that Special Olympics pioneered. For almost 20 years, Special Olympics has offered sport teams that blend people with and without intellectual disabilities, and that is a model that encourages sports and fun, and which also gets people together to learn more about each other. You can learn more about unified sports and get involved with SOLA by clicking here.

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Tulane Rival Game

DUzcpmsU8AA9muc.pngPlease join us on Saturday, February 3rd at 10:15am for the Second Annual Special Olympics Unified Rivalry Basketball Game between Tulane and LSU! A team of Tulane students and Special Olympics athletes will compete against LSU students and Special Olympics athletes for bragging rights and the coveted Unified Rivalry Cup. The game will take place at Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldouse on Tulane’s Uptown campus, right before the Tulane Women’s Basketball Game against South Florida.

You are invited to cheer on the teams and be a “Fan in the Stands.” If we pack the gym, ESPN might come to New Orleans to cover the game. ESPN has served as the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports since 2013, supporting the growth and expansion of this program that empowers individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to engage through the power of sports.

If you have questions or want more information please email us at specialolympicsnola@gmail.com . Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you in the gym!

Click here for more information and tickets!

Unified Champion Schools

The Unified Champion Schools approach incorporates Special Olympics sports and related activities while enhancing the youth experience and empowering them to be change agents in their communities. This requires a shift in current programs and paradigms from a focus on events to committing to a movement advocating for youth as leaders. This programming promotes social inclusion in schools to ensure special education and general education students are equitably engaged. Teachers and students are encouraged to collaborate and create supportive classrooms, activities and opportunities. Students should be encouraged and supported to be agents of change, have opportunities to be leaders, and participate in collaborative school activities. To achieve this, school leaders and educators must foster a socially inclusive school climate that emphasizes acceptance, respect and human dignity for all students. A socially inclusive school is a place where no student is excluded because of the degree or type of disability or the services required to meet his/her needs.

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