Sweet decision by Sweetwater gives special kids chance at CIF gold
The Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center is the place where only the best of the best are allowed to enter.
On this Saturday morning, the best can be defined with “best heart,” “best spirit,” and “best effort.”
But it’s also best to not underestimate the power of the 50 kids going through the paces of the 100, 4×4, or shotput. Stepping up to the mark can be hard when you’re in a wheelchair, dealing with Down, or any of the other conditions present during Sweetwater Union High School District’s Unified Sports Track and Field Metro Conference Meet.
“Of all the nine section in California, we’re the first to be able to recognize these athletes,” program coordinator Valerie Ruiz said. “Sweetwater is the trendsetter.”
Through the three years the program has been a part of the district, they’ve had all 13 high schools take part in supporting the sports needs of special needs children.
But this meet signifies a big change – for the first time, a disabled athlete can qualify for the CIF Championships at Mount Carmel H.S. on May 26.
“Before it was just an exhibition,” Ruiz said. “Now the top eight boys and girls can qualify.”
“I hope, after seeing this, that the other districts can follow suit.”