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Unified Pair Competes at State Golf Tournament for First Time

Burtt family qualified at East TN skills to compete at state competition

The State Golf leg of Fall Games was filled with returning faces, as well as some new golfers to the course. Allan and Mike Burtt, a father-son Unified duo, competed with Special Olympics Tennessee for the first time at this year’s tournament in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Allan Burtt, of Nashville, gained the opportunity to qualify for the State Golf Tournament on September 18, 2023, with his father, Mike Burtt. The Burtt family moved to Tennessee in 2018 from Hudson, Ohio, where they also played as a Unified pair. However, since they moved to a new state, they needed to re-qualify in order to continue playing golf with Special Olympics Tennessee.

The duo attempted their take on qualification at the Chattanooga golf tournament, where they were short of the needed score. Shortly after, they persevered and had a successful attempt at the skills challenge in Murfreesboro, awarding them qualification for the next Special Olympics Tennessee golf tournament.

“[State Golf] was a great experience and a lot of fun,” said Allan. “We got a bronze medal, too.”

Allan stated that he got to meet new people during the State Golf Tournament, while also reconnecting with others that they knew. They were paired with a mother-daughter duo who had moved from Mississippi, and connected over Allan’s alma mater, Mississippi State University.

Burtt family on the green

The Burtts also participate in the Topgolf partnership each week in Nashville. They are enjoying the extra practice they gain and seeing new athletes from the area. Mike mentioned that he would love to see the program continue throughout the year, especially during the times that they cannot be on the golf course.

“We really like that partnership with Topgolf,” Allan said. “I played a 133 last week and got my high score.”

In regards to Special Olympics, in his experiences in Ohio and Tennessee, Allan shared that he values the organization and what it does for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

“Special Olympics means a lot to me; it’s very inclusive and everybody is included,” Allan stated. “It feels good to have an environment where everyone is included, no matter what disabilities they have or challenges they overcome. And, it's fun to experience Special Olympics with my dad —we do a lot of stuff together.”

While he enjoys playing golf, Allan loves watching and playing soccer. His favorite teams include Nashville SC, Manchester City of the English Premier League and Real Madrid of the Champions League. He enjoys going to Nashville SC games with his father as well. Outside of sports, Allan works as a Premium Guest Services team member with the Nashville Predators and Bridgestone Arena.

To learn more about Unified Sports, click here.

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