Articles in Unified

First-Ever University of Iowa Unified Flag Football Season a Success

By Bryan Coffey

22384046_10155995405387526_5649094252158941992_oSpecial Olympics Iowa (SOIA) and the University of Iowa (UI) Recreational Services Department have collaborated over the past several months to develop a unique and exciting partnership that promotes the Special Olympics Unified Sports component to university students and SOIA athletes.

This partnership has allowed SOIA athletes to compete alongside UI students in a six week Intramural Unified Flag Football Season. On Monday, October 23 the season championship game was held in Kinnick Stadium, where the teams played under the bright stadium lights and were cheered on by the University of Iowa Varsity Cheer Squad.

It was evident during this game that the friendships developed throughout this season were meaningful as the fans in the stands witnessed SOIA athletes and UI Student Partners huddle together to form plays and score touchdowns.22382326_10155995409822526_7965410523128040863_o

“Our first-ever Intramural Unified Flag Football league was a great success. We received great feedback from UI students who participated as partners, as well as the Special Olympics athletes and their families,” says Tommy Schorer, Associate Director, UI Sport Programs. “Great relationships were formed, and the smiles on everyone’s faces were indicative of the great time they were all having. We are excited to be leading the way in the state of Iowa in terms of implementing Unified Sports into our Intramural Sports program, and we hope to see other schools around the state follow our lead. We look forward to expanding to even more sports in the near future.”

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SOIA now accepting applications for first Unified Champion Schools Scholarship

20140918_120810Special Olympics Iowa is offering an opportunity to graduating high school seniors who are involved in any Iowa Unified Champion Schools (UCS) program.

Teacher liaisons from Unified Champion Schools in Iowa may nominate a graduating senior to win one of two $250 scholarships. If your school is not currently a Unified Champion School, please contact Bryan Coffey bcoffey@soiowa.org to learn more.

Nomination Process:
School Liaison:
– Select one graduating senior to nominate for the scholarship
– Write a 200 word (1/2 page) nomination letter explaining why you think this student would be a good candidate for this award
Student:
– Must be pursuing a higher level of education during the 2018-2019 school year.
– Write a 300-400 word (1½ pages MAX) letter detailing the following:

  • Name
  • Number of years involved with Special Olympics programs
  • Special Olympics programs and activities the student has participated in
  • Any leadership roles the student has held within the UCS club
  • Most gratifying moment of being involved

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Staff Column: SOIA Holds First Unified Champion Schools Youth Summit

By Bryan Coffey, Director of Unified Sports and Volunteers

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On June 5, 2017, Special Olympics Iowa hosted its first-ever Unified Champion Schools Youth Summit. This was an exciting opportunity for student youth leadership teams to interact with other student leaders from around the state of Iowa. Our main objective for the 2017 Youth Summit was to help students to excel in leadership roles within their schools.

Four Iowa high schools brought students to participate in this program. These schools each represented different regions of our state, which encouraged great conversations and learning opportunities. The schools were:

  • Ankeny Centennial High School (West Central Region)
  • Spencer High School (North Region)
  • Wayne Community High School ( South Central Region)
  • Western Dubuque High school ( East Region)

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