On Wednesday, July 6, NYCFC’s Special Olympics United soccer team traveled to Foxborough, Massachusetts to take on representatives from the New England Revolution in a match at Gillette Stadium.
Project Unified is an incredible program under the Special Olympics. Their mission is to provide athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating communities with acceptance for all.
This is the second year the NYCFC Special Olympics Unified team has participated in the program. Last year, NYCFC brought home a victory against New England with a 1-0 win.
"This partnership with NYCFC and MLS Works helps to provide amazing opportunities for our Unified Sports teammates, but also creates tremendous exposure for Unified Sports and inclusion in general,” said Nathan Johnson the Director of Programs for Unified Sports. "Through sport, people are brought together and celebrated for what they can achieve. Special Olympics New York is proud to partner with these organizations for these dynamic and life changing experiences.”
Joe Stewart who coached one of the schools (PS M721) involved in the event this year said:
"Our team achieved its goal. Not only did we win the game, but we showed that on the pitch there are no labels and no differences... only teammates. We played unified. It was a powerful achievement."
The NYCFC athletes come from three New York City schools: PS M721 (Manhattan), K721 (Brooklyn) and the Frederick Douglass Academy (Manhattan).