On March 3rd, Edison High School (EHS) hosted the Huntington Beach Union High School District’s (HBUHSD) Unified Sports Volleyball Tournament sponsored by the Special Olympics Orange County. This year we had five schools compete: Edison High School (EHS), Fountain Valley High School (FVHS), Marina High School (MHS), Ocean View High School (OVHS), and Westminster High School (WHS). Unified Sports is an inclusive, district-wide program that aims to promote social inclusion by uniting adapted physical education athletes (students with intellectual disabilities) and partners (students without intellectual disabilities) through sports.
The tournament began with an opening ceremony for all the athletes! Each school’s team walked through a celebration of cheerleaders and a balloon arch to enter the gym and begin the day of competition. Once everyone made their way inside, each school was announced in front of a packed gym of spectators and supporters of Unified Sports, and the day commenced with a performance by Edison and Ocean View cheer teams with their Unified partners.
The day was filled with volleyball competition and cheerleaders cheering on each team together. Marina took home 1st place in the tournament – a huge victory for the Viking’s first year participating!
This day of inclusion was possible thanks to Westminster High School’s Adapted Physical Education Specialist and HBUHSD Liason, Sue Williams, district administrators, Edison High School, and many more. Unified Sports gives special needs students the opportunity to put on a uniform and represent their school alongside their peers. In addition, student partners are able to connect with their teammates they may have never interacted with before.
The tournament concluded with: