|Coach Shields pictured with Special Olympics athletes and partners (see names below)|
By Carly Shields
For the first time in history, Chester High School has had the opportunity to be a part of the Special Olympics Philadelphia Unified Sports Program. On Friday, May 29th 2015 Chester High School took 2nd place in the championship in overtime out of 11 Philadelphia High School teams. Special Olympics Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that puts athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. The coach for Chester High, Ms. Shields, expressed her feelings about the program, “The students worked so hard throughout the year to get to where they are today. They had the opportunity to learn and work with their teammates which in return taught them tolerance and acceptance. This program taught them more in a few months than some students get to experience in all their high school years. I am very proud of each and every one of them. Their hard work and dedication certainly paid off and they are all excited for the next season to begin.” The athletes in the program consisted of Christian Anderson, Matthew Benson, Manayia Floyd, Destiny Gillespie, Mesias Ramos, Biyen Robinson, and Javaughn Wright. The partners included Stefany Rivera, Ma’Najah Starkey, Shanae Willis, Dahkeem Williams, and Shamour Young (see picture).
Special Olympics Unified Sports® is an inclusive sports program that puts athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. This Unified Soccer elective course, developed in partnership between the School District of Philadelphia and Special Olympics Pennsylvania, includes curriculum with youth leadership components, anti-bullying elements and soccer training and competition. The course provides greater access to sports for all students, with and without disabilities (http://www.sopaphilly.org/).
Special Olympics Pennsylvania provides year-round training and competition in 21 Olympic-type sports to nearly 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. For more information about how you can help Reveal the Champion Inside thousands of Special Olympics athletes, visit the web site at www.specialolympicspa.org (http://www.sopaphilly.org/).