The Inclusion of Everyone


Typically, there are many different clubs that schools offer to students.  These clubs consist of: National Honor Society, Student Council, Key Club, Sadd Club, Spanish club and more.  A new club that many schools are starting to implement and offer into their cooperation is Champions Together.  According to Special Olympics Indiana, Champions Together is a collaborative partnership between the Indiana High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics Indiana that promotes servant leadership among student athletes while changing their lives as well as the lives of those with intellectual disabilities.”  The partnership of the IHSAA and Special Olympics Indiana is fairly recent.  Champions Together first started in Indiana around 2012.  Since then the club has grown to many schools around the state. 


At Lewis Cass, Champions Together is a club that has many participants from the Special Needs department and also from the students.  At Champions Together we create and organize sporting events to help make Special Needs kids feel like they are involved.  Each special needs student is able to participate in every sport offered.  We try to create as many opportunities for these kids as possible.  The sports can range from basketball and volleyball to cheerleading and track.  There are specified leaders for each sport and they must come up with the agenda for the day.  Most of the time, the agenda consists of drills, water breaks, and a final game or event.  To try and make the day as fun as possible for them, we play their favorite music and try to fulfill their every need.


   During these events, special needs students will partner up with the Champions Together members.  The members will introduce themselves and try to get to know about their special needs partner.  After that, the leader of the designated sport will separate everyone into specific groups.  Sometimes they separate the special needs students into specific groups because they have different drills for kids who are less capable.  The members of the club continually make sure that each student has the best day possible.  This means that there are certain things that the members say to put a smile on their face.  The simple phrases of “good job” and “I am proud of you” go a long way and help build each one’s confidence.  Also, during these sporting events different school classes will take time out of their day to come and cheer them on.  This is another way that the school and community helps make the special needs students feel like they are competing in a normal sporting event.  


Many people think that this club is just rewarding for the special needs student.  As someone who has participated in countless events and partnered with many students I will say, helping people who are not as capable as yourself is truly rewarding.  Also, the more events that occur and take place, the more the community hears about Champions Together.  Another goal of Champions Together is to spread awareness about these special needs students and the special olympics.

My experience of being in Champions Together.