With inclusion for all, unified track provides an opportunity for people with and without disabilities to be a part of a team. Containing an assortment of track and field events, peer students and student-athletes are partnered up to perform in a setting that inspires encouragement and unity. Qualifying as a varsity sport, peer students are given the opportunity to compete against other schools alongside their classmates. Senior Maggie Campbell has been a part of the unified track team for three years and has participated in several of the events, she has begun to see the kind of impact this type of team can have on students.
“It gives high functioning students the opportunity to work with those who sometimes need a little push or pull throughout the season,” Campbell said. “It allows the different students to become family and make new friends that might not have been made otherwise.”
Fri., April 27, Campbell participated in the teams track meet at Fishers High School. She personally participates in the long jump and runs whenever a peer needs her. Forming relationships and being a part of a team alongside students with intellectual and developmental disabilities plays an essential role in creating a sense of belonging amongst students. Established upon the idea that everyone should be treated equally and provided with the same opportunities, unified track aims to form bonds that extend far beyond the track. Senior Alex Sevening is a member of the unified track team who believes that the most important aspect of the team falls within the concept of treating its members invariably.
“Unified track is important because it is imperative that every kid with a disability feel like they belong, they are just like everyone else,” Sevening said. “ We all come from different backgrounds, have different personalities and likes and dislikes and that is the beauty of unified track.”