Photo by Leonel Monroy - EPISD

Inaugural Junior Unidos Games showcases EPISD’s littlest special athletes

More than 100 pint-sized Special Olympic athletes took the field at Burges High School this week for the inaugural Junior Unidos Games to showcase the early childhood students’ abilities in a variety of events.

Superintendent Diana Sayavedra welcomed the smiling athletes and their coaches as they paraded across the track before the games began.

“For years, the District has gathered older students for the Unidos Games, and today we are elated to expand this opportunity to our youngest students,” Sayavedra said. “By including our littlest athletes, we are sending a clear message that neither physical abilities nor age matter when it comes to participation and inclusion. In El Paso ISD, physical fitness and education know no boundaries.”

Special Education added the Unidos Jr. Games to include early childhood students to prepare them for future Unidos Games. The students ran, tossed balls, hit baseballs and kicked soccer balls, earning big cheers and hugs. It was a similar site at the March 3 games when elementary and secondary students gathered at Franklin to compete.

“The smiles, cheers, joy and expressions on our Special Olympians’ faces as they walked, ran, biked across the finish line are so rewarding,” said Dr. Antoinette Howard, describing the initial Unidos Games. “It’s the students that fuel that passion and fire at the events that we host for them. It’s the highlight of the school year.”

Mesita Elementary parent Vincent McBroom agreed. The dad of 4 year-old Mac, McBroom eagerly followed his son throughout the competition, capturing video and photos at every turn.

“He was one of the most excited kids out there,” McBroom said. “He’s loving this.”

Story by Reneé de Santos   |    Photos by Leonel Monroy  – El Paso ISD   |  For our previous coverage of EPISD, click here.