Unified Sports

A bridge between schools and students to create community.


Brooke Waters

Soccer was played by many Roseville students at the Oakmont stadium during the Unified Sports event.

Lily Harrison, News Editor

Throughout this year, Oakmont has seen an array of new ideas and ways to unite the community come to fruition throughout the high school. One of these noteworthy functions happened recently, in the form of Unified Sports.

Unified Sports is an all-inclusive global movement run by the Special Olympics to create community by tackling stigma, isolation, and other disservices people with intellectual disabilities face on a daily basis. They do this through 30-plus Olympic-style sports such as soccer, which Oakmont happened to proudly orchestrate on Friday, Oct. 28.

These different sports arranged by Unified Sports and the Special Olympics are a thoroughly planned way to create a bridge between students who have intellectual disabilities and those who do not throughout the Roseville Joint Union High School District (RJUHSD). 

Although this is something that is fairly new to Oakmont, Unified Sports has been an ongoing project since early 1968, stemming from the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Foundation that blossomed into the Special Olympics. 

This day and age though, it is a program that has extended to over 5 million athletes and has created opportunities for almost 100,000 competitions every year. This season, RJUHSD will be holding around five sporting events, kicking off with Oakmont’s soccer game

The main head of this function was agreed by all to be Cody Holliday, a teacher at Oakmont High School who took it into his hands to arrange this wonderful all-inclusive affair.

“There’s been a lot of coordination, but it’s a lot of fun to get all of the high school out here and be a part of it,” Holliday said. “That’s really what Unified Sports is about, kids of all abilities having fun together.”

Many different schools from RJUHSD participate in Unified Sports including Woodcreek, Antelope, Westpark, Roseville, and Granite Bay. These are also the schools that are planning to host the other Unified Sports events this season that are known at the moment.

“Every school in the district will host their own event,” Holliday said. “This is going to be a yearly thing. Coordinating will be a huge undertaking but having all six High Schools participating is pretty awesome.”

As well as getting multiple schools to participate, Unified Sports was a way to get students involved, allowing for them to either play the game or coach the teams.

“It’s such a great experience to see everyone and watch everybody play,” student coach Megan Mendenhall said.  “Practices have been fun and all the kids seem so pumped and ready to play.”

In the end, the overall feeling of the games was positivity. Oakmont High School’s cheerleaders were on the sidelines cheering players on, while other athletes got to create a day of soccer fun for everyone involved. Students got to cheer their friends on, and the feeling of community was universal.