E-W’s charity soccer game benefits Unified Sports

Third annual contest raises more than $900
By Ian Davis-Leonard | Jun 14, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Edmonds-Woodway’s Gabby Chappell prepares to kick the ball while being defended by David Ta.

For the third straight year, members of the Edmonds-Woodway High School boys and girls soccer teams squared off for a friendly competition to benefit charity.

The Boys vs. Girls Unified Sports Benefit game raised more than $900 for Unified Sports teams and local Special Olympics programs Saturday, June 9, at Edmonds Stadium.

Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team in athletics. Edmonds-Woodway offers Unified bowling, basketball and soccer as a way of creating social inclusion through sports.

A quintet of Edmonds-Woodway soccer player spent the spring coordinating and organizing the event, which has become an annual tradition for the school’s soccer teams.

Seniors Holly Hicks and Molly Carden partnered with juniors Ingrid Fosberg, Mackey Guenther and Morgan Davis to organize the event as part of their International Baccalaureate Program completion.

“I think it is an awesome opportunity to bring the boys and girls team together,” Guenther said. “Beyond that it is an awesome opportunity to unify and get everyone involved with Special Olympics programs offered through Unified.”

This year the game’s organizers expanded their efforts into the school week. They held an assembly to not only increase publicity for the weekend’s game but also to increase awareness and involvement in local Unified Sports.

Previously, the event had raised around $600, this year they gathered $938 including $200 from student and staff donations during the week and the rest through game day ticket sales and donations.

“We are hoping that the juniors who are taking it over will continue it next year and that they can get an even bigger assembly,” Hicks said.

The Unified Sports program holds additional importance with a few of the organizers who have spent time playing on Unified teams.

“I had the chance to play with the Unified team this spring and that was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, so to be able to raise money for them and help them out was awesome,” Davis said.

During the game’s halftime intermission, event organizers and Unified Sports participants spoke to the positive impact the program has.

“All my years playing Unified Sports has been a blast,” said Kevin Snowden, who has played seven years with Unified Sports.

Snowden then took the field with the teams during the second half and scored a goal.

His presence and the merging of the teams helped to alleviate some of the competition between the two sides.

“It gets pretty intense, because we’ve got such good soccer programs here at Edmonds-Woodway,” Hicks said

The event’s junior organizers will look to build on the success of this year’s game to increase awareness of the Unified Sports program.

“We definitely want to get the whole school more involved in Unified Sports and this is a great way to do it,” Guenther said.

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