Sunset Hills Elementary Hosts Unified Floor Hockey Event


Charlotte Murphy

Students who attended the event pose with UNO hockey player Jacob Zab.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, Sunset Hills Elementary School hosted Unified Floor Hockey. In addition to floor hockey, there were crafts, a scavenger hunt, temporary tattoos and air hockey. These activities are hosted as “an opportunity for fun, friendship, and hockey skills aimed at partnering peers with and without an intellectual disability,” according to the Westside Unified website. As well as having fun with peers, there were also partnerships with UNO men’s hockey team as well as the Westside High School’s varsity hockey team. Kelly Collins, a special education resource teacher at Sunset, organized the event with their special education team. Collins said she enjoyed seeing the kids have fun and having hockey players there to help lead the event.

“One is just watching all these kids that may or may not have met, play a game of hockey and have fun,” Collins said. “[Secondly], I am really grateful for the partnerships that we have with UNO, who sent their hockey players and also the Westside hockey team; that they come and are leaders at the event.”

Jacob Zab and Kirby Proctor were two of the UNO hockey players that helped at the event along with Westside’s varsity goalie, freshman Garrett Menear-Carda. Menear-Carda said he brought all of his gear for the kids to try on and experience being a hockey player.

“I’m just trying to make sure these guys have the best experience with youth hockey and youth organizations as I can,” Menear-Carda said. “This is everything I wear in a game [that they are trying on.] It’s been really cool seeing some of the kid’s faces light up when they tried it on.”

There have been several Westside Unified events so far this year such as float decorating, fishing, a fall festival, and yard games. At Westside Middle School, there are also Unified Sports meetings every Thursday. Eighth-grader Elizabeth Blakely attends these events and most of the additional district-wide activities. She will also be participating in the February “Polar Plunge” challenge for Westside Unified. 

“Seeing all of the kids and how excited they are [is my favorite part],” Blakely said. 

Fifth-grader Camille Muse from Oakdale Elementary attends most of these activities and said she enjoys them. 

“I like [playing hockey] and playing goalie,” Muse said. “I like to do air hockey [in the library].”

For more information on Westside Unified click here.