Very soon, disabled students throughout Humble ISD will get to participate in new events beginning this year.
The first event is the Integrated Athletics Middle School track meet, which will be held in early March at Turner Stadium in Humble, March 3 to be exact. March 4 will be the high school track meet.
The event is part of Integrated Athletics, which is a program that creates opportunities for students with disabilities to participate on a competitive team within the district.
Robin Pullen, who heads Integrated Athletics, said that it’s an expansion from last year, when there was a field day for disabled students.
“So last year we started with one middle school event; we did a middle school field day and it went over really well,” Pullen said, adding that they had a lot of positive feedback, so Integrated Athletics got the approval to expand.
The meet in some ways will be like a regular track meet, but in some ways it will be different as well. Pullen said that it’s similar in that there will be a starting gun, and there will be races.
Another similarity, Pullen said, is that like in University Interscholastic League (UIL) track events, there are wheelchair races.
“We do have all different levels of competitors; we have students who are in wheelchairs who cannot push themselves,” Pullen said, so there will be an assisted wheelchair race; she added that in the past there have been high school students who competed in meets in tricycles.
There is also an assisted run/walk race for people who can run or walk but may need assistants next to them, and there are independent running events.
Pullen said that for middle school, there will only be 50m and 100m races, and after the running events are done, they will move to the field events.
There are jumping events, including the standing long jump for students who may not have the capability of running down the runway.
A big difference in the field events is there is no shotput event for middle school; there will be a medicine ball throw instead. It’s the highest independent level of throwing event at the meet.
There will be modifications offered too; there is a softball throw, a tennis ball throw, and a whiffle ball event.