Allied is awesome

Summer Trivett, Staff Editor

Allied sports are designed to provide students with disabilities an opportunity to be part of a sports team. This program allows students to volunteer and be “buddies” to the athletes as well as teaching the athletes many helpful skills to be used throughout their lives. Dulaney Allied sports coach, Anita Shaw, has been coaching allied sports for 12 years.    

“The athletes benefit in numerous ways: learning a new sport, learning how to interact in a competitive situation and how to be a good sport, learning how to be a good teammate and encourage others, and learning how to get along well with their peers,” explains Mrs. Shaw. 

There are three seasons of Allied sports: soccer in the fall, bocce ball in the winter and softball in the spring. Currently, Dulaney is in the season of  bocce ball. Bocce ball is a game that’s played with eight weighted balls aimed at a smaller target ball, called the pallino. The object of the game is to earn points by getting your balls closest to the pallino.

Mrs. Shaw makes sure that the program runs smoothly and is fun for both the athletes and the buddies. The buddies are a crucial part to the program, the “backbone of the program” as she described them.  

“I always tell them it is their job to make Allied the BEST part of the athletes’ day—and they do!” said Mrs. Shaw. 

In addition to benefiting the athletes, allied sports also benefit the buddies. They are a good way to help others in the community and have fun after school.

“They learn what it means to value the intrinsic worth of others that are different from themselves. They learn patience. They learn that it can be hard to step outside of your comfort zone, but it’s worth it,” said Mrs. Shaw.  

Mrs. Shaw has dedicated numerous years of her life to Allied sports because the athletes enjoy them so much. She loves everything about coaching Allied.  

“I love seeing the joy on the faces of the athletes at the end of the school day and that I get to play a role in that!” she said.  

In Mrs. Shaw’s many years of coaching allied sports, she has seen many positive aspects for everyone involved, like allowing students to meet and build relationships with other students in the school who they would not have met otherwise. Mrs. Shaw has seen the relationships built in Allied sports continue to grow and become true friends both in and out of school.