The Unified Sports Program of Western Mass Has Changed its Name

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The Ultimate Sports Program, formerly known as the Unified Sports Program, will continue to offer opportunities to young athletes of all abilities, under its new name.

We do not like to teach separation. Under the new name, we are just going to be bigger and better.

The decision to distinguish the Ultimate Sports Program from the Special Olympics' Unified Sports was made last week. The Board of Directors chose the new name, Ultimate Sports, to differentiate USP from the Special Olympics program. Ultimate Sports stresses the importance of inclusion, encouraging young athletes of all abilities to participate in sports together and embrace their differences.

The former name was determined to be too close to the Special Olympics’ “Unified Sports” for USP to continue operating under its former name, The Unified Sports Program. Although both programs espouse the benefit of empowerment through sports, the Ultimate Sports Program stresses that those youth who are differently abled should be included on teams with their more typical peers.

Founder Steven Berube says, "We do not like to teach separation. Under the new name, we are just going to be bigger and better." Berube has two full time jobs running USP as well as his company, Moving Pictures, Inc. (http://www.journeys2remember.com), which offers cognitive memory therapy for those with memory loss. He is sorry to see the old name go, but with the new name, the possibilities are ever more apparent. He has already organized trips to play with the Celtics and meet racecar drivers. He's looking for the silver lining, and stated that the name Ultimate Sports just gives him something more to live up to.

The program's new website is http://www.uspkids.com and will offer the same resources for youth, parents, and the community at its new location. For more information, contact Steven Berube at usp@comcast.net.

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Mary Lou Niedzielski
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