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Teamwork Stressed at Special Olympics Unified Sports Youth Leadership Summit

Middletown's Wesleyan University hosted the daylong event that brought together more than 300 coaches and student athletes with and without intellectual disabilities for workshops and inspirational speakers.

8th Annual SOCT/CIAC Unified Sports Youth Leadership Summit in Middletown, Wesleyan University
8th Annual SOCT/CIAC Unified Sports Youth Leadership Summit in Middletown, Wesleyan University

Working together as a team was the day's focus Thursday as 300 high school and middle school athletes organized, led and participated in the Special Olympics Unified Sports Youth Leadership Summit at Wesleyan University in Middletown. 

The theme of this eighth annual event was "Creating a Positive School Climate" and it included breakout sessions presented by members of the Unified Sports Youth Activation Council. 

Guest speakers included NBC Connecticut's Kevin Nathan, Eddie Slowikowski, NCAA All-American runner and professional speaker, and Noelle Alix and Angela Martin, co-authors of Just Cate, a book about two lifelong friends and a child with Down syndrome.

At these Youth Leadership Summits, students share their experiences, ideas and practices to help the Unified Sports program continue to grow.

Special Olympics Unified Sports brings together student athletes with and without intellectual disabilities to play on the same team and inspires a school culture where inclusion, acceptance and respect are cornerstones.

The Special Olympics Connecticut Unified Sports Program brings athletes with and without intellectual disabilities together to play sports, gain physical fitness, develop friendships and demonstrate appreciation and respect for each other both on and off the playing field. Unified Sports is offered in over 170 schools across the state through Special Olympics’ partnership with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

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