SWHS' Unified Sports is a 'joyful' program
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Dec. 1, 2011
This is South Windsor High School art teacher Evan Fable's first year as coach of the Unified Sports program, which brings together 11 athletes and several helpers every week for a variety of sports programs. The program meets twice weekly during seventh period. The team also travels to games throughout the year and hosts games at SHWS as well as at the Ellsworth gymnasium.
Recently, the team participated in a soccer tournament at Conard High School. “The kids loved it,” said Fable of the five athletes and three helpers. “The kids really like soccer.” Of Scott Smith, one of the team’s athletes, Fable said, “He was really an asset at our games.” Smith also often leads the warm-ups and stretches. Fable noted that freshman Nat Culver is a wonderful athlete who brings good teamwork to the group.
“It’s fun,” said Jessica Sherman, a junior, and participating as an athlete for the second year. Although she had only played basketball prior to joining Unified Sports, she has really enjoyed learning soccer. At the recent tournament, Sherman scored two goals. “It felt joyful,” she said.
SWHS senior Nick Plourde joined the Unified Sports program as a helper this year. He intends on becoming a physical education teacher. “It’s been a learning experience to know how we should play, according to their disability,” Plourde said. “I’ve had a good time working with everyone.” He has also gotten to know all the athletes personally, whom he otherwise would not have met.
“It’s all about the chemistry,” said Sara Bisighini, a senior who was a Unified Sports helper her freshman and sophomore year, and is back again this year. Co-captain of the SWHS field hockey team, Bisighini knows the importance of keeping everyone included. Speaking about the athletes on both the field hockey and the unified sports teams, she said, “Sometimes you have to give them a push.”
This year’s Unified Sports program has 11 athletes, eight of whom travel to games and three who do not have the ability to compete, due to their disabilities. The full roster of athletes and helpers includes: Sara Bisighini, Curtis Bolduc, Brittany Bouffard, Jaycob Bowerman, Matt Braddock, Matt Culver, David Haga, Robbie Hay, Nick Johnson, Zach Marlin, Sean Melia, Nick Moskites, Nicholas Plourde, Brenden Prattson, Gabby Senna, Jessica Sherman, Scott Smith, Maya Sparks, Katie Strong and Robbie Toffolon.