BHS flag football team is unified champion – Boonville Daily News

By Laura Wax Boonville Daily News

Boonville High School has a new team, unified flag football.

For their first outing, the Boonville Unified football team competed as a new Special Olympics Unified Champion school. They participated alongside the Tipton High School Cardinals at the Training for Life Campus for Special Olympics in Jefferson City on Thursday in a flag football tournament. The two schools each brought two unified teams. Unified teams are made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities.

The Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program is aimed at promoting social inclusion through intentionally planned and implemented activities affecting systems-wide change. With sports as the foundation, the three component model offers a unique combination of effective activities that equip young people with tools and training to create sports, classroom and school climates of acceptance. These are school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in, and feel a part of, all activities, opportunities and functions.

This is accomplished by implementing inclusive sports, inclusive youth leadership opportunities, and whole school engagement. The program is designed to be woven into the fabric of the school, enhancing current efforts and providing rich opportunities that lead to meaningful change in creating a socially inclusive school that supports and engages all learners. What a Unified Champion School looks like can vary greatly from school to school, based on the needs, goals, schedules, and other factors unique to each school; but the basic building blocks remain the same.

Jackie Jones, Special Education teacher at BHS gave credit to C.J. Zeller, Special Education Director for the District for the launch of the program. “He did most of the leg work to get this program off the ground.” Jerome Simpson and Mason Schwellenbach have assumed the role of coach for the Special Olympics teams. “It was really amazing to see all the kids working together. Just to see the joy on their faces. Kids who can’t always play other sports were able to have some shining moments. It was an amazing experience for all who participated.”

Fitzgibbon Hospital in Sedalia came to Boonville and donated sports physicals for special education students and any student who needed a physical for the upcoming winter sports season. They also donated to the Special Olympics team.

The Tipton High School band attend to cheer the athletes on. Each player was given a KC Chiefs arm sleeve.

For more information on the Unified Champion Schools, contact Emma Thomas at Thomas@somo. org.

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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