In Colorado, Engaging Primary and Middle Schools in the Unified Generation
Colton and Cole are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Colorado, USA leading a Youth Innovation Project to expand the outreach of Special Olympics Unified programs in their school district. Their goal is to educate more students about the positive impacts of social inclusion and provide students in preschool, elementary school, and middle school the opportunity to learn and play sports together with others with and without intellectual disabilities. In September 2018, Colton and Cole participated in the Special Olympics Global Youth Leadership Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan and learned how the importance of youth leadership and engagement of new youth leaders can lead to a stronger Unified Generation.
As friends and friendly competitors, Colton and Cole wished they had the opportunity to play inclusive sports together at a younger age. They have enjoyed spending time together on and off the court in high school and believe that expansion of Unified Sports into local primary and middle schools will generate greater social inclusion amongst students with and without intellectual disabilities.
Colton and Cole’s project will not only be a fun and educational opportunity for students, but will show parents and teachers that people of all abilities are able to succeed in sports. Colton and Cole hope their project will create new opportunities for students who may not have had the chance to compete in sports competition before. Colton and Cole are excited to work with students of all ages in their school district and share opportunities with them to build stronger friendships and become better sports competitors. With Colton and Cole’s leadership and example, the Unified Generation is growing in Colorado, USA and around the world.