Unified Sports: An Athletic Atmosphere for All
By: Danielle DiGiacomo and Kate Maglio
One of Conard and Hall High School’s most revered extracurricular clubs is Unified Sports, a program that capitalizes on the importance of inclusion and opportunity for all students, especially in an athletic setting. The Unified programs, whether it be sports or the beloved "Unified Theater", provide a safe and inclusive space for students of varying abilities to get involved in sports and have a fun time with friends.
For many students, Thursday's hour-long unified sports practice is the highlight of their week. These practices provide students the opportunity to interact and spark new friendships with students coming from not only Hall High School but those within our Conard community, as well. Unified members are able to showcase their different ranges of talents and athleticism while developing worthwhile relationships. Our coaches, Coach Kelly, Coach Russell, and Coach Verengia, continue to encourage healthy competition and inspire each athlete to step outside of their comfort zone. There is no doubt that Unified Sports is an atmosphere filled with positivity for athletes to uplift one another while having a good time. Similarly to mainstream sports here at Conard, Unified Sports provides the opportunity for each athlete to develop as a person on and off the court. This program integrates students of varying abilities through a passion for inclusivity, teamwork, and fun.
In addition to our Thursday night practices, this year our team has been lucky enough to have been invited to scrimmage during three of Conard’s boys and girls halftimes. The first scrimmage occurred during the boy's game, where they faced Northwest. During these halftime games, it gives our members the chance to play a real game in front of real fans; this is something all unified members look forward to as it provides them a chance to show off all the hard work they've put in all season. The amazing performance put on by our unified athletes incited much applause from the crowd and cheers from Conard’s own student section.
This spring, for the first time, there is now Unified Cornhole here at Conard, which is a great opportunity for new athletes to join in and make new friendships!