E-W raises awareness, money for Special Olympics

Warrior boys, girls soccer teams clash in annual charity contest for Unified programs
By David Pan | Jun 16, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Unified team members Brandon Mason and Barron Willson play during halftime of the annual Edmonds-Woodway High School boys vs. girls charity soccer game Saturday, June 10, at Edmonds Stadium.

Players and fans attending the second annual Edmonds-Woodway High School boys vs. girls charity soccer game got a first hand look of what they were supporting.

The Edmonds School District’s Unified soccer team played a short game during halftime.

The Unified team is composed of Special Olympics athletes or students with special needs, who are joined by  student peers or partners. Some of the student peers/partners also were members of the boys and girls soccer teams.

“The concept is everyone coming out and playing together and having fun,” said Unified soccer team coach Meaghan Veysey, who is a speech pathologist in the district. “The whole premise is that they are a team. Our partners are there to help and to be a team member. We want everyone to work together to have a super fun time and to be successful.”

The Unified soccer program features about 30 players and is divided into four teams. In addition to soccer, the district also has Unified basketball and soccer teams. The district had teams advance to state in basketball and soccer.

“We’re trying to grow it,” Veysey said of the Unified programs.

Edmonds-Woodway’s Kia Mackey and Lucas Teklemariam organized the game last year as part of a project for the International Baccalaureate program. The two were joined by juniors Molly Carden and Hannah Hicks this year with the idea that Carden and Hicks will assume responsibilities for next year’s game.

Teklemariam enjoyed seeing the Special Olympians play soccer.

“You can see that the game is just as much fun for them as it is for us,” he said.

The Edmonds-Woodway senior also was glad to play a part in building a relationship between the soccer teams and the Unified program.

“Both sides learn from each other and both sides have so much to give,” Veysey said. “It’s really a great program and it’s great to get to know some of the high schoolers who are in special education.”

The game raised $606 from tickets and donations for the local Special Olympics organization.

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