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January 23, 2013 | North America: Massachusetts

I am a Unified Partner

By Courtney Neil

I have competed with Special Olympics for 11 years alongside my older sister Alyssa, who is much more than my teammate. She’s my inspiration and daily reminder to never take anything at face value. Unified Sports puts individuals with and without intellectual disabilities together on teams to compete in various sports. You and your teammates work together to accomplish something great and it builds a positive relationship that’s unlike any other. It teaches compassion and understanding and you learn to give people a chance in an environment without judgment. Being involved in such an amazing organization and just playing sports has opened up a world of opportunity for me. I have been exposed to all different types of people and made real friendships that will withstand anything. Best of all, Unified Sports has brought me so much closer to my sister.

About Courtney Neil: I am a former National Youth Activation Leader and active youth leader with Special Olympics Massachusetts. I participate in Unified Sports with my sister Alyssa.
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