Unified Sports rallies the NPHS student body

Chances are, if you have walked around campus recently or attended one of their numerous events, you have come across the Unified Sports program. If you have not, Unified Sports is a partnership between Special Education students and members of the Unified Sports club who participate in the Unified Sports league. This program is revered across our campus and fosters some of the most exciting events our school hosts. Special Education students are given the opportunity to compete against other schools’ Special Education programs in games like soccer, basketball, capture the flag and more.

Unified Sports club would not be possible without the student volunteers who help out. Since joining halfway through her sophomore year, the secretary of the club, senior Adriana Flores, has experienced all the amazing opportunities that the program provides and appreciates the incredibly supportive environment. “All members of Unified Sports work to create an inclusive environment, so all the athletes and partners, we all just work together, and we work on our sport skills and just have a really great time,” Flores said. Thanks to her amazing experience helping out the program, Flores is now looking to go into Special Education as a career field so that she can hopefully recreate the inclusivity that NPHS inspired.

Unified Sports brings together students, staff, and our community. The program opens up opportunities for NPHS Special Education students. Unified Sports participant, junior, Leo Hutson, enjoys the engaging environment Unified Sports has provided. “Everyone’s included and everyone gets to socialize and just have a great time,” Hutson said. “It’s given me the opportunity to be included in clubs and stuff.” The program allows Special Education students to enjoy and participate in many of the sports our school offers and helps to give students independence.

Another student responsible for making Unified Sports happen is the president, senior Joseph Thunell. In his three years of participating, Thunell has found time and time again how amazing the program is. “It makes your day. Plain and simple. Being with people who have a nonstop positive attitude towards everything helps you focus on what’s really important,” Thunell said. Along with the hard work and dedication the volunteers put into the club, the athletes are not the only ones who benefit from the club. “Unified Sports provides a new perspective when with the athletes. You realize that there are many things that they are limited to and cannot do a lot of the things we can but that’s why it’s called Unified Sports because we work together as a team and support one another in order to get the job done,” Thunell said.

If you are looking to catch one, the program’s many fun events and experience all the positivity yourself, Flores recommends attending a basketball game.“[They are]really fun because there’s such a big audience in the bleachers, and everyone is cheering on all of our athletes, which is really great, and it’s just super awesome,” Flores said.