Humble ISD’s Integrated Athletics program kicked off their fourth year with a district wide basketball scrimmage and skills showcase. Integrated Athletics is a competitive athletic program created to give individuals with cognitive and/or developmental disabilities the opportunity to experience sports and competition.
The morning started with a series of basketball games between the high schools and ended with a skills showcase. During the skills showcase students were able to practice basketball skills, like free throws and layups. Other than showing off their basketball skills the athletes shared lots of great sportsmanship and celebrations with their teammates throughout the event.
Integrated Athletics has been very beneficial to participating students. Athletes are learning social skills, communication, team work, respect and good sportsmanship throughout the program. Getting the chance to wear a cool athletic uniform, missing class for tournaments and the opportunity to represent their high school are a few of the student’s favorite parts of the program.
“In basketball, I loved being able to pass the ball and shoot it,” former Integrated Athletics athlete Bryce Miller said. “I like the 4x100m relay in track because it is the race my team won gold in. Integrated Athletics helped me learn team work.”
In just a few years the program has grown to host over 125 athletes throughout the district. Integrated Athletics has a basketball season in the fall and track and field in the spring but this year they will be adding indoor soccer to their spring season. Currently all five district high schools participate in the Integrated Athletics program and because of its success program leaders are looking to expand to the middle school level in the next few years.
“The growth we are seeing in our Integrated Athletics athletes is nothing short of amazing,” Integrated Athletics Coordinator Robin Pullen said. “Self-confidence is growing, skills and abilities have improved tremendously and most importantly, these students are being able to experience what it is like to be a part of something great; a part of a team."
The series of basketball games is just a glimpse into what the students are saving for the annual district wide basketball tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at Kingwood Park High School from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
For more information about the Integrated Athletics program please email Robin Pullen at email@example.com.