Champions Together-Become a “Unified Champion (Banner) School”

The IHSAA Student Advisory Committee first established the partnership with Special Olympics Indiana in response to Commissioner Cox’s challenge to become “servant leaders” in their schools and communities. Since then more than half the schools in the state have become involved in Champions Together.

Learn how your school can become a Unified Champion School and earn a BANNER by becoming a partner with Special Olympics Indiana and embracing the #InclusionRevolution. Have your delegates attend these breakout sessions to learn how your school can initiate or enhance all areas of your Champions Together efforts. 

Champions Together School Assembly

Here’s how to start if you want to join the hundreds of high schools in Indiana participating in Champions Together. This fun and interactive school assembly is emceed by profession comedian Craig Tornquist and has now been performed more than 100 times all around the state. The highlight of the presentation will be hearing the life changing story of motivational speaker and Special Olympics athlete Andrew Peterson. Learn from members of the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee how you can initiate activities in your school and community that meet the awareness/inclusion, Unified Sports and fundraising requirements for your school to receive a Unified Champion School banner for the upcoming school year.

Champions Together Fundraising

Learn how your school can earn a Champions Together BANNER by becoming a partner with Special Olympics embracing the #InclusionRevolution. Have your delegates attend the breakout sessions 1, 2, and 3 to learn how your school can initiate or enhance all areas of your Champions Together efforts. Find about the Polar Plunge, Track or Treat, Zombie Run, Plane Pull and Run with the Law  which are all fundraisers that are FUN for everyone that participates and will help Special Olympics athletes enjoy the same sort of athletic opportunities that you have in your schools. Special Olympics depends entirely on private contributions to provide uniforms, equipment, travel and the other expenses associated with providing opportunities for their athletes. Learn how you can have fun, support Special Olympics and earn a Champions Together BANNER for your school.

Champions Together Unified Sports®

Not sure what Unified Sports are all about?  Unified Sports® is an exciting and rewarding way for schools to embrace inclusion and respect. Students both with and without intellectual disabilities become teammates on competition teams to represent their high schools. And there is exciting news! In 2017-18 there will be year-round opportunities to be involved in Unified Sports® and compete for a HIGH SCHOOL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP! Attend this session and find out how to form teams and enter in the following:

2nd Annual Unified Bocce State Championship—Fall and sponsored by Special Olympics Indiana

• Inaugural Unified Bowling State Championship—Winter and sponsored by Special Olympics Indiana

• 5th Annual Unified Track and Field State Championship—Spring and sponsored by the IHSAA 

Champions Together Fundraising

Learn how you can have fun and support Special Olympics Indiana while earning a Unified Champion School BANNER for your school.  Find out from students how they are participating in things like the Polar Plunge, Track or Treat, Plane Pull, t-shirt design/sales and Mr. (name of your school) competition. All of these area fundraisers that are FUN for everyone that participates and will help Special Olympics athletes enjoy the same sort of athletic opportunities that you have in your schools. Special Olympics depends entirely on private contributions to provide uniforms, equipment, travel and the other expenses associated with providing opportunities for their athletes. This is an excellent way for student athletes to “pass it forward” for all of the benefits support that they receive from their schools and communities.

Champions Together Student-Led Workshop

Whether you are just beginning or wanting to take Champions Together to the next level attend this fun and interactive session which will be led by the members of the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee. Hear firsthand advice from students who will tell you how to organize an awareness night for your community at a football or basketball game, organize an inclusive practice between your team and students in your building and/or community, and bring a “Respect Rally” featuring anti-bullying and an R-Word Campaign to your school. They will share insight on the impact Unified Sports and Champions Together has had on their school.

Unified Fitness Clubs

The Special Olympics Indiana Unified Sports® Fitness Club brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities and provides opportunities for regular fitness activity to enhance fitness and inspire friendships among participants. The Club follows the Unified Sports® Recreational Model focusing on participation rather than competition. Each Club participant receives an individual tracking device which is used to monitor individual and Club progress. The Club provides the platform for individuals to challenge themselves and earn individual and Club rewards.

The Club begins with walking as its main physical activity. The Club incorporates a wide variety of other physical activities into weekly or bi-weekly sessions as well as offers Pin and Universal Walks at destinations throughout Indiana.

From the Locker Room to the Board Room: Leadership Skills for Today’s Student-Athlete

The research is clear.  Over 50% of recent college graduates and 67% of employers stated that college graduates are not ready for the work place.  Additionally, 97% of educators believe that schools do a great job of educating students but a lousy job of preparing them for the work place.  Leadership is one of the critical skills necessary for successful matriculation into the work place.  This session will focus on the performance skills of successful leaders, things you can start developing right now!

