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Together we are Champions

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Last spring, Lewis Cass students put together a group called Champions Together. Champions Together is a partnership between IHSAA and Indiana Special Olympics. This group serves a purpose by involving students with special needs in athletics. The group at Lewis Cass is led by Josh Hanlon and Mckayla Ramsey.

At the beginning of the school year, we had a school wide event to raise awareness about individuals with special needs. A speaker came to our school and talked to us about the importance of not using the “r” word. Students in the school signed a banner pledging not to use this word. I think this is important because having a sister with Down syndrome, this is a word I do not like to hear. We also had a spirit week which involved dress up days to also raise awareness.

Last Saturday, the members of Lewis Cass Champions Together held a basketball and cheer clinic at the school for individuals with special needs. The event was open to students and adults. The basketball and cheer clinic was held at the high school from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. The participants had the opportunity to learn and practice basketball and cheer skills. Several volunteers led the clinic and worked to make it a fun event. All of the individuals with special needs who participated in the event received a free t-shirt, a mini basketball, and megaphone. Several generous sponsors in our community made this possible. Later that night, participants came back to the high school to perform and show off their new skills between the junior varsity and varsity games. This was an awesome thing for both the athletes participating and the volunteers who helped. My little sister, Anna, participated in the event. She was very nervous to go out onto the court, but once she did, she had a lot of fun. It was nice to see her enjoying herself and playing on the same court that I am able to play on each week.

Having a sister with Down syndrome really helped me realize that most kids with special needs do not experience the same opportunities that other kids get to experience. Anna plays on a Special Olympics basketball team, but it is not with the kids that are in her class. Champions Together gives kids with special needs a chance to participate in clinics like the one we held, and it also gives them opportunities to participate in high school sports such as Unified Track with their classmates. The kids who participate in these sports have a chance to earn a varsity letter just like their classmates.

I think that this is a great experience for  the participants, because I know my little sister wants to do a lot of the things that my older siblings and I do. Champions Together gives her and other kids with special needs a chance to do some of the things that they see everyone else do. It is a great group, and I am glad that we have this at Lewis Cass.  

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6 Comments

6 Responses to “Together we are Champions”

  1. Mason Young on February 6th, 2018 10:26 am

    Great article, Gabe! I think it’s really cool how the club helps everyone get involved to play sports and earn a varsity letter. Great job!

  2. kkitchel23 on February 7th, 2018 10:47 am

    Nice article Gabe! It was such a great experience to be able to work this camp. Everybody did an amazing job. I couldn’t be more proud of this school!

  3. Delanie Deeter on February 8th, 2018 9:54 am

    This is a great article to help promote and illustrate what Champions Together is all about. Showing your personal experience helps make the occasion that much more personal. Good Job!

  4. Jordan Henry on February 20th, 2018 8:49 am

    Good article. It was nice getting to know how the volunteers feel about helping. It’s really cool that everyone is getting involved in school activities. Great job.

  5. klewe90 on February 22nd, 2018 1:12 pm

    This was a great experience! i love being a apart of this club and seeing everybody in it grow as a whole. We put a lot of hard work and dedication into this camp and it turned out awesome! I really like how you described how you relate to the club. Great job!

  6. Dixon M Collins on February 26th, 2018 11:24 am

    This was a great activity for everyone to experience. It helped all of the athletes come together and get to know each other more and more, while they had a great time competing against each other. Great article!

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Together we are Champions