“Nicholas started competing in Special Olympics’ four years ago, and our life is forever changed. Special Olympics is not a club, it’s a community. We need to be in your life, and you need to be in ours. Then the things that divide us, that make us different, wouldn’t seem different anymore, they’d just be.” – Traci LaGanke, parent of Young Athlete Nicholas
Special Olympics is building stronger school communities across Virginia this April, May and June, as thousands of elementary, middle and high school students come out to PLAY UNIFIED. The goal of all these Project UNIFY®events is to bring together children with and without disabilities to promote more inclusive school environments.
“Our athletes face a number of foes and opponents each day but none is more pervasive than low expectations,” said Special Olympics Virginia President Rick Jeffrey. “The community’s support of UNIFIED PLAY events like the Little Feet Meets, Meets in the Middle and Big Feet Meets shows a commitment to celebrating what our athletes and communities can achieve together.”
Project UNIFY® uses sports to develop school communities where youth are agents of change - fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities. Through opportunities like the below, we are collaborating with school systems across Virginia to meet individual schools’ strategic goals. Together, we can create more inclusive attitudes, develop physical fitness, promote community service, and build character in young people.
If you would like to cheer on these champs this spring, check out the below calendar to find an event near you!
March 27, Henrico Big Feet Meet, Sports Backers Stadium - POSTPONED to April 1 because of predicted rain
April 2, Charlottesville Little Feet Meet, Albemarle High School
April 14, Norfolk Little Feet Meet, Old Dominion University
April 15, Bedford Big Feet Meet, Liberty High School
April 17, Spotsylvania Big Feet Meet, Spotsylvania High School
April 17, Suffolk Little Feet Meet, Kings Fork High School
April 17, Global Youth Day Track Meet, Governor’s School
April 22, King George Big Feet Meet, King George High School
April 24, Caroline Little Feet Meet, Caroline High School
April 27, Lynchburg Little Feet Meet, E.C. Glass High School
April 29, Appomattox Little Feet Meet, Appomattox Elementary
May 6, Colonial Heights Little Feet Meet, Lakeview Elementary
May 8, Prince William Meet in the Middle, Saunders Middle School
June 9, Gloucester Little Feet Meet, Petsworth Elementary