Social Media: Colleges are Watching You

Social media has become an integral part of the college recruiting process.  Learn how you can maximize your profile in the eyes of college coaches while at the same time limiting potential mistakes that could cost you thousands of dollars in scholarship money.  Competition for college roster spots and scholarships is fierce!  Learn how to utilize social media to your advantage, while becoming the CEO of your brand.

Sportsmanship & Character in Athletic Experience Both on and off the Field of Competition

Today, in all athletic competition there is a need for character and sportsmanship.  Athletes should ask themselves, “how do I lead within my team the right way both on and off the field of competition?” The Champions of Character Program is used to change the culture of sport. Its mission is to provide training to instill the values that build character so students, coaches and parents know, do and value the right thing on and off the field.  The Champions of Character program helps student athletes find the balance by keeping positive core values such as: character, unity, integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership - at the heart of the athletics experience.  We need to educate our student athletes on how values play out in both practice and competition.  Coaches need to learn how to intentionally define, model, shape and reinforce character building through their coaching and mentoring.   Research shows that the longer a student spends in sports, their social reasoning - sacrificing for the good of the team - rises, while their moral reasoning skills - doing what is fair, just, honest, and noble – decline. The display of sportsmanship through athletics is also crucial to developing team unity and growing as a student athlete.

What It Takes To Be a Successful Team Leader

This session is a highly interactive, firm, and spirited search for solutions. This session will provide a variety of educational experiences through the delivery of subjects on the cutting edge of team leadership, and to impart practical skills that will enhance the quality of life by reshaping lost abilities, heighten expectations, rebuild hope, confidence, self-respect and desire.  As a result of this workshop, participants will learn: to apply effective strategies and ideas on how to be an effective leader; to enhance your communication and listening skills; to identify challenges and ways to handle them; to provide you with the skills to present your own leadership program.

Social Media and Your Digital Identity

In today’s society, social media has dominated the time and interest of high school student-athletes across America and beyond. In this interactive session, students will learn how to better position themselves and their peers through social media so their digital identity mirrors their long term dreams and goals.

Own It Leadership in Action Part I

Own It Part I – “Defining Leadership” – Investigate what leadership means, what followers are looking for and how to build trust with them.

Own It Leadership in Action Part II

Own It Part II – “Going from Good to Great” – Discuss the importance of setting goals and look at how to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a leader.

Own It Leadership in Action Part III

Own It Part III – “Getting the A’s Right” – Discuss the importance of Accountability, the right Attitude, and handling Adversity.

The Leadership Code

This session will begin with the speaker sharing what he gleaned from a lifetime of ups and downs on his journey to becoming a leader, how he navigated ways to becoming a leader, through challenges, trial and error, in other words, getting his hands dirty. Participants will learn different leadership philosophies and how and when to apply certain ones. This session will focus on the foundation of all leadership philosophies, which lies in the heart. Participants will understand that leadership starts there, in the heart, and then is inspired by genuinely caring for others.

The Journey

This session will begin with the speaker’s journey dating back to being named Indiana Miss Basketball, to a college standout, to playing in the Women’s National Basketball Association, to coaching a two-time NAIA Women’s Basketball National Championship Team. Participants will learn about goal setting, what it takes to accomplish goals, how to be a vocal leader, and how to be a positive role model in the community

Financial Empowerment

This session will provide students with a basic understanding of the importance of savings, budgeting, understanding credit, and planning for the future. Students will learn about credit, the difference between a credit and debit card, and why it is important to know your banker.  Learn how to save and spend on a high school budget.  Finally, understand the strategy of good credit and the pitfalls of bad credit, realizing that being able to budget is a good lesson that stays with you for life.

NCAA Initial Eligibility 101

“NCAA Initial Eligibility 101”, is designed to educate college-bound student-athletes and parents about the necessary steps to participate in NCAA Divisions I and II college athletics.  An Eligibility Center representative will present the following information:

• Current and new academic standards for NCAA Divisions I and II;

• The steps to achieving initial eligibility certification;

• A walk-through of the registration and certification process; and

• Available informational resources.

Hazing: What It Is and Why it Doesn’t Work?

Hazing continues to plague athletic teams.  Why?  This session will look at what hazing is, what it isn’t, and most importantly why it doesn’t work. This session will also analyze some best practices on welcoming new teammates to the team. Identify when the initiation or on-boarding becomes hazing and detrimental to the program and to your new teammates.

Great leaders & Officials: Anything in common?

Oh yeah!!!  There are many things great leaders have in common with the great zebras, including being in position to make the call…your demeanor before the contest...leading by example…remaining calm when things are unfavorable.  The women and men in stripes must be leaders even if they are working alone!

