Unified Sports Bring Students Together


Victoria Martinez, Reporter

The term unified means to make or become a whole. Becoming a whole is the goal with unified sports at Griffith High School. When a special needs student and a 4.0 student learn to accomplish a task, it really helps improve both students’ self-esteem. Many participants of the unified sports also participate in Best Buddies. Being able to work together with hands-on experience strengthens their bond.

“I believe students should join unified sports because it is more of an opportunity to meet people from other schools and build your team bonding skills,” said sophomore Grace Wothke, secretary of Best Buddies.

Unified sports are more about teamwork than competition. Unified sports is an inclusive sports program that pairs up special needs students with mainstream student partners for competitions. This year Griffith has decided to compete in flag football, bocce ball, bowling, and track.

Unified bowling practices took place at Set ‘Em Up on Thursdays this year. Practices involved trying to learn technique, but mainly involves motivation and support. No experience or knowledge of the sport is required of students. The team went to their competition on Saturday, March 16 this year and won first place.

“Unified sports allows students with special needs to participate in high school that might not get to participate,” said coach Melissa Diekelmann. “It also gives students a chance to interact with people they may not interact with in the school day.”

Unified track has now began practicing on Thursdays for their spring season. Their competition will be held this Saturday, April 27.