For those interested in joining our new Unified Track and Field team, here is some helpful information. This information will also be handed out to those who want a copy after the convocation held this (Friday) afternoon.
Please note that this is a new venture so we will be taking things slow. We would like all those who are interested to attend the first practice on Monday, April 25 (meet in the Main Gym after school) whether you have your physical or not so you can at least get information. We would like everyone to have their physical no later than Thursday, April 28. Again, we are looking for 12-20 kids to participate on this team. For more info, please read below….
Unified Track and Field Quick Sheet
Something New for BHS
We are very excited about adding a Unified Track team if we can get enough kids interested in playing. It will give some kids who may not normally get a chance to put on a uniform that chance to represent BHS in an IHSAA sponsored sport. Those schools that have participated the first two years of the program have all shared it was a great experience for all athletes, coaches and those involved so we are certainly glad to provide this opportunity to our kids.
Coach Antrim, the BHS volleyball coach, and Mrs. Wallace has graciously stepped up to coach this year’s team. They will get a little help from track coach Greg Garringer and his staff and team to help in this new venture. It really should be a great venture for BHS and all those involved.
So what is Unified Sports?
UNIFIED SPORTS combines students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team for sports training and competition. Special Olympics Indiana is considered a world leader in development of these programs having conducted the first-ever pilot test in 1989 and has since instituted competitions in virtually every sport. Teams consist of an approximately equal number of athletes with intellectual disabilities (Unified Student Athletes) and athletes without intellectual disabilities (Unified Student Partners). These distinctions will be for entry purposes only. There will no other distinction between athletes in practice or competition. Team are co-ed and competition is co-ed and teams have between 12 and 20 members of which half must be Unified Student Athletes.
So what are we looking for and what requirements are needed to participate?
We are looking for 12-20 athletes and partners who must meet IHSAA eligibility requirements. This includes having a physical on file in the Athletic Office prior to beginning practice which will start on April 18. If you don’t have a physical, you can still participate but need to get the physical as soon as possible because you cannot begin until you have one. See Mrs. Musselman in the Athletics Office if interested. Keep in mind that half the team is made up of athletes with some form of intellectual disability and half the team is made up of partners that can be anyone including those with physical disabilities.
Who may and may not participate in this program?
The only athletes who cannot participate are those on the track team who are likely to compete in the sectional representing the Bruins. All other athletes (or non-athletes) may participate including any Bruin track team member who will not be competing in the sectional for Coach Garringer.
Why so few meets and is this an actual IHSAA sport?
We are going to take things a little slower this first year as we put this program together. This is new to BHS and really still new for the IHSAA. Therefore, there will only be a couple meets this year and both will be away. Please keep in mind that this is an IHSAA sport and a state champion will be crowned like all other sports so you are representing BHS! We will compete in the Kokomo Sectional on Saturday, May 28. If things go well this year, we will expand the schedule a meet or two next year.
Where will the team meet on April 25 and how will the roster be filled?
Coach Antrim will meet the team after school on Monday, April 18 to organize the first practice. At that time she will share where the team will meet from that point forward. Coach Wallace will also have information for those who may not quite be ready to being April 25. All those intending to participate need to make sure they have a physical on file in the Athletic Office and should begin practice no later than Thursday, April 28. Practices will usually be held at the BHS Track. Again, we will take this a little slower in year one as we work through the growing pains of putting together a new program.
We will be patient to see how many are interested in participating. Please note that we can only have 20 kids at most on the time. But we are also limited by the number of kids who participate with an intellectual disabilities. Since these athletes make up half the team, we can have a maximum of 10 “athletes” and 10 “partners.” Coach Antrim and Coach Wallace will coordinate our numbers and we can certainly rotate kids by meet if we have more interested.
If you have any questions, please see Mrs. Wallace or stop by the Athletic Office to see Mr. Uggen