How do I get an NCAA Division I Scholarship? Isn't that the question?

You have played all your life, with your parents helping you prepare for that big day when you sign a National Letter of Intent, BUT how do you know if you are academically eligible to compete? What if college coaches are not contacting you? What are coaches looking for in highlight videos and should you use a recruiting service? Think of this important fact: only 2% of high school student-athletes will secure scholarships to NCAA schools. This session will focus on what coaches are looking for and how you can market yourself in recruiting highlight videos.

Walk on Life--Success and Failure--Being a Leader

We live in a time when it is hard to motivate student-athletes to be successful, to try, to overcome failure, get off the couch, and get involved.  As a student-athlete, how can you overcome failure, how can you be successful and how can you be a leader? Set the example and know you've done your best to help make your school and team better.  Motivation is getting someone to do something they don't want to do.  Through music videos and discussion, learn how to overcome many of the hurdles that you and your classmates/teammates may face. This session will also explore examples and experiences of men and women, who have overcome failure, been successful and come out on top.

Good Sporting Behavior: Modeling the Best of Sport

Ways to maximize the sporting experience as a fan, competitor, and casual observer.  This session will utilize interactive activities which will simulate the contest atmosphere.

What Does it take to be a College Student-Athlete?

Former IHSAA Student Advisory Committee members who are currently college student-athletes will be on hand to talk about expectations, experiences, and time management strategies.  Be prepared with questions to ask the panel.

How to be an Effective Leader

This interactive presentation will look into different aspects of being a leader. Defining leadership, setting goals, identifying strengths and weakness, and dealing with adversity are some of the topics that will be discussed.  The goal of the presentation will be to provide students with tools to be better leaders not only on their teams but in their lives beyond high school.

IHSAA Student Advisory Committee Information


ATTENTION rising sophomores and juniors! Are you interested in serving on the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee (SAC)?? The Student Advisory Committee is a group of student-athletes who work IHSAA State Championships, plan and organize this Student Leadership Conference, and meet with IHSAA Commissioners to represent and speak for Indiana’s 160,000 student athletes. SAC members have the privilege of a front row seat to the actions that enable us to have Indiana High School Athletics! In this panel, you will have the opportunity to speak with some of the current members of the 18-student IHSAA Student Advisory Committee. These students will demonstrate to you the importance and excitement of serving on the Student Advisory Committee, as well as teach you how to get involved and answer your questions.


Be a Leader in the Weight Room

Athletes who fuel their bodies properly will feel great, recover quickly, and perform optimally. This session will cover the sports nutrition concepts that every student-athlete should know:  pre-workout fueling, hydration strategies, recovery essentials, and supplement selection.

Your Relationship With the Media

As a student athlete, you are not only a leader for your team but a representative and image of your school and community.  You have a responsibility to the IHSAA, your school, your coaches, and your teammates by cooperating with the media. Because of this fact, you need to always be aware of what you say and what you do. During high school athletics, you may be approached by different types of media: the school newspaper, local newspaper, local news station, radio, television, or magazine. Learn how to prepare yourself for interviews, specifically television interviews, to showcase your sport, school and community.

Broadcasting at the IHSAA

Discuss the importance of networking, persevering, and putting in the time for something you feel passionate about.  This session will also cover all areas of broadcasting at the IHSAA, from a football “Game of the Week” to the statewide broadcast of the Basketball State Finals.

Traditions Worth Having

In a day and age where we hear a lot about bullying and hazing in high school athletics we want to discuss creating an atmosphere in athletics based on positive traditions.  The goal of this session will be to share ideas of what you are doing at your school that you are proud of.  What could you do better?  Can you as a leader make a difference?  We want you to share your school’s athletic traditions.  The issue is not whether your school will have traditions, but rather will these traditions be negative or positive.  Traditions should be about producing successful teams, great memories, and building relationships.

IHSAA Foundation

The IHSAA Foundation is dedicated to protecting, sustaining, and nurturing the proud tradition of education-based athletics in Indiana. The Foundation’s work will ensure IHSAA member schools receive the support they need to help their students excel in athletics, the classroom, and their lives. In this breakout session, we will discuss the roles and programs that will be offered, by the Foundation, to our member schools, including the development of the student-leadership program Growing Leaders – Habitudes for Athletes. This session will also discuss how the IHSAA Foundation can assist in enriching the experience of potential and current student-athletes on and off the playing field.

College Representatives Panel

During this breakout session, participants will be able to visit and ask questions with several college representatives. College applications do not have to be scary!! Participants will learn what college admission offices are looking for during the process. Volunteer and serve in leadership roles now!!!