- Cheltenham School District
Unified Student-Athletes to Serve as Honorary Football Captains
Unified Track and Field student-athlete Olivia Daniels served as the honorary captain at this past Friday’s football game between the CHS Panthers and Quakertown Community High School Panthers.
As the first honorary captain for this new tradition, Daniels entered the field alongside CHS Panthers, was introduced to the fans, facilitated the coin toss and enjoyed the game in her commemorative t-shirt from a special viewing area. Each honorary captain will also work with peers in general education classes to be their "buddies" for the event.
Daniels received the opportunity as the result of a partnership between the CHS football team and Athletes Helping Athletes (AHA), a Richboro, Pa.,-based nonprofit with the mission of connecting local special needs student-athletes with mainstream student-athletes in a spirit of friendship for their mutual benefit and inspiration.
“Cheltenham Football is proud to be involved with Athletes Helping Athletes,” said Football coach Ryan Nase. “We have a number of football players involved in Unified Sports at Cheltenham and we look forward to continuing to help support active lifestyles and athletics for the students with special needs. We hope they get as much joy from watching us as we do from watching them.”
AHA raises funds and awareness for special needs programs in Pennsylvania in Bucks, Centre, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties and in New Jersey in Hunterdon and Mercer counties.
“This is such a great opportunity for our Unified programs,” said Unified Track and Field coach Gus Ekhardt. “Thank you to Coach Nase and his staff for making this happen. Several members of the football team compete on the Unified Track & Field team and this gesture is a great indicator of the growing inclusivity of our CHS community.”
Skills for Life teachers selected the honorary captains based on their consistent display of leadership and dedication to their academics and athletics.
“Having scholars working together and participating in extracurricular activities is a key component in forming meaningful relationships between scholars with and without disabilities beyond the classroom,” said Skills for Life teacher Phil Cohen.
Stephen Wanser will serve as honorary captain for the Homecoming game versus Plymouth-Whitemarsh on October 4, and Andre Templeman will serve as honorary captain for the October 18 game against Upper Moreland.