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Colorado State University to be recognized as Unified Champion National Banner School

Special Olympics Colorado to present banner during game broadcast on ESPN 2

Special Olympics Colorado (SOCO) will recognize Colorado State University as a Unified Champion National Banner School – the highest honor available to Unified Champion schools – during a special presentation during Saturday’s game, which will be broadcast nationally on ESPN 2.

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools builds on Special Olympics Colorado’s values, principles, practices, experiences and impacts to shape a generation that welcomes everyone. This programming promotes social inclusion in schools to ensure special education and general education students are equitably engaged. Teachers and students are encouraged to collaborate and create supportive classrooms, activities and opportunities.

“This is a tremendous honor for our athletic program and for Colorado State University,” said Patrick Krza, Director of Community Engagement & Fan Experience at CSU. “We don’t do this because we want accolades. We do it because it’s the right thing to do, and it’s important to our community. A lot of credit goes to Director of Athletics Joe Parker, Senior Associate Athletic Director Chris Ferris, and Deputy Director of Athletics Steve Cottingham for their support. They are invested, and that is an important piece of what we do as an athletic department.”

Chaka Sutton, SOCO’s VP of Competitive Programs & Unified Schools commented, “Having CSU be selected as an ESPN Top-5 National Banner School is extraordinary! The work they have done the past four years in making Special Olympics an integral part of the CSU Community is fantastic. Knowing that out of 7,500 Unified Schools in the Nation, they were one of five chosen for this honor shows their dedication to making the campus a safe and inclusive place has paid off. CSU is a shining example for schools around the nation”

Elizabeth Belecky, VP of Special Olympics College @ CSU added, “Receiving the Banner and ESPN recognition is almost indescribable for the SO College club. We are overwhelmed with joy and excitement that our athletes are able to be recognized on this large of a scale. This is just the beginning for our SO College club and we are so excited to continue bringing inclusion and respect to our campus. We hope this serves as an influence for other universities to provide these experiences and opportunities to athletes across the nation.”

SOCO and CSU Athletes have teamed up to offer complimentary tickets to all Special Olympics Colorado athletes as well as special friends & family pricing for Saturday’s game.

Members of the media interested in attending should contact Phillip Lybrand at 720-359-3130 or by email to obtain credentials.