Best Buddies Unified Track Team Receives Special Olympics Unified Champion School Banner


Brianna Deasy, Staff Writer

In recognition for their participation in the Unified Sports Special Olympics, the Best Buddies Unified Track and Bocce Ball Team have been awarded a Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools Banner, which was hung in the WHS gymnasium and revealed to the Best Buddies Unified Track and Bocce Ball Team members on Jan. 11.

“I hope this award helps show our community how good our students and staff are at Walpole High School and what we get involved in,” Walpole High School psychologist Charlie Ferro said.

In order to receive this award, the Unified Track Team had to be qualified in several different areas. One qualification includes providing the Unified Sports Fitness Program, which allows students with and without disabilities to participate in sports like Unified Track and Field and Unified Bocce Ball in at least two seasons throughout the school year.

“I am really proud of Best Buddies and the Unified Track team for receiving this award. All the runners worked so hard last year,” junior Best Buddies Vice President Evelyn Abbott said. “My involvement was helping at the meets and making sure all the career and special Ed kids are included.”

Another requirement to receive this banner is to have widespread student inclusion of students with disabilities. The Walpole High Best Buddies club meets at least once a month to plan events for students with and without disabilities including the Best Buddies Halloween dance, kickball games and the annual end of the year Best Buddies dance. Student presidents and ambassadors also work to teach other students about awareness and inclusion of students with disabilities.

These are great programs for everybody to see and be involved in and I hope the word about them continue to spread,” Ferro said.

Furthermore, the Best Buddies Organization has gone above and beyond to unify students with and without disabilities, to host unified events and also to host unified sports.

Hopefully these events and involvement will continue and more and more people will support us and get involved themselves.” Ferro said.