Southwest HS To Host District’s Inaugural Unified Basketball Tournament
Fort Worth ISD’s Southwest High School is hosting the District’s inaugural Southwest Classic Unified Basketball Tournament, Wednesday, February 26.
The tournament, beginning at 10 a.m. at Southwest High School, 4100 Altamesa Blvd., promotes inclusion and brings together seven high school teams made up of both special and general education student-athletes. A Unified dance team from Southwest High is also slated to perform. This is the first event demonstrating Unified Sports in the Fort Worth ISD, according to organizers.
“Hosting the first Unified Basketball tournament is a great opportunity for our school community to show the importance and emphasis we put on making ALL students feel welcome,” said John Engel, Southwest High School principal.
Tournament organizers say the event allows students to learn and interact with people from different backgrounds and abilities, see that students with disabilities deserve the same opportunities as those without disabilities, and it teaches empathy and compassion.
In October 2019, the University Interscholastic League Legislative Council passed an amendment adding a Unified Activities pilot in Texas, beginning the 2020-2021 school year. The UIL will collaborate with Special Olympics Texas to offer “student-athletes with and without intellectual disabilities opportunities to participate in activities alongside one another,” according to a statement released by the UIL October 21, 2019.
For more details on the Southwest Classic Unified Basketball Tournament, contact Lynn McGuff, a FWISD adapted physical educator and Special Olympics assistant coordinator, at email@example.com.