In addition to Mount Greylock’s traditional spring sports, Unified Track and Field was added to the offerings for the spring of 2022. The Special Olympics, an organization which provides competitive sport opportunities for children and adults with disabilities, sponsors these Unified sports.
The Mount Greylock program has two practices a week, which has been a challenge with the April rain. The team also faces the challenge of having only 5 members, compared to the large roster of the Unified Basketball program.
Unified Track coach Harrison Trites said the team is “unique because it’s a chance for students who usually wouldn’t have the same opportunity as the rest to be a part of a track team.”
Trites also spoke on the team building and social aspect of the team. “It’s a great way for some of our kids to continue building relationships and working together as teammates and friends in an after school setting,” Trites said. “Seeing the few team members we have smile and enjoy their time together is really all you can ask for.”
Senior Henry Art, a member of the Unified Track and Unified Basketball teams, said “Unified Track is really awesome and a very unique experience.”
While in Unified Basketball the entire team is placed together in the same game, Unified Track takes a different approach. All members of the team are put into tiers based on their skill levels, and they compete in their own groups.
“Even partners are running as fast as they normally would, and then they are competing against people of their own skill level,” Art said. “It’s not like Unified Basketball in that way, but it’s similar to Unified Basketball in promoting inclusion for everyone and encouraging everyone to have fun and try hard.”
Trites said that one of the most valuable parts of coaching is “seeing [the students] develop skills that will help them in sports, but also in life.”
The Unified Track team had their first meet on April 13th. “The meet was awesome. It was fun to see a lot of new faces,” said Art. “The Wahconah team is really big, and so it was really cool to hang out with them and meet everybody for the first time.”