KCS SPED Athletics

PURPOSE 

The Kingsport City Schools SPED (Special Education) Athletics department was established in 2023. The department aims to combine all special education athletics under one umbrella, maximizing opportunities for students with disabilities PreK - 12th Grade +*. 

There are four areas of competition within the SPED Athletics department: Sparkle Squad, Tribe Games, Unified Sports (TSSAA Sponsored), and Special Olympics. Be sure to follow us on Facebook (kcsspedathletics) and Instagram (kcs__spedathletics) for news, events, and photos!

*12th Grade + (up to 22 years prior to receiving a diploma).

PROGRAMS

Information in regard to the Sparkle Squad, Tribe Games, Unified Sports (TSSAA Sponsored), and Special Olympics can be found below in their respective sections; as well as information about sponsor and volunteer opportunities.

Sparkle Squad

Sparkle Squad is a unified cheer program co-founded by Keri Paisley and Christie Culbertson in 2013. The mission of the Sparkle Squad is to provide opportunities for students to express themselves and create relationships through collaborative cheer performances with their typically developing peers. Sparkle Squad gives middle and high school students a sense of belonging through participation in extracurricular activities, community outreach events, and performances at sporting events.

Our club aims to assist students in developing confidence and social skills that prepare them for meaningful and successful futures. The Kingsport Sparkle Squad performs during the fall Football season and winter Basketball season. 

Coaches: Stephanie Strickler (head), April Hite (assist.), and Meghan Carr (assist.)

If interested in learning more, please contact Stephanie Strickler at [email protected]

Tribe Games

Tribe Games was established in 2013 by Jimmy Burleson with the mission of providing athletic competitions for individuals with moderate to severe disabilities in Kingsport City Schools. Kingsport has a long-standing tradition of athletic excellence, providing our students with disabilities with the opportunities to compete with one another in a fun, safe, and supportive environment.
 
Tribe Games consisted of three events throughout the year: Adaptive Sports Camp, Bowling, and Track & Field. Each event provides the opportunity for over 300 student-athletes PreK - 12+ to compete with the assistance of BUDS, peer tutors, classmates and athletes, and coaches.
 
If interested in learning more, please contact Nick Lingerfelt at [email protected].

Unified Sports (TSSAA Sponsored)

The Unified Sports program pairs KCS students with disabilities (athletes) with their non-disabled peers (partners) to compete on the same team at a competitive level. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together quickly leads to friendship and understanding.  
 
Unified Sports events occur year-round and require travel. Kingsport City Schools participates in bowling (Fall/Winter) and track and field events (Spring/Summer) for 9th - 12th Grade+. These events are sanctioned under the TSSAA's guidance. 
 
Coaches: 
Bowling: Stephen Baker (head) and Michelle Baker (assist.)
Track & Field: Sarah Good (head)

 

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: If you plan to participate in Unified Sports as an athlete, you must complete this form, which is good for a 3-year period.   

 
For additional information, please visit Unified Sports.
 
If interested in learning more, please contact Nick Lingerfelt at [email protected]
A person is considered to have an intellectual disability for purposes of determining his or her eligibility to participate in Special Olympics if that person satisfies any one of the following requirements:
  1. The person has been identified by an agency or professional as having an intellectual disability as determined by their localities; or
  2. The person has a cognitive delay, as determined by standardized measures such as intelligent quotient or "IQ" testing or other measures which are generally accepted within the professional community in that Accredited Program's nation as being a reliable measurement of the existence of a cognitive delay; or
  3. The person has a closely related developmental disability. A "closely related developmental disability" means having functional limitations in both general learning (such as IQ) and in adaptive skills (such as in recreation, work, independent living, self-direction, or self-care). However, persons whose functional limitations are based solely on a physical, behavioral, or emotional disability, or a specific learning or sensory disability, are not eligible to participate as Special Olympics athletes, but may be eligible to volunteer for Special Olympics.

Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a program designed to use the power of sports for people with intellectual disabilities* to discover new strengths and abilities. 
 
Special Olympic events occur year-round and require travel. Kingsport City Schools participates in bowling (Fall/Winter) and track and field events (Spring/Summer). 
 
Coaches: 
Bowling: 
Track & Field: Sarah Good (head)
 
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: If you plan to participate in Special Olympics as an athlete you must complete this form, which is good for a 3-year period. 
 
For additional information, please visit Special Olympics.
 
If interested in learning more, please contact Nick Lingerfelt at [email protected]
A person is considered to have an intellectual disability for purposes of determining his or her eligibility to participate in Special Olympics if that person satisfies any one of the following requirements:
  1. The person has been identified by an agency or professional as having an intellectual disability as determined by their localities; or
  2. The person has a cognitive delay, as determined by standardized measures such as intelligent quotient or "IQ" testing or other measures which are generally accepted within the professional community in that Accredited Program's nation as being a reliable measurement of the existence of a cognitive delay; or
  3. The person has a closely related developmental disability. A "closely related developmental disability" means having functional limitations in both general learning (such as IQ) and in adaptive skills (such as in recreation, work, independent living, self-direction, or self-care). However, persons whose functional limitations are based solely on a physical, behavioral, or emotional disability, or a specific learning or sensory disability, are not eligible to participate as Special Olympics athletes, but may be eligible to volunteer for Special Olympics.

Interested in Coaching or Volunteering?

If you are interested in volunteering or coaching for KCS SPED Athletics, contact Nick Lingerfelt at [email protected].

Interested in Sponsoring an Athlete, Team or Program? 

Interested in sponsoring an athlete, team, or program? If so, please click here for the sponsorship form. Thank you in advance for your consideration. 
 
For more information, please contact Nick Lingerfelt at [email protected].