Lewisville High School is not only encouraging inclusivity at its campus but also to other schools in the district.
LHS will host its second annual Unified Sports Day on March 9.
The event will feature a three-on-three basketball tournament for students with and without disabilities.
Bailey Fry, who is organizing the event, said the tournament is an effort by the Special Olympics to push unified sports.
“It’s important schools see that students with disabilities can be represented in the student body in ways that they haven’t before,” Fry said. “Playing sports with other students helps strengthen bonds and creates better friendships.”
Students from all five high schools are invited to participate in the tournament, which begins at 9 a.m. Cost for each team is $60.
Fry said the event is not only for students involved with Special Olympics but other students who have an interest in being involved with the program.
Teams can be made up of three to six players. Of the three who are on the court at a time, two are athletes with a disability and the other, a partner, is an athlete of the same age group who would not typically qualify for Special Olympics.
The tournament will take on a round robin format.
In addition to the game, players can have team photos taken, and representatives from the Special Olympics will be on hand to provide an opening ceremony. Following the game, a DJ will host a dance.
While Lewisville’s event will only feature a basketball game, Special Olympics has pushed unified sports in bowling, volleyball, track and most recently floorball.
Last year’s event, which also took place at LHS, drew in 24 teams from all five high schools. Fry said the event was successful in showcasing the effort and spreading the message of inclusivity.
“Instead of the traditional message of ‘we’re just like you,’ we’re saying, ‘we are you,’” Fry said. “All of us have different strengths, and this is ours.”