SHS Introduces Unified Sports!


Scituate will send several teams to the Unified Sports bocce tournament in January

Molly Ryan, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Are you looking to become a part of an inclusive, challenging, and motivating athletic group? Students at SHS can now join the Unified Sports program! Unified Sports was created by the Special Olympics in 1989 to expand sports opportunities for those with intellectual disabilities. This year, grant funding from Massachusetts Special Olympics has allowed Scituate High School to create its own chapter of Unified Sports. This program will be made up of students from 9th through 12th grade, and 50% of the students will be from the iExcel program.

The first Unified Sports program is strength and conditioning, which will run from January 9th to February 17th. In this program, students will meet weekly and practice various strength exercises. Students will choose four exercises for their competitive events and will complete beginning, mid, and end-of-year assessments to monitor their progress. The progress that is made from the beginning to the end of the program accounts for the team’s points. For example, if a student gains a minute on their plank hold from the beginning to the last assessment, that minute of progress will contribute to the team’s score against other towns. This encourages improvement and challenges, creating the optimal environment for self-growth.

SHS Principal Dr. Maguire is excited to offer this new program at Scituate High School: “It’s really about increasing inclusion for our iExcel population and helping them become part of the school community.”

The Scituate High School administration has been working to implement the Unified Sports program since 2019. Previous SHS students advocated for the program. However, when the pandemic occurred, the program was significantly delayed. Now, after administrative and athletic position changes, Unified Sports is officially a part of the SHS athletic programs. Principal Maguire is delighted that SHS can provide “typical high school experiences to everyone.”

Leading this new sports initiative is special education teacher Michael Timcoe, who joined SHS this year as an iExcel teacher and winter track coach. Timcoe had experience with Unified Sports when working at Cardinal Cushing Centers in Hanover, MA, a center that supports those with intellectual disabilities. There, Timcoe had “the time of his life” participating in Unified Basketball. Timcoe is looking forward to the program and encourages anyone who is interested in sports to join. Timcoe loves that Unified Sports includes the entire student body: “It brings everyone together compared to the Special Olympics,” he said.

In addition to the strength and conditioning program, SHS will be joining the one-day Unified bocce event on January 29th; Unified Sports is hosting a bocce tournament at Pembroke High School. Scituate can send up to four teams of three. 

If you are interested in attending the bocce tournament or joining the sports and conditioning program, reach out to Mr. Timcoe at [email protected]. Or visit him in room 249 to sign up. Next fall, Unified Sports may begin a basketball team. Stay tuned for more Unified Sports programs next year!