Western New England to Host First Special Olympics Collegiate Unified Basketball Tournament

Western New England to Host First Special Olympics Collegiate Unified Basketball Tournament

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (December 1, 2017) – Western New England University is excited to partner with Special Olympics Massachusetts, Springfield College and American International College to put on the first Unified Collegiate Basketball Tournament on Sunday, December 3 at the Alumni Healthul Living Center.

Special Olympics athletes from local programs in the Pioneer Valley will be teamed up with college students to compete in a round robin style tournament featuring two teams representing each college.

Schedule:

  • 11:30 a.m. Registration & Skills assessment
  • 12:45 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Unified Basketball Competition
  • Awards to follow all competition

Location:                                         

Western New England University
Alumni Healthful Living Center Gymnasium
1215 Wilbraham Road, Springfield, MA

Who:

  • Special Olympics athletes with intellectual disabilities and volunteer coaches from Hampshire and Hampden Counties
  • College students from Western New England University, Springfield College, and American International College competing alongside the Special Olympics athletes.

Brian J. Kabel, MS, Director of Recreational Sports at Western New England remarked, "Western New England University (WNE) is very excited to host a Unified Basketball Tournament. The planning has been a great collaborative effort between WNE Recreational Sports and Occupational Therapy, Springfield College Campus Recreation, American International College Campus Recreation, and Special Olympics Massachusetts. This is going to be a great day for the students from the three colleges who are volunteering as well as the athletes coming in from Western Massachusetts. I hope this the start of an ongoing partnership with Special Olympics of Massachusetts."

Jon Scully, Sports Manager at Special Olympics Massachusetts said, "Special Olympics Massachusetts is fortunate to have supportive college and university partners like American International College, Springfield College and Western New England University to offer Unified Sports ® experiences on college campuses for athletes in the Pioneer Valley. We are thankful for the participation from all of the schools and their student leaders choosing to include our athletes and playing unified. As we celebrate 50 years of the Special Olympics Movement, here in Massachusetts there is a strategic focus on providing inclusive programming for athletes and Unified partners of all ages. We are excited to begin offering Unified Sports® on college campuses and couldn't think of a better group of students to help kick off the next chapter of acceptance in Massachusetts."

About Special Olympics Massachusetts:
Special Olympics Massachusetts (SOMA) provides year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programming for over 12,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities across the state in over 245 year-round sporting competitions. Through the power of sport, the movement transforms the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.  http://www.specialolympicsma.org 

About Unified Sports
Unified Sports brings athletes with and without disabilities together to play on the same team, on the same field, at the same time. This inclusive model helps bring people together around a common goals. Special Olympics believes that when we play Unified, we can live Unified. Special Olympics Massachusetts is proud to have founded the Unified Sports program in 1984. Although the initiative began locally, today it is featured in over 120 countries globally through the international Special Olympics Movement.