Unified Sports: An inclusive sports program that unites Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) as teammates for training and competition.
Unified Sports is an elective that came to Coginchaug at the beginning of this school year. The class is taught and coached by Mr. Robb Bajoros with help from Mrs. Wilda Castro and Mrs. Laura Ekblade.
“As a partner, it’s a great feeling helping the athletes not only with sports but with helping them become more responsible and helping make us a better team,” said senior Brenden Rushford.
So far the Unified Sports team has played soccer, bowling and basketball. All events have been a huge success, whether here at Coginchaug or at another school, everything has been going smoothly and everybody has fun. Currently we are playing volleyball, and after volleyball we will end the year with track and field. As a partner being part of this program really is a great thing. Everyday I can see the progress of the athletes and it’s an honor to help them progress.
After the CIAC recommended, 3 years ago, that Coginchaug make a Unified Sport class. Athletic Director Mr. Nick Barbieri was already familiar with the Unified Sports program being that there was a program at his old school, Mr. Barbieri was a big piece in organizing this great program here.