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Pleasant Hill Middle Organizes Special Olympics Tournament

May 24, 2010 06:02 PM

At Pleasant Hill Middle, students have the opportunity to do more than just take their normal gym class.  They have the opportunity to help special education students enjoy the sport of a lifetime, tennis.  Once a week students from the general population have the chance to play unified doubles with special education students.  Using QuickStart Tennis equipment in the gym the students enjoy the fun and camaraderie that comes with joining in the Special Olympics. 

This class is possible because the Special Education Department at Pleasant Hill received a grant to help with Unified Sports.  In addition, within this grant was a sub-grant that was available with regular education student application.  The student council officers from Pleasant Hill applied for this grant, planning to set up a tennis tournament.  The students wrote the grant, and met several times before school to combine their efforts.  They decided to use a license plate logo with the name: 10S4US on the plate.  The name of the special Olympic athletic team was "X-POPS" which stand for exceptional population playing tennis.  The students decided they wanted to be part of the exceptional population playing tennis, and put that logo on their application as well.  Pleasant Hill Middle School student council was awarded the grant from the National Special Olympic office.  They were the first school to receive this grant in SC.

The council met with the classroom representatives and planned a unified doubles tennis tournament.  The student council officers played short court doubles and recruited Pleasant Hill tournament playing students to play full court doubles.  The classroom representatives were ball boys and girls. They used the grant funds to supply t-shirts, water bottles, lunch, transportation to Lexington County Tennis Complex, courts and balls.  Tennis players from Murraywood Racket Club were "officials", parents were photographers, and students were thrilled participants.

The event concluded with an awards ceremony back at school attended by PHMS students.  Medals were given to players and their unified partners, certificates to ball boys, and everyone was greeted with huge applause.