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Special Olympics Tennessee State Flag Football Tournament To Take Place Saturday

Over 600 athletes and Unified Partners from across Tennessee set to participate this weekend in Nashville
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NASHVILLE, TN (September 14, 2023) – Special Olympics Tennessee’s (SOTN) State Flag Football Tournament returns this weekend, September 16, 2023, at Franklin Road Academy. The event will feature 29 teams from across the state, plus over 100 athletes will participate in a flag football skills session. In addition, SOTN will host 80 athletes to participate in a demonstration of pickleball and cornhole.

The 29 teams participating this year is a 10-team increase over last year. These teams consist of traditional teams composed of all Special Olympics Tennessee athletes and well as Unified Team, which are made up of athletes and Unified Partners.

“I am beyond excited that we have added 10 teams in Flag Football this year,” said Cate Simon, SOTN’s Director of Competitions. “That growth is directly related to the hard work of our Unified Champion Schools department as they have launched league play within school systems across the state as well as the local programs who have continued to expand Flag Football in their communities.”

A big component that has been added to year’s event is the inclusion of Unified Partners in skills. That will hopefully lead to more teams in next year’s competition.

“This year we added a Unified division to skills, most of which are middle school and early high school age, and we hope to see those athletes and Unified partners on teams in the near future,” said Simon.

This year’s event also sees the addition of demonstrations in pickleball and cornhole. These demonstrations are meant to gauge interest in the sport for future competitions.

“Our goal at Special Olympics Tennessee is to impact as many athletes as we can,” said Simon. “Adding additional sports creates more opportunities for our athletes to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage and experience joy. When we add more sports opportunities, we also increase the exposure to our other programs, such as Healthy Athletes and Unified Champion Schools, allowing our athletes the chance to be impacted beyond the field.”

Throughout the day, SOTN athletes will take part in Special Smiles, which is part of the Healthy Athletes program. Special Smiles provides comprehensive oral health care information, including free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques to participating athletes.

Opening Ceremonies for the State Flag Football Tournament will begin at 8:30 AM and will be immediately followed by competition beginning at 9:00 and lasting through 5:00 PM. Games will take place across five fields on the Franklin Road Academy campus.

The public is encouraged to attend the event to cheer on athletes as they compete.

Select games will be streamed on Facebook at

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