Westminster to Host Two Unified Special Olympics Missouri Basketball Games


Fulton, Missouri ‒ Jan. 13, 2023: Westminster College is pleased to announce it will host two Unified Special Olympics Missouri basketball games on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in the Historic Gymnasium on campus.

The Tipton Unified Cardinals from Tipton R-IV High School will play exhibition games during the halftimes of the Westminster Blue Jays women’s and men’s games, when both teams take on the Webster University Gorloks from St. Louis.

Tipoff for the Westminster women’s team is at 1 p.m., while the men will play at 3 p.m.

The Blue Jays will formally welcome the Unified Cardinals on the court before the halftime games, which will last eight minutes each.

All Saturday games — like all Blue Jays sporting events — are free and open to the public.

Todd Creal, Westminster’s Interim Associate Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and Head Men’s Basketball Coach, says the College is excited to partner with Special Olympics Missouri.

“We want to demonstrate our hospitality to the outside community, and hosting the Unified Cardinals is one way for us to open our doors and give back, allowing other athletes and their families access to our facilities.”

Unified Champion Schools Manager Emma Thomas explains that unified teams are coeducational and made up of players with and without intellectual disabilities, all united by a love of their sport.

“When athletes compete in unified sports, there’s always a significant display of sportsmanship and courage … it’s so much fun to watch,” she says.

Thomas adds that Saturday’s exhibition games are special for the Unified Cardinals because the Tipton School Board voted this week to officially recognize all unified sports programs at Tipton R-IV High School.

The Unified Cardinals are gearing up for Special Olympics Missouri’s East Regional Basketball Tournament on Feb. 11, 2023, for a chance to qualify for the Missouri State Indoor Games.

“The games this Saturday are great preparation for the tournament and should be exciting,” Thomas says. “We are so thankful that our connection to Westminster and the dedication of its students and student-athletes to the Special Olympics Missouri mission.”

ABOUT THE BLUE JAYS AND WESTMINSTER COLLEGE: Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, boasts 18 varsity sports teams and is a member of the NCAA, Division III, and the UMAC. Founded in 1851 and home of Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech, Westminster is ranked prestigiously by U.S. News & World Report as the only National Liberal Arts College in Missouri. The College is listed as one of the top institutions in the country for economic mobility and return on investment, placing in the top 16 percent for graduate earnings with a more than 90 percent placement rate. Westminster also is a Forbes Best Value College, which focuses on educating and inspiring students to become the world leaders of tomorrow. To find out more about Westminster, please visit the College’s website.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Sarah Backer at 573-220-9038 or Sarah.Backer@WCMO.edu.


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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.