Nearly 150 celebrators gathered for the Unified Sports year-end carnival at Guildford High School last week, creating a festive atmosphere filled with the tantalizing aroma of cotton candy and popcorn. The event was sponsored by Guildford High School Unified Sports, which aims to make sports and activities accessible to everyone. The event featured a variety of games, including drawing with chalk, giant inflatable bowling, can knockdown, connect he played four, soccer, and cornhole.
The CIAC/Special Olympics Unified Sports Program generously donated to the event, helping to make it a success. Participants from Durham, Guildford, Madison, North Haven, and Westbrook attended the carnival, which included plenty of games and delicious carnival food.
The event was run entirely by students, who worked together to create the games and activities. Students like Carly Hay and Gavin Lana expressed their enthusiasm for the Unified Sports Program, with Lana saying that it was his favorite thing he did in high school. Meanwhile, Jacob Kokorda and his mother, Sharon Kokorda, spoke about the importance of such events for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, as organized events like this give them the opportunity to socialize and have fun in a safe, welcoming environment.
Miss CT USA 2023 Carla Aponte Roque and Miss Teen CT USA 2023 Jade Ferdinand also attended the event and declared themselves the ringmasters of the carnival. They enjoyed the festivities, particularly the food, and praised the students who organized the event.
Overall, the Unified Sports year-end carnival provided an opportunity for people with and without intellectual or developmental disabilities to come together and enjoy a fun, inclusive event.