In the Huntington Beach Union High School District, Unified Sports is a growing and important part of inclusion for campus life. The program aims to promote social inclusion by uniting adapted physical education athletes (students with intellectual disabilities) and partners (students without intellectual disabilities) through sports. On Monday, February 24, the first Annual Special Olympics Unified Sports Golf Tournament Fundraiser took place at SeaCliff Country Club, where all proceeds went to HBUHSD schools participating in Unified Sports. These proceeds directly help cover the ongoing costs of transportation, coaching stipends, lunches on tournament days, and uniforms for the athletes.
Among 100+ golfers, including high school staff and district administration, we had two special guests participating in the Tournament Fundraiser! The first golfer was Greg Kozlowski from the USA Special Olympics, who won the Special Olympics Southern California 2019 Orange County Athlete of the Year award. Our other golfer was Jake Olson, the first ever blind collegiate football player who made history as a long snapper at USC, and has been an inspiration to many alongside his accomplishments: Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week, semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award, and USC’s Most Inspirational Player, to name a few.
The day started off after registration with a putting contest, where golfers got to put their skills to the green. The winners for the contest were Ben Deering and Ann Williams!
Golfers began making their way to their carts while enjoying lunch and mingling with the other attendees.
The tournament moved forward with the Shotgun Start where the golfers enjoyed a long day of golfing in beautiful weather for an amazing cause.
After a long day of golf, everyone made their way inside for the Awards Ceremony. Sue Williams, HBUHSD Unified Sports Liaison, spoke about the importance of Unified Sports and how impactful it is for these students to put on a jersey to represent their high school and compete in sports with one another. Many of these students may never have the chance to participate in school sports if it weren’t for this incredible program.
A huge thank you to Sue for your dedication towards our students and for putting on an amazing fundraiser event! And thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make this day possible!
The winners of the Golf Tournament were:
1st place in tournament (12 under par)
- Rich Tait
- Trevor Tait
- Keith Lezatte
- Curtis Cooper
Long Drive (Men)
- Greg Lawrence
Long Drive (Women)
- Ann Williams
Closest to the Pin (Men)
- David Olivien (1’2″)
Closest to the Pin (Women)
- Peggy Bachlor (9’8″)
Hole in One
- Ramon Lopez with a 5 iron for 146 yards