Unified Sports is an organization in which all students can come together and play a variety of sports. There are no limitations to being a part of the team. Every person has the opportunity whether they have a disability or not.
Tim Mason, an avid member of the team, really enjoys knowing that he doesn’t have to worry about the competition that sports usually have. “The most enjoyable thing about Unified Sports is probably knowing that it’s not competitive,” Mason said.“You can do anything there and you’re all winners.”
This organization has allowed Mason to truly show what he can bring to the court– that nothing is impossible if he has the confidence to get out there and be himself.
“I’ve learned a lot about self confidence and teamwork by being in Unified,” Mason said. “This sport has allowed me to look at a whole new perspective and believe that I can do anything.”
Even with a sport without competition there are challenges that Mason had to overcome.
One example is when he was he was nervous on the first day he went to play soccer.
“I didn’t think I would be able to do it myself with missing legs. he said. “I began to allow myself to try to avoid it rather than figure it out.”
Despite this, he remained positive. “I was able to overcome it thanks to the members and the organization itself. I moved the ball around with my wheelchair, batting the ball in the front using the foot pedal,” he said.
At his first game, Mason expertly maneuvered the ball down the court, zipping past everyone. When the ball was taken away from him Mason quickly hopped from his wheelchair and toward the opponent who took the ball, swiping the ball from the opponent’s foot. Mason shot the ball into the net with his hand scoring a goal.
“The feeling was amazing,” he said. “It really filled me with joy and I am so grateful for this program.”
Allie Konrad, another member of the team also had to overcome her own challenges. She said that it was difficult to learn the sport in the short amount of time that the team had to practice.
“In order to overcome this, everyone had to help each other to improve as a team,” she said. “Everyone on the team is important.” Konrad said she was looking for a way to fill her spare time with a fun activity and be able to work with others. “Unified is great because it’s not extremely demanding time-wise, but we still get a lot done.” “When we travel for scrimmages at other schools, I always meet someone new.”
Ruth Gowitzke, staff writer
Senior Ruth Gowitzke is a staff writer for the 2015-2016 Colonel. She participates in Symphonic Band, Marching Band and Jazz Band. She will attend college next fall.