The Libertyville Stars continue the tradition set by Josh Church and challenged each other to race at the annual Josh Church Race Me Meet on Sunday, October 22, utilizing unified partners in relays and individual events. Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver is leading what he calls “the Inclusion Revolution,” a global movement to break down barriers and end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We fully support Shriver’s push for unified sports and believe swimming is a perfect sport for unified teams. The Libertyville Stars has celebrated swimmers of all abilities since its inception in 2000. The Libertyville Stars is a unique team made up over 30 dedicated peer coaches without disabilities, and 34 athletes through Special Olympics.

The Josh Church Race Me Meet is a memorial event to Josh Church. An athlete who died of sudden cardiac arrest in November 2016. Josh was an athlete with then Cats (Rise) Aquatics and Warren High School. He was an athlete who would uplift the spirits of his teammates and challenge them to a race at the end of every practice (#RACEME). It is with his spirit that the Libertyville Stars said RACE ME with unified partners in almost every event this meet to encourage athletes to swim their fastest.

We appreciate and acknowledge our coaches, peer coaches, officials, timers and everyone else who made this event possible. After the swim meet, many of our families got together and celebrated at a Fall Party at the Crawford Warming House in Libertyville for a Fall Festival of Fun!

Unified partners this weekend were Dylan W. (COHO), Dylan D. (HPAC), Eveline P. (MMSC), Hannah G. (COHO), Kristin K. (Masters), Nolan L. (Masters), and Will N. (Rise).