JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Atlantic Coast High School Special Olympics Unified Flag Football team was invited to participate in the Special Olympics Florida Flag Football Invitational Tournament representing Duval County on December 8, 2012.
A Unified team is one that combines Special Olympic athletes and athletes without intellectual disability (partners) on a team for training and competition.
ACHS took one of it's teams to the National Training Center in Clermont to compete with 22 other teams. After a whole day of competition and a loss in the first game, the "Duval Stings" came back to take first place in the Senior Division.
Coaches Pam Enteman and Jennifer Lang couldn't have been more proud of how the athletes performed and showed sportsmanship throughout the competition. The coaches stated that Special Olympics, especially the Unified program has brought a whole new understanding of the meaning of inclusion to the school population.
"It is amazing to watch the interaction of these athletes working together on the field for a common goal along with the respect and compassion that is shared," stated Coach Enteman. "We are looking forward to adding more sports this spring and taking the school population in new directions of inclusion."
After Christmas break, Atlantic Coast High School will start practicing for their next Special Olympics competition including soccer skills, botchie ball, and track and field. The hope is for all special needs athletes to have a one-on-one general education student to coach them.