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YUHSD holds first-ever Unified Sports Track Sectional

Yuma Union High School District held its first-ever district-wide Unified Sports Track Meet at Gila Ridge High School on Wednesday, Mar. 27, 2019. The meet served as a sectional qualifying event for the state championships to be held in May.

Nearly 50 athletes from Cibola, Kofa, Gila Ridge, and Yuma High competed in events ranging from shotput to long jump. Unified track poses with medals

“It was an honor to see the athletes, coaches and teachers come together for every student-athlete on the field,” YUHSD Superintendent Gina Thompson said. “The atmosphere was full of energy, competitive spirit all wrapped in appreciation for being together. Every student-athlete won, but none of it happens without the teachers that work together every single day to provide opportunity and motivation. The belief they have in every student is evident.”  

Unified Sports is a joint effort between the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) and Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ) to incorporate Unified programs in AIA member schools recognizing and offering opportunities for SOAZ unified athletes and partners to compete in AIA sanctioned athletics and activities. The inclusive sports program unites Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) as teammates for training and competition.

“Today was an incredible day where inclusion, character, sportsmanship, and a wealth of enthusiasm were all in abundance,” Kofa Unified Sports coach Tom Spanton said. “The YUHSD unified track and field day was a great success. I was very proud to be part of the event.”

The state championship meet will be held on May 3, 2019 at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona.

Eric Patten