Markgraf Sports & Leadership Academy teams up with Special Olympics Wisconsin for Unified sports day

May 18, 2017


Milwaukee, WIMarkgraf Sports & Leadership Academy (MSLA) is joining forces with Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) to bring campers of MSLA’s innovative soccer camp together with SOWI athletes for a fun day of Unified soccer and track events this summer.

MSLA has invited SOWI athletes to participate in the final day of the week-long soccer camp for girls taking place at the University School of Milwaukee the week of June 19 – June 23. For the Unified session on Friday, June 23 from 10 a.m. – noon, SOWI athletes will be placed on the MSLA campers’ teams for an exciting morning of inclusive competition.

MSLA is a multifaceted camp for girls started by former U.S. National Team soccer player Kate Markgraf that uses soccer, theater, mindfulness, music, and yoga to stretch participants’ comfort zones and equip them with the tools to overcome challenges. MSLA’s goal is build empowered leaders who are allies to the greater community.

Markgraf, née Sobrero, earned two Olympic gold medals, an Olympic silver and a FIFA World Cup championship during her career on the U.S. National Team from 1998-2010. She currently serves as a sports analyst for ESPN, where last year she became the first female broadcaster to cover a major men’s championship in the U.S.


Kate Markgraf and future soccer stars

“We’re thrilled to begin this partnership with such a wonderful organization as Special Olympics Wisconsin. I can’t wait to see our campers and SOWI’s athletes on the field together for a truly unified experience. SOWI’s mission and values are so closely aligned with those of MSLA that this is very natural collaboration,” Markgraf said. “If our goal is to empower young girls and enrich their lives with respect to emotional intelligence and leadership skills through sport, I can’t think of a better way to bring this camp to a close than by partnering them with the amazing athletes from SOWI.”

SOWI is recognized as the premier organization in the state of Wisconsin to unlock the joy of sport to inspire people to accept, include and value those with intellectual disabilities in all aspects of life, and thereby unite people in a shared belief of a more just and welcoming world.

Through its Unified Sports program, SOWI promotes social inclusion, understanding and friendship by way of shared sports competition that brings together individuals with intellectual disabilities and individuals without intellectual disabilities.

Limited spots available! To register, visit

Prior to the Markgraf Sports & Leadership Academy, Markgraf will be serving as emcee for the Opening Ceremony of SOWI’s State Summer Games taking place June 8 – 10 at UW-Stevens Point.

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