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Allied sports program sparks togetherness and friendship

Allied+sports+program+sparks+togetherness+and+friendship
Leah Ranck

Allied Sports is a Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) program in which buddies (volunteers) and athletes (students with disabilities) team up and create lasting friendships.

Allied soccer kicked off in September at the beginning of the fall sports season. Coach Anita Shaw describes the amount of support at Dulaney.

“A huge number of volunteers: eight students with disabilities, but twenty-six volunteers,” said Shaw.

Three allied sports are offered at Dulaney: Soccer in the fall, Bocce in the winter and Softball in the spring, each incorporating a different skill set. The athletes work hard each season, with the buddies cheering them on and building relationships along the way. However, while seasons come to an end, these friendships are long lasting. Natalie Albergo, a four season buddy, describes what allied sports mean to her. 

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“Unity, making friendships between the athletes and the buddies; teamwork; and school spirit…I have made lots of good friendships with the athletes,” Albergo said. 

The strong support system represents the nature of the program. During some soccer games, Dulaney’s varsity and junior varsity soccer teams come to watch and cheer on the athletes. Buddies also create game day notes for the athletes to provide them with encouragement before every game. There are various allied events held during the fall season, such as the Pumpkin Bowl, a tournament in which Allied teams from various schools participate.

“I love watching the relationships transfer from the sports fields to the community…20% of allied is about the sports and 80% is the social aspect of being on the team,” said Coach Shaw.

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Nishka Sharma, Staff Writer
Senior Nishka Sharma, a first-year staff writer who is excited to start writing for The Griffin, can often be found playing tennis, traveling the world or spending time with her family and friends. She is extroverted and creative. Her favorite food is an everything bagel with egg whites, mozzarella cheese and tomato!
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