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Washington State University

Unified Sports Field Day

WSU to Host Inaugural Unified Sports Field Day

PULLMAN, Wash.—Individuals with and without intellectual disabilities will meet for an afternoon of fun, community, and inclusion through sports at Washington State University’s first-ever Unified Sports Field Day on Sunday, April 7. The event will be held 1-3 p.m. at Smith Gym in Pullman.

“The purpose of the field day is to have fun and bring WSU Unified partners together with those in our community who have intellectual or physical disabilities,” said Dr. Tammy Crawford, a clinical assistant professor of sport management.

In Unified Sports jargon, “Unified athletes” or “Special Olympic athletes” are participants with intellectual disabilities, while “Unified Partners” are individuals without intellectual disabilities who compete alongside them.

“The sport management faculty and University Recreation staff want to hear what kind of sport activities are most appealing to the community,” added Crawford.

“If we discover there are Unified athletes in the surrounding communities who want to participate on a regular basis, we’ll create regular opportunities for Unified Sports events, and perhaps even a league.”

Melanie Rossetti, coordinator of competitive sports and youth programs at University Recreation, said the field day will include soccer games and relays, as well as open play and team-building games.

Volunteers for the event are being actively sought. Corrie McGrath, an academic advisor for the sport management program at WSU, said: “Interested students can take the first step toward involvement in WSU Unified Sports by attending our Field Day event.”

“We will meet in Smith Gym 111 at 12:30 p.m., and prepare to welcome community members to campus for an afternoon of Unified play.”

Interested volunteers may contact McGrath for more information. Her email address is cmcgrath@wsu.edu, and her office phone number is (509) 335-8832.

Participants of any age, intellectual, or physical ability are welcome.

Unified Sports is a program developed by Special Olympics to promote inclusion through sport. The program creates a welcoming environment for competition and training for athletes of all abilities.

Currently, 73 colleges and universities across the United States offer Unified Sports programming.

The Unified Sports Field Day is a collaborative initiative between the Sport Management program and University Recreation department at Washington State University.

More information on Unified Sports can be found at this website: https://www.specialolympics.org/our-work/sports-and-games/unified-sports

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Contact: Corrie McGrath, academic advisor, sport management — (509) 335-8832 — cmcgrath@wsu.edu