ELMA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Iroquois High School has been named a national leader in unified sports and inclusion by Special Olympics New York and the New York State Public High School Athletics Association. To celebrate, the school held a pep rally where the first ever National United Champion School Banner was revealed.
"We don't give this to just anyone. That's why this is the first of 179 schools," President and CEO of Special Olympics New York said.
To receive a banner, a school must meet 10 standard standard components. Some including inclusive leadership engagement, all school engagement and an expectation to grow and continue with all inclusive activities for students in the school.
Iroquois High School has been participating in unified sports since 2015 and each year the program has grown.
"Starting with basketball the first year, bowling the second, and now we actually are one of three schools in New York State that offer volleyball in the fall," coach of Iroquois' unified teams Sean Lauber said.
The executive director of section VI of New York State Public high School Athletics Association believes that unified sports will gain traction in years to come. More, than the history of any interscholastic sports in the district.
"I think there's a passion for it and I think there's a need," Timm Slade said.