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The Student News Site of Severna Park High School

The Talon

The Student News Site of Severna Park High School

The Talon

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Severna Park High School: Unified Tennis

All about unified tennis and its impact.
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The unified tennis members stand for the pledge at the state chamipionships on Nov. 11. The team brought home gold and silver.

Severna Park unified tennis is held in the late summer and in the fall through the Severna Park unified sports program. Unified tennis is used to give everyone the opportunity to be on a team, make friends, be physically active and have fun. 

The head of this program, Severna Park teacher Mrs. Hendler has been involved with the unified sports programs for several years now and it has become a positive environment for so many students.

People in the program like juniors Will Stimpson, Keaghan Gorski and Sam Gellespie are all high school students at Severna Park and unified tennis has made a big impact on them. “It’s pretty fun and I got to make some new friendships, I would tell  anyone to definitely join,” Gorski said.

Unified tennis is a way for athletes of all abilities to participate and it breaks down the barriers of what many believe a traditional athlete is supposed to be. In this program people with disabilities or special needs are paired up with a buddy who does not have special needs and the two are paired for the season. Through this connections are formed and bonds are made. This also has a big social impact as well, and gives students from different backgrounds a chance to come together and make new friends. Also expand their social circle so that students who might have a hard time making friends, never feel alone.

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Gorski said, I think you have more people to say hi to in the hall, more people to call your friend if you need someone to talk to.”

Gorski is a buddy for fellow unified player Stimpson who has also thoroughly enjoyed the tennis season and is planning on participating next year as well. This shows the lasting effect of unified tennis that continues to draw new and returning players to the court for a good time. Even if the student has never played tennis before, they will get an opportunity to try something new in a safe environment. A part of this is because the unified tennis program does not allow players from the non-unified tennis team so that it isn’t unfair and so that everyone gets better together and comes from similar levels of experience.

Stimpson said, “My favorite thing about unified tennis is about getting the movements down and exercise and be able to have fun with tennis and also a good bond and friendship.”

More so, unified tennis nurtures a competitive spirit and environment for those who are looking for that as well.

Gellespie said, “It’s just like, not only do you get to meet people from your school, you get to meet people from other schools which is fun. It was pretty good we won most of our matches but we have one team going to states.”

This exemplifies that unified tennis isn’t just about friendships, but it also allows for success and hard work. The team that is going to the State tournament will be able to compete against other schools’ unified tennis programs and try to bring back a trophy for their school. 

Unified tennis is a program that uses the voluntary entrance of students to push forward ideas of togetherness and gives everyone a chance to compete and have fun. Severna Park High School has had many successes with their unified sports programs and it is a community that continues to grow and has helped many students who have never got to experience what it is like to be on a team, gain that experience and memory for life. 

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About the Contributor
Emerson Scott
Emerson Scott, Sports Editor
Emerson Scott is a sophomore at SPHS and is a new member of the Talon this year. Scott is a staff member this year who enjoys being outside, hanging out with friends and family, as well as going to beach. Scott plays soccer at a competitive level, but also plays basketball just for fun.

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