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April 23, 2014 | North America: New York

A Unifying Force in New York

By Christy White

Special Olympics CEO Janet Froetscher joins Robert Zayas, Executive Director, New York State Public High School Athletic Association Neal Johnson, CEO Special Olympics New York join local NY athletes and Columbia High School students to announce the partnership

Special Olympics New York and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Inc. are partners in a new Unified Sports program, just one of only a few in the United States in which Special Olympics and a state association have collaborated. The partnership will bring together students with and without intellectual disabilities for the opportunity to compete on one team. The partnership establishes a pilot unified basketball program where 12 schools will participate in practices and games spanning approximately eight weeks. Schools will have the opportunity to compete in their first game on 5 May. Janet Froetscher, Special Olympics CEO, said, "We believe that the youth of today are a unifying force and our Project UNIFY strategy is a proven model that breaks down barriers of misunderstanding, activating youth as leaders, and encouraging whole school involvement."

About Christy White: I am the Director of Global Media and Public Relations for Special Olympics.

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