Three from GHS lobby in D.C. for Special Olympics

The Enterprise — Michael Koff
Champs again: Guilderland High School was named a national Unified Sports champion for the years 2022 to 2026 after reapplying since its first national banner in 2019. Members of the Guilderland Unified program surround the banner after it was unveiled by Special Olympics of New York Unified Director Leigh Howard. Unified teams combine athletes with and without disabilities.

GUILDERLAND — The six-member New York contingent for the Special Olympics’ “Capitol Hill Day” in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 6 included three people from Guilderland High School: Unified Coach Alison Relyea, and athletes Alyssa O’Connor and Cole Miller.

The long-running event includes more than 250 participants and volunteers from 47 states and the District of Columbia.

“Special Olympics New York is proud to join programs from across the country advocating for federal funds in Washington, D.C. to support our Unified and inclusive health programs,” said Stacey Hengsterman, president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics New York, in a release from the group.

“The team from Guilderland High School is certain to have an impact, as they represent one of the strongest Unified Champions Schools in the nation,” Hengsterman said.

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 42,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with more than 300 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates.

All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families, or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from and a four-star rating from Charity Navigator.

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