Unified Sports – Coming to the Lansing CSD
The Lansing Central School District has partnered with the Special Olympics to build a Lansing CSD Special Olympics Unified Sports® program. Beginning this year, a basketball program will be offered at the district, with hopes of adding more sports in the future.
“We are so thrilled to bring the Unified Sports program to Lansing,” said Lansing CSD Director of Special Services Colleen Valletta. “The purpose and practices of Unified Sports support the district’s initiatives toward providing an inclusive community that celebrates all of our students and their abilities.”
Unified Sports teams aims to bring people together. So far, the program has done just that, with over 1.4 million people across the globe participating in the program. In bringing everyone together, Unified Sports assists with breaking down stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities and promoting social inclusion in a unique and fun way. To achieve this, people with and without intellectual disabilities are placed together on the same team. For Lansing CSD, this will be a basketball game to start. The idea behind this method is a simple one, according to the Unified Sports website, “training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.”
The Unified Sports program has been met with great enthusiasm across the district so far.
“The addition of the Unified Sports program here at Lansing CSD gives all of our student athletes an opportunity to participate and benefit from being members of an athletic team,” said Lansing CSD Athletic Director Matt Loveless. “We are very excited about this new endeavor.”
Implementation of the Unified Sports program will begin to take place in the spring. Lansing CSD received a grant from Special Olympics for two years to assist with implementation of the program.
“The program helps us to build community and connection between students, families, and our community members,” said Ms. Valletta. “I’m so grateful to be a part of such an incredible program and I’m excited about where we can look to expand in the future.”
Stay tuned for more announcements about the basketball Unified Sports program launching at Lansing CSD. For more information about Unified Sports, visit their website.