The University of Alabama

LSU vs. Alabama Special Olympics Unified Sports Flag Football Game Set for Saturday

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.  — Special Olympics will host a Unified flag football game at The University of Alabama recreation center at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9.

The teams will be composed of students from UA and Louisiana State University, as well as local Special Olympics athletes from Tuscaloosa and Baton Rouge. The Special Olympics Unified Sports flag football game will include notable attendees such as Gov. Robert Bentley and members of the Million Dollar Band. More than 1,000 spectators are expected.

“Unified Sports provides a unique opportunity for individuals both with and without intellectual disabilities to compete on the same team, strive for the same goals, and build lasting friendships,” said Bob Gobrecht, president of Special Olympics North America. “The University of Alabama’s University Recreation department and students have joined with Special Olympics to host a remarkable event that will enhance the lives of Special Olympics athletes and students from both The University of Alabama and Louisiana State University. This flag-football game will highlight the great work countless college students are doing across the country to benefit Special Olympics,” said Gobrecht.

“University Recreation is proud to host this event on our campus,” said Dr. George Brown, executive director of University Recreation. “The opportunity to embrace and celebrate an inclusive environment that supports sport and recreation is directly in line with our mission. We believe this event will be an annual offering between these two fine institutions and their respective Special Olympic athletes. We also hope this launches even more departmental and university-wide programs and services which promote equity, inclusion and diversity.”

Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, leading to a more welcoming and inclusive society.

Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org.

Special Olympics Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship, understanding and inclusion.

University Recreation, a department within the Division of Student Affairs at UA, annually serves more than 80 percent of the students and nearly 33 percent of the employees through a variety of programs, services and facility offerings design to promote engagement and health. Through its mission statement, University Recreation encourages healthy interaction through active and safe lifestyle opportunities for students and the greater University community that strengthens learning and personal growth.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.