Spotlight: Livonia Churchill Unified team inspires

Coed basketball peers work together

Churchill Chargers Unified Basketball

Congratulations to Livonia Unified for their 2nd place finish in the KLAA (Kensington Lakes Activities Association) Tournament!

This coed high school team is made up of students with special needs playing alongside their general education peers.

Unified games require two general education peers, called Unified Partners, to be on the court at all times to help their special education teammates, called Unified Players.

In this team collaboration, the Partners help guide the Players as they drive the ball up and down the court, pass to each other, shoot, rebound, and cheer each other on. It is a complete team effort, and the peers encourage the players to go out there to play, learn, and show Churchill Charger pride.

“I can’t begin to tell you how inspired I am watching this amazing team and the camaraderie we see as parents as we watch the interactions,” said Theresa Macek, a Webster Elementary school teacher in Livonia and proud parent of a Unified Player. “In our eyes, every practice and every game is a victory for all the students, for Livonia Public Schools, and for the Churchill Charger Nation!”

Macek is also grateful for coaches Tatro, Christie, and Cotter, who put their time and effort into making this what she calls a “win/win for all who are involved.”

Churchill Unified plays in the KLAA, the same as the varsity teams, competing against other local Unified programs like Novi, Northville and Howell. These coed leagues were started by Special Olympics Michigan to bring kids together and increase athletic opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities.

This team is indeed truly inspiring, and the kids have a lot of fun. What’s better than that? Go Chargers!

We would like to thank our sponsors Detroit Area Honda Dealers and MSU Federal Credit Union for their support!

About the Authors:

Creative Services Associate Producer

Donna is a Creative Services producer.