• What are Unified Sports?

    The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) and Special Olympics have joined together to create Unified Sports in schools.

    The mission of Unified Sports® is to create an inclusive program that combines individuals with intellectual disabilities (athletes) and individuals without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition.


    Through the power of sports, students with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities, skills and success.  Our Payne Athletes find joy, confidence and fulfillment -- on the playing field and in the classroom.  They also inspire other students at Payne in their lives and help bridge the students together to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.


    Unified together, Special Olympics and Payne Jr High is the leading voice in raising awareness about the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.


    Through sports, Payne athletes are showcasing the skilss and dignity of their abilities.  We are bringing together all students to take part in the transformative power of sports and friendship.  As the coach, I understand and know the odds our athletes must overcome and the barriers they face every single day.  However, I see this at training events and competitions as our athletes push to beat their personal bests and then exceed them.


    Sports are a powerful force.  Sports can shift the focus from disability to ability, from isolation to involvement.  At Payne, we play a different sport each quarter.  Flag football, soccer, basketball and track & field.

    Please contact me with any questions! 


    Karen Smith




    Soccer/Cheer: (bus transportation provided)
       November 7- Payne at San Tan Jr. @ 4:30p
       November 14- Willis at Payne @ 4:30p
       November 28- San Tan at Payne @ 4:30p
       December 5- Payne at Willis @ 4:30p