Become a Unified Champion School

The goal of Unified Champion Schools is to create school climates where students with disabilities feel welcome and are routinely included in all activities, opportunities and functions.

These types of activities below allow students with and without intellectual disabilities to interact in a variety of ways. When all three components of the Unified Champion Schools program are implemented, it creates the maximum amount of opportunity for positive attitudes to be created among students and reinforced by the schools. We believe this strategy is complimentary to education objectives for creating school climates of respect and acceptance for all students.  

Unified Sports

Special Olympics Unified Sports® is an inclusive program which combines individuals with intellectual disabilities (athletes) and individuals without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competitions. Athletes and partners compete alongside one another, each in a meaningful and integral role. Sports activities include:

  • Young Athletes® (Pre-K – 2nd)
  • Unified Juniors (3rd – 6th)
  • Unified Team League Play
  • Unified PE Class
  • Unified Exhibition or Sports Day
  • Unified Sports Clinic


InClusive Youth Leadership

Students with and without intellectual disabilities working together to lead and plan advocacy, awareness, and other Special Olympics and related inclusive activities throughout the school year. The following are great examples of activities that other schools found successful:


  • Unified/Inclusive School Clubs
  • Special Olympics curriculum-based activities found in Play Books for each level – Elementary, Middle, High School
  • Youth Leadership Training
  • Youth Summits
  • Fundraising Activities

Whole School Engagement

Awareness and education activities that promote inclusion and reach the majority of the school population. The following are great examples of activities that other schools found successful:


  • School-wide activities such as Special Olympics Spread the Word to End the Word awareness campaigns, interactive booths at Disability Awareness events, or Hasbro’s Be Fearless Be Kind Pledges for Elementary Schools
  • Host a Respect Rally or youth forum
  • Conduct a Pep Rally for the Unified Sports team
  • Host a Unified Sports event at your school and fill the bleachers (Fans in the Stands)


  • Reduced bullying and exclusion.
  • Increased healthy activity and interactions between students with and without intellectual disabilities.
  • Elimination of hurtful language in schools.
  • Engagement of students in service learning activities that lead to personal growth.
  • Funding to support your program that can be used towards: sports equipment, uniforms, transportation, or supplies for inclusive activities.

Read this article from NFHS: Growth of Unified Sports Continues Across Country

Download this Unified Informational Flyer

We are actively working to expand the Unified Champion School program across the state of Kansas. Please contact Taylor Obersteadt at if you would like more information on how your school could get involved.

Download our start-up guide to learn more: Unified Sports – Student Guide 
currently Participating Kansas High Schools and Middle Schools

Kansas City Metro/Lawrence/Topeka

Aubry Bend Middle School
Baldwin High School
Basehor-Linwood High School
Blue Valley High School
*Blue Valley North High School*
Blue Valley Northwest High School
Blue Valley Southwest High School
Blue Valley West High School
*Bonner Springs High School*
Eudora High School
Gardner-Edgerton High School
J.C. Harmon High School
Lansing Middle School
Lansing High School
*Lawrence High School*
Mill Valley High School
Olathe East High School
Olathe North High School
Olathe Northwest High School
Olathe South High School
Olathe West High School
Piper High School
Pleasant Ridge Middle School
Prairie Star Middle School
*Robert E Clark Middle School*
Shawnee Mission East High School
Shawnee Mission North High School
*Shawnee Mission Northwest High School*
Shawnee Mission South High School
Shawnee Mission West High School
Spring Hill High School
Tonganoxie High School
Topeka Seaman High School
*Washburn Rural High School*
Wellsville High School

Southeast Kansas

Chetopa High School
Erie High School
Girard High School
Jefferson School
Oswego High School
Pittsburg High School
West Bourbon Elementary School

* Indicates Unified Champion School National Banner Schools

Kansas Unified College Sports Opportunities
Special Olympics Kansas is in the process of partnering with colleges and universities across Kansas to provide intramural unified sports opportunities on campuses partnering university students with Special Olympics athletes over the age of 18.


Current Unified Sports Opportunities (Contact Chris Burt at to find out how you can get involved at any of the following schools or get your school involved:


Emporia State University
Pittsburg State University
University of Kansas
Kansas State University
Washburn University
Wichita State University


Start a Special Olympics College Clubs


If you would like more information or if you are at a Kansas university or college and would like to get something going at your school, please contact Chris Burt at


The Special Olympics Kansas Unified Champion School program is supported in part by the Kansas Coaches Association.