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Canyon Ridge recognized by ESPN for sports inclusion

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-31 19:23:58-04

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Canyon Ridge High School is one of five schools in the U.S. receiving designation by ESPN for its efforts of inclusion for all student athletes.

On April 21, ESPN and the Special Olympics will recognize Canyon Ridge as a Special Olympics Unified Champion School. The award is given to schools that show excellence in categories such as advocacy, respect, and inclusion of students with diverse abilities.

“It really is the whole school. It really takes every student and every staff member to embrace this type of inclusive attitude for it to really take off,” said Kristi Kraft, CEO for Special Olympics Idaho.

Of the 8,300 schools that are Unified champion recognized, only 166 have received recognition like Canyon Ridge.

“This is a national ranking. This is the top five in the entire United States for all schools. So it could be colleges, universities, elementary schools, middle schools, and Canyon Ridge is one of the top five in that entire list,” said Eva Craner, public information officer for the Twin Falls School District.

Craner says that the efforts shown by Canyon Ridge have affected the community as a whole and set an example for all Idaho schools on how to include everyone in sports.

“When you walk into these events you feel it. The whole student body is behind this movement. Everybody is accepting of this group of students that in other places maybe wouldn't be involved,” said Craner.

For more information on Unified Champion Schools, click here.