By: Samantha Zeno, Minnechaug Regional high School
My name is Sam Zeno and this is my second year being involved with unified sports. For the past two years I have been lucky enough to participate in the Special Olympics/ MASC recreational bocce tournament as well as the Polar Plunge event. I learned about these fun events through Student Council and I am so grateful to be able to participate in them. There is no community as strong as that created by unified sports. It is filled with friendship, acceptance, love, and spirit. I’ve learned the significance of these qualities, as well as what it means to play unified. Fans on the stands cheer not only for their own team, but for all the players. All day we get to meet new people from across the state. The unification at these events amazes me and has shown me that love is everywhere.
SOMA has affected me by teaching me how to improve my character. Although I have only been to the bocce tournament twice, I’ve seen kindness there like I’ve never seen anywhere else. I love being around so many wonderful and kind people because these traits are contagious. Fans and players have shown me the value of spirit and enthusiasm. I’ve found myself being kinder, more spirited, and more enthusiastic than ever and then bringing these qualities back to my school. Unified sports have changed the culture of my school because all of those that participate bring kindness, acceptance, and a strong sense of community back to Minnechaug. Other students see these qualities and take the example. Unified Sports have created a stronger and more loving community at my school. The opportunity to be involved with SOMA has changed who I am and has improved Minnechaug. My past two years participating in unified sports have been extremely rewarding and I cannot wait for year’s bocce tournament!