TOPEKA (KSNT) – On a typical fall afternoon, the Topeka Stars softball team can be seen shattering home runs.
This fall, the Stars shattered barriers, becoming the first ‘traditional’ team in Special Olympics history to play at the ‘unified’ level.
“The head of the division came up to me and said she didn’t know what she was going to do with my team because we were way too far advanced for the traditional teams.” said head coach Allan Henderson.
Teams in the unified league are made up of 50% Special Olympics athletes and 50% intellectually-typical partners. It may seem like a big transition, but when the Stars heard the news that they had gotten called up, they rose to the occasion, winning a silver medal at the Special Olympics Softball Championships.
“For them to come out and do what they do every day and play great ball and have fun doing it, and to come out with a silver medal, that’s better than anything we could ask for,” said assitant coach Brandon Hatfield.
With a new season approaching and more wins on the horizon, the Stars say one thing will never change.
“The one barrier that we want to always shatter is that perception of just because we are a Special Olympics team, that doesn’t mean we’re not capable of doing great things,” said Henderson.
To find out when the Stars are in action, click here.