Schedule Change For Unified Sports Leadership Symposium

Project UnifiedCHESHIRE, Conn. – Due to potential late schools openings the start of the eighth annual Unified Sports™ Youth Leadership Summit will begin on at 10 a.m with registration beginning at 9 a.m. Thursday, January 8th at Wesleyan University in Middletown. The event was originally scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.

Sponsored by the Connecticut Association of Schools in partnership with Connecticut Special Olympics, this program is funded through Project Unify which is a federal grant designed to support programs which address the needs of students with disabilities.  The purpose of the Summit is to provide schools with programs and activities which promote and support social inclusion.

The event consists of nationally recognized speakers and breakout sessions, largely conducted by students, which provide those in attendance with ideas and initiatives which can be integrated into their schools’ activities. The Summit serves as an excellent opportunity for schools to obtain information which will contribute to the improvement of a school’s culture and climate. Approximately 400 students grades 6-12 are expected to attend.

Kevin Nathan, Sportscaster for NBC-30 will be the MC for the program.  The keynote speaker will be internationally known speaker, Eddie Slowikowski, who was an Olympic gold medal winner for the US Track and Field Team, as well as a former NCAA All American.  Another speaker for this event will be Danielle Liebl.  Danielle is the founder and executive director of DIFFERbilities Experience, a nonprofit organization which offers inclusive experiences in arts, education, and sports for high school and college students of all abilities. Danielle has been involved in Special Olympics since she was 11 and has presented at numerous events nationwide.

About Unified Sports™ – Special Olympics Connecticut (SOCT) and the Connecticut Association of Schools (CAS) began a partnership in 1992 utilizing the Special Olympics Unified Sports™ program and bringing the program to Connecticut’s public and parochial schools. Rapidly growing, Unified Sports™ is a registered school based sports program that combines students with intellectual disabilities (Special Athletes) with students without intellectual disabilities (Special Partners). It brings students together on the same playing field, using the athletic arena as a forum to help break barriers and mainstream students with intellectual disabilities. Approximately 4,000 Connecticut students K-12 currently participate in Unified Sports.

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