Challenger Basketball Fosters Skill and Teamwork Development

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Students in Long Beach High School’s life skills and self-contained programs demonstrated teamwork and enthusiasm on the court during their final Challenger basketball home game on March 15. As a special highlight, the occasion included many components of a major sporting event: A guest appearance from the Bulldog mascot, popcorn sales, music and bleachers filled with cheering fans.

The school’s Challenger League was formed two years ago as way to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to compete in an athletics program that promotes sportsmanship. The league allows for accommodations and modifications to traditional rules and regulations to enable students of all abilities to develop confidence and engage in appropriate athletic events.
Students involved in the Challenger League develop their technical skills by generalizing the skills they have strengthened in competitions and also learn about how to work as a member of a team. The participants enjoy playing in front of a crowd, with the support of staff members and peers.

The Long Beach league was initiated through a grant that teachers completed to obtain funding. Their schedule for the current school year consisted of four games against Lynbrook and Valley Stream South high schools.