Play Unified reaches 30,000 young people in just two years

9th March 2018

Play Unified, a Special Olympics GB campaign delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, is celebrating a second successful year fighting intolerance in schools across the UK - reaching almost 30,000 young people nationwide, enough to fill some Premier League football stadiums!

The campaign aims to change perceptions of, and end intolerance towards, young people with intellectual disabilities (ID), such as the fact 8 in 10 experience bullying.  It aims to strengthen leadership and sport participation pathways for young people with intellectual disabilities and develop inclusive environments in schools through sport.

Led from the front by more than 500 Young Ambassadors, both with and without Intellectual Disability, Play Unified is inspired by a simple principle… “training and playing together is a quick path to understanding, acceptance and friendship.”

This ethos is already proving fruitful across the country, where 200 schools are actively participating in Play Unified with 200 teachers also having been upskilled to deliver Play Unified across their school.

A recent evaluation study showed that Play Unified helped Young Ambassadors to:

  • learn new skills (92 per cent)
  • make new friends (79 per cent)
  • increase sports participation (72 per cent)
  • display increased confidence (90 per cent)

A student from St Mungo’s Academy in Lanarkshire commented: “I’m learning how to trust and make friends [through Play Unified]… When I started this school, I was nervous that I didn’t know anyone and I was scared. Ever since I’ve started Play Unified, I’ve actually asked people if I could be their friend.”

A huge 95 per cent of young people surveyed also said that, following their participation in Play Unified, they felt they could take part in all school activities and, more importantly, 97 per cent reported that they felt happy in their school.

The campaign has touched pupils and teachers alike with teachers reporting major strides being made by their students.

A survey amongst these teachers showed that:

  • 98 per cent felt their school was inclusive for all pupils
  • 79 per cent offered equal opportunities for pupils
  • 84 per cent had observed pupils without additional needs interacting positively with pupils with additional needs

 For more information on Pay Unified please click here!

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