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Whitesboro CSD Hosts Unified Sports-YAC Summit at High School

student puts shoes on tower As Unified Sports continues to be a fast-growing initiative throughout New York State, the Whitesboro Central School District is once again taking the initiative to ensure that students with special needs have the opportunity to participate in athletics.

The Whitesboro Central School District hosted the Unified Sports-Youth Activation Committee (YAC) Summit at the Whitesboro High School on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Unified Sports is an initiative recognized by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) and Special Olympics. With the goal of promoting social inclusion, the program brings individuals with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same school athletic team to train and compete.

The summit was an opportunity for the six schools involved, as well as representatives from the Special Olympics and NYSPHSAA, to further discuss and make plans for this year’s Unified Sports speaker talks to attendees program. Students were able to learn more about the Special Olympics, hear from a Whitesboro High School student who has participated in the program before, and take part in ice breakers aimed at getting the students acquainted with one another.

During the 2017-18 school year, the Whitesboro Central School District teamed up with four other area schools – New Hartford, VVS, Oneida and CVA – to offer basketball as a Unified Sport. Students were given the opportunity to learn and develop their basketball skills and abilities, then they had the chance to play basketball games against one another.

This year, Camden has joined in the initiative, and all six schools will offer basketball as a Unified Sport. In addition to that, Whitesboro, New Hartford, VVS, Oneida and CVA will offer bowling as well.

The local program has been successful in uniting students, schools and communities who have taken on this endeavor together.

Click here to view more photos from the Unified Sports-YAC Summit!