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Students in St. Bonaventure University’s Department of Physical Education presented the session “Cutting Edge Programs” at the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Conference held Nov. 21-22, 2013.
The discussion was led by St. Bonaventure graduate assistant Lauren Capotorto and Physical Activity Club (PAC) President Quinn Shoen and Vice President Joe Battaglia. The three students were among those who participated in the spring 2013 special topics course — Leadership through Special Olympics — that trained students as event managers to coordinate a unified basketball competition with elementary/middle school teams from Olean and Allegany-Limestone school districts.
University students who volunteered at the unified competition, Zach Gelen, Ellen Bagley, Abigail Rocque and Danny Kelly, co-presented at this conference session. St. Bonaventure associate professor Dr. Paula Scraba, Allison Barnes and Bill Collins, director of training for Special Olympics of New York, provided guidance for schools seeking to meet the responsibilities from section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by offering Unified Sports Programs.
In addition, St. Bonaventure students and faculty were part of another one-day intensive training workshop session presentation with Special Olympics of New York, “Athletics Training Program Certification through Track and Field.”
This active coach’s certification session taught participants the way of the future for encouraging athletes of all abilities and ages to compete at their optimum level. Through the track-and-field-based athletics training program, coaches were provided information to develop total fitness for athletes to compete in any sport and demonstrated the use of some of the latest equipment, such as indoor shots, standing long jump pads, and indoor javelins. As with all Special Olympics sports, the athletics general session offered coaches ways to integrate athletes for opportunities to learn through skill development and competitive settings and to be involved in large social settings.
This Unified Sports Program with the Allegany and Olean schools led to a $2,500 Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation Award through St. Bonaventure, Scraba said.
“This is one of more than 2,000 programs in 42 states that are transforming the social acceptance culture in their schools through Unified Sports Programs,” added Scraba.
This spring at SBU, the Special Olympics course will be offered as a Clare 401 Senior Forum course in two sections to encourage students of majors across campus to have the opportunity to experience the transformation of social integration through Unified Sports Program.
For more information about the course or the unified program, contact Dr. Paula J. Scraba at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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