SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — Today, Special Olympics International board of directors chairman Tim Shriver visited Utah with some big names to deliver some big news. There’s an expansion of the Special Olympics Unified Sports program through public-private partnerships which is one of Utah’s first lady Abby Cox’s Show Up initiatives.
A tour of two elementary Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools in the Alpine School District, one in Lehi the other in Saratoga Springs, was held for Utah education and sports leaders.
In attendance were: Scott Weaver, President/CEO of Special Olympics Utah; Michelle Wolfenbarger, Board Chair of Special Olympics Utah; Sydnee Dickson, State Superintendent of Public
Instruction; Brittney Cummins, Education Advisor to Gov. Spencer J. Cox; Ashley Smith, Board Member, Show Up and owner, Utah Jazz; Rob Cuff and Jon Oglesby both with UHSAA and representatives from Real Salt Lake soccer team.
Arguably the most important of the aforementioned list of VIPs was the inclusion of student-athletes in a Unified Sports track practice and Unified Sports physical education class. Guests also participated in a mock press conference/Q&A with Unified Sports athletes and peers.
The Special Olympics Unified Schools program focuses on creating and sustaining a positive school climate that values and manifests appropriate and effective engagement leading to inclusion, acceptance, respect, and human dignity.
Special Olympics Unified Schools is funded by the US Department of Education and may be implemented within elementary, middle, and high schools across the nation.
Robert Kennedy, Shrivers cousin, spends a fair amount of time in Park City skiing and raising awareness for his nonprofit Waterkeeper.