CIF Los Angeles City Section

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City Section Becomes First in State to Approve Inclusive Sports Division For Athletes With Disabilities

The first race was won before it even started.

“History-making effort by all!” proclaimed Commissioner John Aguirre.

In a historic decision that could ultimately lead to a significant change for the better in the high school athletic landscape throughout the State of California, the CIF LA City Section Board of Managers unanimously approved a proposal that would provide equitable education based athletic programs for students with disabilities.

The decision to add an inclusive sports-level division (“IS”) for individual students with disabilities is a groundbreaking moment for the City Section. Track and Field will be the first sport to include students with disabilities, including wheelchairs, starting in 2016. These student-athletes will be a part of an organized interscholastic competition during the regular season along with competing in the postseason for individual and Section championships.

“It was great to see our governing board working together to open avenues to expand opportunities of participation to a community that has been left on the sidelines for too long. Inclusion in interscholastic athletics is a matter of civil rights and long overdue.” Aguirre said. “Teri Hayden and her team should be commended for their perseverance and commitment to opening these doors within our Section.”

Los Angeles Times preps sportswriter Eric Sondheimer shared the good news in the following story-