Each of these schools will work closely with Special Olympics Tennessee in training students with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team:
Bartlett High School, Bartlett
Glencliff High School, Nashville
Hardin Valley Academy, Knoxville
Harpeth High School, Kingston Springs
Lebanon High School, Lebanon
Sycamore High School, Pleasant View
Volunteer High School, Church Hill
White County High School, Sparta
Sean Stake, Vice President of Sports at Special Olympics Tennessee, spoke of the decision-making process.
“It was a difficult decision to choose just eight schools for this first year, but we are excited about the schools that have been selected. We have a great mix of East, Middle and West Tennessee schools with both established and newer Unified Sports programs. Each school is passionate about their Special Olympics athletes, have excellent peer tutor programs, and are excited about the opportunity to compete for a championship for their school,” he said.
TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress stated, “We are very pleased with the leadership displayed by these eight schools in the first year of this event. We think this is just the first step in a program that will continue to expand to include more and more student athletes and we are excited about the direction this is heading.”
The first TSSAA Unified Track & Field State Invitational will take place on Thursday, May 24, 2018, as part of the Large Class Track & Field State Championships.
Events included will be the 100-meter Dash, 400-meter Run, 4×100-meter Relay, Shot Put and Long Jump.
The Unified Track & Field events will be incorporated into the Large Class Track & Field schedule, with individual medals awarded and a Unified Track & Field Champion and Runner-up team decided.