Rio Mesa and Cam High Face-Off in the Special Olympics


Ian Lattimer

Special Ed and Regular Ed students kick off the Special Olympics soccer game by running through a Cam High banner on Dec. 4, 2018.

Special Olympics Unified Sports arranged a soccer game on Dec. 4, 2018 where Cam High and Rio Mesa’s students with special needs faced-off against one another.

The game took place in Cam High’s stadium and started at the beginning of fourth period. The game ended at the beginning of lunch, and Rio Mesa won with a score of 5-1.

The Special Olympics was originally created to allow students with special needs or disabilities to participate in high school sports. The overall goal is inclusion for these students.

“Cam High Special Olympics started when the creators of the Special Olympics came to Cam and offered a small amount of money to get the Olympics started here,” said Ms. Mary Perez, Special Olympics Organizer and physical education teacher at Cam High.

At the Special Olympics, members of the marching band cheered on both teams and the cheer team performed during half-time.

“At practice we had a lot of fun. We had practice every week leading up to the game.” said Leah Rogers — junior, Special Olympics athlete, and co-leader of the Unified Sports Club at Cam High. “My favorite part of the Special Olympics is getting to see the cheerleaders perform their cheers.”

The partners at the Special Olympics played soccer also. Each team had six players with three members of the team being general education students (partners) and three being students with intellectual disabilities (athletes).

“When I’m helping out at the Special Olympics, I can see the players have a lot of fun on the field, playing the soccer game, which makes me really happy.” said Brandt Skolnick, senior and Special Olympics partner at Cam High. “My experience with the Special Olympics so far has been amazing! I have had a lot of fun working with the players.”