Unified Sports Special Olympics is a special event for athletes, volunteers

Unified Sports Special Olympics is a special event for athletes, volunteers

Unified Sports Special Olympics is a special event for athletes, volunteers
Clayton Valley Charter High School senior Katherine Pugh enjoyed her time with Special Olympians in Lafayette.

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (June 21, 2023) — Schools throughout Contra Costa County gathered at Acalanes High School in Lafayette on a Spring Friday to celebrate the 55th annual Unified Sports Special Olympics.

This event is organized for young student-athletes who participate in life skills or learning skills classes. Teenage student volunteers from 14 high schools in the county came together to guide the children through events such as javelin and softball throw, 50-meter and 100-meter dashes, long jump and wheelchair races.

Local high schools taking part included Clayton Valley Charter, College Park, Ygnacio Valley and Northgate. The variety of events at Special Olympics allows athletes to choose which they enjoy the most and excel in.

Acalanes High School was originally chosen as the Special Olympics host in 2013 by the Contra Costa County Schools Partnership Program due to its strong leadership program, special education support and enthusiasm towards hosting. The leadership class at Acalanes was the main group who helped this event come to life, as well as hundreds of student and parent volunteers from other high schools.


Unified Sports Special Olympics is a special event for athletes, volunteersI joined my fellow track and field teammates from CVCHS when we were given the opportunity to volunteer by partnering up with a kindergarten student from Silverwood Elementary in Concord.

I was drawn to volunteer for Special Olympics because my late great-uncle was an avid participant, performing in all of the events and cheering for his friends. Special Olympics allowed my uncle to express himself athletically, as it continues to do for many young children.

SDC kindergarten teacher Kristy Smith, along with Special Education assistant teacher Tiffany Habermeyer, kindergarten teacher Natalie Gold and many other teachers and parent volunteers, led their Silverwood Skyhawks during the event.

They organized bus transportation, snacks, toys and games for the children, and paired each kindergartner with a fifth grade buddy as well as a high school buddy. The bonds formed between the kindergartners and their buddies was incredibly special.

The organization that goes into this event every year is highly praised, especially by the athletes’ friends and family. From communicating with schools’ teachers and administrators to spreading awareness of the event, to making posters and gathering equipment, Acalanes High truly goes above and beyond. This celebratory, joyful event is one many young athletes look forward to every year.

Katherine Pugh recently graduated from Clayton Valley Charter High School. She has been a student correspondent for The Pioneer the past two years. Katherine will be attending Clemson University in South Carolina this fall.

Katherine Pugh
Katherine Pugh
Student Writer

Katherine Pugh is a junior at Clayton Valley Charter High School. She enjoys running on the CVCHS cross country team in the fall in addition to the track and field team in the spring. Pugh also swims recreationally for Oakhurst Country Club in the summer. She is a part of the CVCHS Engineering & Design academy and finished her sophomore year with a 4.33 GPA. She’s also excited to be a representative for CVCHS’s ASB leadership group during her junior year. In addition, Pugh works as a hostess at Ed’s Mudville Grill in Clayton. She is very excited to be writing the Student Athlete Spotlight for the Concord Clayton Pioneer.