Nicole Bagala ‘20
Fall is a great time for playing sports, and BHS’ Unified Sports are all in! Unified Sports was originally a Unified Track team at BHS under Mr. Goodwin, a retired BHS gym teacher. The program was restarted in 2013 by Special Education teacher Mr. Ferrandino and Transition Specialist Mrs. Peters. Mr. Ferrandino and BHS Guidance Counselor Mrs. Mason are currently co-coaches for the Unified Sports team. Unified Sports plays soccer, basketball and softball. They hold practice on Tuesdays, from 2:15-3:15 p.m. Mr. Ferrandino was introduced to the Unified Sports program by his son, Jake Ferrandino, who has autism, who is on the team at Broadview Middle School in Danbury. There, Mr. Ferrandino saw the result the program had on the disabled students.
“I saw how wonderful it is for helping students with disabilities, especially any student who has a disability with social skills. They feel like they’re apart of the school and it really helps them get to know people and be more open than they would be if they just went home after school,” Mr. Ferrandino said.
The program has really changed the lives of the students in the program. On Sept. 21, during the home football game, BHS was identified as a champion school for Unified Sports.
“BHS was recognized as the top champion school in Connecticut and in the top 30 list in the nation,” Mr. Ferrandino explained.
BHS will be recognized as an ESPN Champion School at the Connecticut Youth Leadership Summit on Nov. 30 and get the ESPN Champion Award, a banner, for BHS.
The Unified Sports program has made a big impact on BHS and students are recommended to get involved.
“Unified Sports is about student growth,” Mr. Ferrandino says, “whether you’re a partner or an athlete, I’ve seen students grow.”