The Unification of NHS Through its Newest Club
This 2018-2019 school year, the Special Olympics Unified Sports program will be the newest club in Nutley High School. This is a national program and NHS has decided to integrate it into its club offerings. This is an inclusive sports program that combines an equal amount of Special Olympic athletes and partners on teams for training and competition. There will be different types of team sports for players to compete in such as basketball, football, volleyball, bocce, golf, and tennis. With club advisors Miss Caithness and Mrs. Della Fave, the students and staff at NHS are thrilled for the opening of this club.
This club is open to students to become mentors for those with special needs. The advisors aspire that this will make a change in NHS and assist students in developing leadership skills. The teachers also have goals for the new club that they hope to obtain. “Our goal is to make NHS a Unified Champion School with a team that competes against other Unified Champion Schools,” said Mrs. Della Fave. “The mission of Unified Sports is social inclusion through sports and we think that can benefit to all students.” These advisors want to unify the school through this club and they believe that it will continue to expand to the level of other national programs.
There are seven criteria that the this club must meet in order to be qualified to play. The first step is that the athletes and partners are meaningfully involved. The players must participate and dedicate themselves to Unified Sports. Next, there has to be an appropriate sport selected. The school has to meet the requirements of this sport regarding finances, athletes, and coaches. There also must be qualified coaches leading the program. The coach must understand all the terms and regulations of Unified Sports along with having the ability of leading the team to victory.
Additionally, it is required that the recruitment and selection of appropriate team members is made in order to establish the most appropriate Unified Sports model. There also has to be quality training so it eventually leads to great competition. There should be a minimum of 10 to 12 weeks of training before the championship event. The most important criteria is that the Unified Sports rules must be followed. The final step is that there has to be a commitment. This support is needed from all four levels: program, local program, coach, and spectator.
There are three different models that exist in Unified Sports. Those include competitive Unified Sports, Unified Sports Player Development, and Unified Sports Recreation. These models provide many types of experiences in team sports and other solo sports. This program is now getting people involved all around the world and it began internationally in 1989. This is offered as a standalone training session or sport-specific. There are many online sources available that provides even more information.
With this program coming into NHS as a club, the students and staff are excited to begin these new, fun experiences that come out of Sports Unified. Miss Caithness and Mrs. Della Fave are ready to be involved with this club and to help the students that join. They are doing this to help the student body at NHS and create new leaders from their students. These two teachers are prepared for the difficulties, but excited to compete in Sports Unified.