NewsPositively Hampton RoadsNews 3 Everyday Hero


Everyday Hero: Local Students Helping All Kids Have The Opportunity To Compete!

Posted at 4:46 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 17:57:30-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.- It's getting close to that time of year---where thousands will be at the Virginia Beach oceanfront—doing this, plunging into the frigid Atlantic. This fundraiser helps support competitive events, like the Unified Sports program at Virginia Beach's Bayside High, which unifies---or blends students with and without disabilities on the same teams.

Students, like 16-year-old Devi Chirumamilla are active with this program, "And so I think it's really important we give people with different abilities and disabilities a chance to thrive because obviously they should be able to have an environment where they feel accepted."

The P-E teacher who oversees this program at Bayside High is Coach Jenn Vedder, who says Bayside has a special designation, National Unified Champion School, "So this recognition means that Bayside has gone above and beyond, not only for Special Olympics but for including all students and making them feel part of the community here at Bayside."

She points out, not all schools have this, "No, we're the only one here in Hampton Roads, there are about 22 across the state of Virginia."

Sajrim Chowdhury, another student taking part on the field in the program, says she really enjoys it. "And it's fun to become friends with each other and turn into a family and basically you're learning with them and you're having fun with them and enjoying these sports and creating these stronger bonds to become better friends."

Seventeen year old Kiana Dunbar adds, "Well for me just because sports, at least in high school has been such a big part of my life--being able to share that with people, and seeing the community coming together, that just brings me so much joy."

For all these reasons News 3 presented the Bayside High Mighty Marlins with an Everyday Hero award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner Southern Bank.

The school and the students have been raising money ahead of next week's Polar Plunge. If you'd like to help Bayside reach its Polar Plunge goal, click here.