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      Game on for students with disabilities

      COLUMBIA (WACH) -- Barry Coats knows first hand the importance of sports for children with disabilities.

      Coats' daughter Erin has Down Syndrome and he's the president of the Special Olympics of South Carolina.

      "Team sports is such a builder of your character and personality, confidence and self esteem that you know you can't really measure it," said Coats.

      Many school districts in the Midlands already allow kids with disabilities on teams.

      Coats daughter attends Pleasant Hill Middle School in Lexington one and she's a cheerleader.

      A spokesperson for the district says many students with special needs are already playing sports including basketball, football, track and wrestling.

      Coats says for Erin, the opportunities are endless.

      "We have to pick and choose because quite honestly she could do something every day, seven days a week," adds Coats.

      Coats says this decision will have an impact on all children because having unified activities will help shape everyone involved.ã??

      "The more they're around our population and understand there's really not that big of difference, the more they're going to grow as a person and help shape us for decades to come," said Coats.