Team Happy Wins Gold Medals- Westport Weston Family YMCA adaptive unified sports

Westport Weston Family YMCA Expands Special Needs Programming & Renews Its Partnership with Special Olympics Connecticut 

November 17, 2023

For decades, the Westport Weston Family YMCA (WWFY) has served the changing needs of the community in many ways, cementing its mission to promote healthy living, youth development and social responsibility for all.

This winter, WWFY is excited to expand its Special Needs programming and reestablish its partnership with Special Olympics Connecticut, an organization which empowers athletes through sports and reveals the champion in all of us, to ensure everyone has opportunities and access to the unique support they need.

The Y recognizes that to truly be “for all,” it needs to lead with purpose and passion to identify and remove the barriers that historically have prevented some of those in our communities from thriving.

The inclusive programming at WWFY is thoughtfully designed to accommodate those with diverse abilities with social, behavioral, and physical differences to flourish in a friendly and supportive environment. The Y’s special needs programs include gymnastics, swimming, open play, and organized sports like basketball and soccer, so participants can enjoy a variety of activities that promote wellness, creativity, socialization and belonging.

In support of these efforts, WWFY has hired Brittany Williams as their new Special Needs Coordinator. Along with her extensive experience supporting individuals with disabilities, Brittany brings her dedication and passion to making a positive impact in the lives of others to the Y. 

Brittany shared, “Providing individuals with fun, friendship, hope, and resilience is my passion and what I strive to help provide everyone involved in our Special Needs programming at WWFY. Ensuring a welcoming space that supports the opportunity for each person to learn and grow no matter their ability is my goal. But most of all, I am excited for the big smiles and watching their confidence boost!” 

Christina I. Scherwin, Chief Operations Officer of the Westport Weston Family YMCA added, “Over the weekend, we celebrated our gold medal champions, where ‘Team Happy’ participated in the Special Olympics Unified Basketball State Tournament and placed first for their division! It’s not about the color of the medal, but the process. These participants have worked really hard improving their skills, attention, and teamwork. It is so rewarding to see their progress and dedication shine through”.

Coming in the spring of 2024, WWFY is super excited to debut its first Special Needs Prom! This marquee event is created for special needs participants ages 14 and above to enjoy a prom experience including a red-carpet entrance, prom attire, a live DJ, dancing, photo booth, food, and fun activities.

Helping further these endeavors, the WWFY would also like to recognize the generosity of the Kiev Family, whose contributions support the expansion of vital programming in our community.

The Westport and Weston communities continue to play a crucial role in the success of this program. Giving the gift of time helps transform lives; on the court or pool as a coach, player, or mentor, as a prom date, or helping to organize social activities. To become a volunteer, an event sponsor, or to learn more, please email Brittany Williams, at For additional WWFY program information, visit

About Westport Weston Family YMCA
The Westport Weston Family YMCA is a cause-driven organization that strives to be a welcoming and supportive environment for all. Our purpose is to strengthen the foundations of the community through our actions and programs. We believe that to bring about meaningful change in individuals and communities, we must be focused and accountable. At the YMCA, we measure the success of our cause by how well we engage communities in our three areas of focus: Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility.

About Special Olympics Connecticut 
Special Olympics Connecticut provides year-round sports training and competition opportunities for close to 10,000 athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and Special Olympics Unified Sports® partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities who are the athletes’ teammates). Special Olympics is about inspiring inclusion for people of all abilities through sport and revealing the champion in all of us. Learn more