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NFHS unveils new Unified Sports Course in concert with Special Olympics

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National Federation of State High School Associations, Press Release

To better understand how to implement a Special Olympics Unified Sports® program at the interscholastic level, the NFHS, in partnership with Special Olympics North America, has created the “Administering Interscholastic Unified Sports” course, available now for free on the NFHS Learning Center (

Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that unites Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) as teammates for training and competition. “Administering Interscholastic Unified Sports” is the second Unified Sports course on the Learning Center, following “Coaching Unified Sports.”

“We are pleased to offer this course as more and more schools are offering Unified Sports opportunities for students,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS Director of Educational Services. “This course is a wonderful resource for schools wanting to learn how to implement Unified Sports programs within their building and community.”

“This course was developed in response to the growing requests for more guidance around how Unified Sports should be implemented at the high school interscholastic level,” said Brian Quinn, Director of Programming & Partnerships with Special Olympics North America. ”We know that all of our incredible administrators and coaches want the best for our students, and I think this course has done a wonderful job laying out this vision of quality in a succinct format. We couldn’t be more excited for the release of our second course with our partners at NFHS.”

This new Learning Center course is designed to assist and guide administrators in implementing a Unified Sports program by teaching them about various guidelines, strategies, components and scenarios related to the program.

Unit two – “A Leading Driver of Inclusion” – gives a brief history of Unified Sports and the three components of the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools® program. Unit three on “Interscholastic Unified Sports” explores the benefits and opportunities athletes receive from participation.

Unit four – “Guidelines of Administering Unified Sports” – offers eight basic guidelines for implementation to ensure that all athletes and partners have safe, competitive and meaningful experiences. The final unit provides practice scenarios that may occur when trying to implement a Unified Sports program.

More information on the “Administering Interscholastic Unified Sports” course can be found at: 

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