Seaforth to host Unified track and field day


On Tuesday, the Seaforth campus will host its second Unified Event — this one focused on track and field — of the 2022-23 school year at 10 a.m.

Seaforth’s Unified Club offers student-athletes without intellectual disabilities and students with intellectual disabilities to come together and compete in different sporting events.

Seaforth hosted its first Unified event, centered around basketball, back in December. The return of Unified sports has been a welcome change for Hawks’ athletic director Jason Amy, who previously hosted the events while serving as the former AD at Northwood.

“Obviously a lot of these kids don’t have the chance to play organized sports, so it’s just a fun day for them,” Amy said. “I try to make sure the student-athletes all understand that leadership goes well beyond just playing your sport. Just watching and letting other people have fun is really important.”

Several different events will be open to athletes Tuesday, including the 50-yard run, the 50-yard walk, a softball and tennis ball throw and the long jump. Amy said he is planning to set up a side field with other equipment such as footballs, soccer balls and cornhole boards.

Unified Sports is a program created by the Special Olympics. According to their website, around 1.2 million people worldwide participate in Unified Sports, and ESPN is the program’s Global Presenting Sponsor.

Currently, there are over 8,000 schools with Unified programs across the United States, with the goal of reaching at least 10,000 by the end of next year.

Seaforth’s Unified track day will be the second Special Olympics event hosted at the school this week. On Saturday, Special Olympics N.C. held its annual cheerleading competition at the school. In total, more than 120 athletes across 14 counties competed at the event, which offered athletes with intellectual disabilities the chance to show off routines they had been practicing over the previous months. This was the first time Chatham County hosted a Special Olympics N.C. event and the first time the event took place since before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019.

Sports Editor Jeremy Vernon can be reached at jeremy@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @jbo_vernon.