A Unified Basketball team was born, and it was fantastic

BRATTLEBORO — As proud parents of one of the team members on the new Brattleboro Unified Basketball team, we send out a hearty list of thank yous:

Thank you for the great collaboration of the Vermont Principals' Association and Special Olympics, taking up the baton of inclusion and acceptance of high-school students with disabilities' participation in statewide athletics programs.

Vermont's first Interscholastic Unified Sports Basketball League is an amazing accomplishment! The message that these students are valued and worthwhile members of our community comes through loud and clear.

Thank you to the Brattleboro school administration and to Chris Sawyer, Brattleboro Union High School athletic director. All were willing to try this pilot program, investing resources and stepping up to the plate to organize the games and practices. To see Unified Basketball included and spoken to so beautifully on the BUHS athletics website was incredibly moving to us.

A special thanks to Todd Bell, coach, and Perrin Scott, assistant coach. Thanks for going above and beyond, for being there with your positive spirits, and for your total faith that this group of kids has what it takes to represent Brattleboro.

And, of course, the big thank you for the participants/partners: You rocked! A unified team was born, and it was fantastic! So many smiles, so much fun, so much hard work and courage!

Learning from and about one another and breaking down walls make unified sports special and valuable as the program overflows into the classrooms and halls.

Oh - and so much appreciation for the folks who attended the games to cheer on and encourage the team across the state.

And lastly and importantly, thank you to The Commons for your enthusiastic sports coverage, for raising your voice, and for reaching the wider community.

We are looking forward to next year's season already!

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