Return to Headlines

Kofa Royal Athlete of the Week for March 3-10 is first-ever from Unified PE

Kofa High School distance runner and Unified Physical Education competitor Jacob Ritchie was selected as the Royal Athlete of the Week for March 3-10, 2019.

Ritchie is the first Unified PE athlete in Kofa history to be selected for the weekly award.

“Despite his adversities, Jacob shows up to practice every day and works super hard,” said KHS Track Coach Melissa Ellegood, who nominated Ritchie. “Jacob has such a positive attitude and makes us all want to be better people.”

Ritchie, a freshman, intends to attend Arizona Western College as a nursing major following high school. He said Unified PE teacher Tom Spanton has had the biggest impact on him through his freshman year because he’s helped his physical training for the track season.

Ritchie is enrolled in Unified PE as well as participating in Kofa’s track program. At the team’s last meet, Wednesday Mar. 6, Ritchie topped his personal record in the 800m by 12 seconds.

Unified PE provides a unique opportunity for students with and without disabilities to come together through ongoing educational and physical activities, using the power of Special Olympics. The Unified PE course is structured around the national physical education standards and grade-level outcomes. Additionally, the class supports the development of leadership skills for all students as well as the empowerment of ALL students to foster an inclusive class and school-wide environment.

Eric Patten