SC Hosts National Unified Champion Schools Conference
News | February 10th, 2017
Special Olympics South Carolina was honored to host the Special Olympics National Unified Champion Schools (formerly Project Unify) Conference, February 7-9. More than 200 representatives from Special Olympics Programs from 48 states were in attendance. The conference featured educational and networking sessions, special events and special guest speakers, including a South Carolina night at the Music Farm and a special welcome by City of Columbia Mayor, the Honorable Steve Benjamin. Special Olympics International, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mary Davis, closed out the conference with a closing keynote session.
On Wednesday, February 8, Lexington School District 1 presented 45 students, Special Olympics athletes with athletic letters for their outstanding accomplishments in Unified Sports. Students receiving letters were from River Bluff High School, White Knoll High School and Lexington High School. All three schools are Unified Champion Schools and Lexington School District 1 is the first school district to award letters for Special Olympics training and Unified sports teams (comprised of athletes with and without intellectual disability) in the state of South Carolina. Lexington High School was also the first school in the country and among eight schools in South Carolina to be recognized as a Banner Unified Champion School.
After the letter presentation more than 1,000 students from Lexington High School and special guests, Mary Davis and Kevin Negandhi, ESPN SportsCenter anchor helped unveil the schools’ Unified Champion School banner in the Lexington High School gymnasium. Since 2013, ESPN has served as the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports. ESPN has also supported the development of a new Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools high school playbook that will be introduced during the conference.