At Battle High School, the gymnasium was rocking after school as students with special needs met for the United Challenge.
A relay race on the basketball court was the center of attention. This was the climax of the United Challenge, a sporting event for students with special needs. Teams from several schools raced across the gym floor.
Since the United Challenge is about inclusion, there are no winners formally declared. The event was started three years ago by Rachel Victor, ad community skills teacher from Rock Bridge. She envisioned an event for students who could not qualify for Special Olympics due to their cognitive function, but also had disabilities that kept them from playing club sports or varsity sports. Special Olympics athletes are also welcome in the United Challenge.
“The thing that I really love about the United Challenge is that it’s very inclusive to all individuals with any type of disability,” Victor said. “But they’re also buddied up with a peer that goes to their high school, and so they help each other. They can work together. They can have new friendships and social interaction.”