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Fenton InPrint Online

The student news site of Fenton High School

Fenton InPrint Online

The student news site of Fenton High School

Fenton InPrint Online

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Introduction to Unified Sports

PHOTO Ellie Tyrrell

Special Olympics Michigan has been around since the 1960s, but Fenton and the schools in the surrounding areas have just started taking advantage of the program. Unified sports is a way for anyone to be involved in athletics. It’s also a way to meet new people, to be apart of a team and to have fun. Special Ed teacher Ellie Tyrrell is the advisor of unified sports in Fenton and is excited for what is to come in the program.

“The goal of unified sports is to essentially bring in our special ed population together with our Gen Ed population so it gives our special ed students more of an opportunity to participate in more after school activities in sports that they may not get the opportunity to participate in otherwise,” Tyrrell said. “Anyone can be involved in the program. We have unified partners and those would be our students from the gen ed population. We also have students from our special ed side that can also be involved.” 

Tyrrell has spent a lot of time working with the special education population but had never heard of the program until last year. 

“Initially, I really wanted my group of students to be able to participate in that because that also leads them into potentially competing nationally for Special Olympics as a hobby after they leave high school and their post secondary programs,” Tyrrell said. “I was really excited to be able to bring it in sooner.” 

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Tyrrell explained that it is common for special ed students to not know what they want to do after high school or have any hobbies so this is a way for them to explore new interests.Tyrrell voiced that she is excited for upcoming events within the program that will be happening this school year, specifically inclusion week.

“Last year,” Tyrrell said, “we had a lot of success with our inclusion week. Our inclusion week won’t happen until April but I’m excited for this year because it went over so well.” 

Tyrrell is also working with Linden schools and their unified sports program to have a back to school bash that will happen in the fall.

This is a newer program for Fenton but has been around in other districts like Grand Blanc and Hartland for a while. More and more schools are adding unified sports into their communities. Unified sports is a way for students to connect with one another because it has a social aspect intertwined with the athletics. 

The purpose of unified sports is to be inclusive and to have cohesive teams. It’s a great way for all students to be involved in Fenton’s community, to make new friends, and make some great memories along the way.

Individuals interested in the program should send an email to Tyrrell ([email protected]), or check out the Special Olympics Michigan website for more information.

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