COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) — The Colorado Springs Switchbacks are starting something really neat that they hope catches on across the United Soccer League.
The Switchbacks and Special Olympics Colorado have teamed up to create the first-ever Switchbacks FC Unified Team, and they’re hoping that other teams around the USL follow the Switchbacks’ lead.
“It’s a good accomplishment,” said Switchbacks FC Unified Team Manager Yariv Bennaim. “I was the first person to be accepted and to create the first unified team.”
The team will be made up of players over the age of 16 who have intellectual disabilities and peer partners to help with full inclusion.
“They have such a love for the sport,” Switchbacks FC Unified Team volunteer coach Patrick Hale said. “I can’t imagine anyone else wanting to be out here more than them with the dedication they have, the drive, the focus and the amazing time that we have every single practice and every time we get together.”
The Unified Team has two games scheduled so far — September 15 at Weidner Field following the Switchbacks FC vs El Paso Locomotive FC match, and October 23 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park following the Colorado Rapids vs. Portland Timbers match.