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You’ll never guess how some professional athletes perfect their footwork

Author: Ali Phaneuf You’ll never guess how athletes like Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Steve McLendon, Bruins goaltender Jeremy Swayman, and English professional soccer player Rio Ferdinand perfected their footwork. When they weren’t training with their teams, you might have been able to find them practicing their dance skills. Why? Here are the top health benefits for athletes that practice dance: Improve coordination Improve balance Improve memory Improve cardiovascular health Improve flexibility And just like these professional athletes improved their minds and bodies through dance, so can our Special Olympics athletes. In fact, just four years ago Amanda Santos saw…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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Norwood Public Schools Pass the Torch to Kickstart Unified Sports Season

Author: Quinn Roddy On Thursday, October 14th, Norwood Public Schools organized a district-wide opening ceremony and inclusive walk to demonstrate their participation in Special Olympics MA’s Unified Champion Schools program. The Norwood school district recently became a Unified Partner with Special Olympics MA and they kicked off the new school year in style with an opening ceremony that included five elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. While the students and faculty were the main participants in the ceremonies, the Norwood Police and Fire Department played an important role in making sure the torch got from school…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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Battle of the Keiths: New England Revolution’s Unified team takes on the Andover Stars

Author: Ali Phaneuf After a one-year hiatus amid the COVID-19 Pandemic, the New England Revolution Unified team is excited to be stepping back on the field this Saturday. But for one athlete in particular, this year is still proving to be slightly unconventional. Jimmy Keith has played for the Revs Unified team for six years, and this year is like no other for the seasoned athlete. On Saturday, September 18th the Revs Unified team will play against the Andover Stars Unified team at Gillette Stadium. And for Jimmy, this means playing against a team that is coached by his…

Author: Ali Phaneuf

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Play Unified Podcast Is Back!

The Play Unified Podcast is back. The show features co-hosts, Mike Kelley and Charles Hirsch with assistance provided by Amanda Robson. New this year, Special Olympics athlete, Lumene “Lightning” Montissol brings us the Lightning Round. Join us every other week as we discuss Special Olympics sports, our regional professional sports teams, including the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and the New England Revolution, along with pop culture and news of the moment. Each episode will feature a guest who will share a bit about themselves and dive into one of the most important moments…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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Unified Sports in Schools

Unified sports is a program that allows students with disabilities to get involved in sports as well as interact with students who do not have a disability. Unified Sports in schools, high schools, middle schools, or elementary schools is the kind of program that can make a student with a disability feel included, spread awareness, and help change the life of any athlete that participates on the program. In 2016, my alma mater, Auburn High School, established their Unified Sports program to help promote inclusion and respect for their students who have an intellectual or physical disability. The program…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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Team represents Massachusetts at National Tennis Tournament

10 athletes and 3 Unified partners represented Special Olympics Massachusetts at the Special Olympics North America Tennis Championship October 17-19, 2019. The athletes, partners and their coaches traveled to Hilton Head Isle, South Carolina to compete alongside 160 Special Olympics athletes and Unified partners, representing 11 U.S. and Latin American programs. The weekend began with a Unified experience and Opening Ceremony. Athletes then competed in singles matches and in Unified doubles on Friday and Saturday. Unified means that athletes with an intellectual disability and a Unified partner without a disability compete together. In the case of Unified doubles, one…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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Unified Champion Schools Spirit Contest!

We have challenged all 100+ Unified Champion Schools in Massachusetts to show us their school spirit! Each school received two posters to proudly display, recognizing that they are a Unified Champion School. You can learn more about Unified Champion Schools on our website! We received many fantastic entries, but had to choose just a few finalists. Now it’s your turn to choose our winning school! Visit our poll to cast your vote. You can vote once per day. The winning school will be announced on Monday October 28th, 2019 and will receive a pep rally kit! Join our schools…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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Unified sports is more than competition

There are few moments that match the excitement of representing your school and hometown at a State Championship. On Wednesday May 29, 2019, students from 54 Massachusetts schools had the opportunity at the 2019 MIAA Unified Track & Field state meet. While 54 schools were represented at States, this was a record year with 81 Massachusetts schools participating in Unified Track & Field locally this season. On a chilly late-May day at Milford High School, athletes and Unified partners competed side by side in track and field events including javelin, long jump, shot put, 100m dash, 400m dash and relays….

Author: Charles Hirsch

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Historic 2018 for Special Olympics Massachusetts!

To close out 2018, we’re taking a look back at the top 10 Special Olympics Massachusetts moments of the year! From the 2018 USA Games in Seattle, to the unveiling of unprecedented partnerships and the celebration of Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary, 2018 has had plenty of memorable moments. Xtra Mile Boston Marathon Team runs 26.2 miles for inclusion On April 16, the 26 runners on the Unified Xtra Mile Boston Marathon team ran 26.2 miles for inclusion. The team raised over $318,800 for Special Olympics Massachusetts, an Xtra Mile team record! The team included board members, relatives of Special…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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2018 Unified Basketball Season in Full Swing

The 2018 Unified Basketball season kicked off in early October, this year with 56 teams across the state! The most we’ve ever had! Among those teams, 17 are new to Unified Sports and 14 have done Unified Sports, but this is their first season doing Unified Basketball. These teams are showing their communities the power of inclusion through sports,and local media have taken notice! Check out some of the great news coverage: On October 12, Wahconah Regional High School hosted Mount Greylock Regional High School for Berkshire County’s first Unified Basketball game iBerkshires, “Mount Greylock, Wahconah Add Unified Basketball…

Author: Charles Hirsch

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