BlazeSports heading to Haiti for third relief trip

A family in their tent home in the SOHAMO community of Port-au-Prince.

A family in the SOHAMO tent community in their tent.

This Saturday, a BlazeSports delegation will touch down at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Since the devastating earthquake struck the island nation in January 2010, BlazeSports has worked closely with the Haitian National Paralympic Committee and Ministry of Sport to establish five sports clubs and to aid the country’s disability community. At the most recent count, we are currently serving 634 Haitian children and adults with disabilities and their families. In our visit next week, BlazeSports staff and a multi-national group of experts and professionals will be teaching, training, providing care, hosting a girls’ soccer clinic, and supplying our clubs to the best of our ability.

You can help us do so.

Our friends at SOHAMO (Society of Handicapped and Aged) are in particular need. SOHAMO, now officially a BlazeSports club, is a community-organized association founded by and for the elderly and those with disabilities in Cité Soleil, a Port-au-Prince neighborhood recognized by the United Nations as the most dangerous in the world. As the situation in Cité Soleil worsened after the quake, the bonds of SOHAMO strengthened. These remarkable individuals built their own tent city, stood up to the armed gangs, and cared for not only their own members, but also street children and young people with disabilities who have been abandoned by their families.

You can help us help SOHAMO either by donating to BlazeSports, or by contributing any of the following items specifically requested by SOHAMO:

  • New children’s clothing
  • Educational toys
  • Paper
  • Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Crutches
  • Sports equipment (please check with us regarding which items are most in need)
  • Hygiene kits
  • Wound care supplies
  • Flashlights (with 100,000 hours of light)
  • Art supplies (pastels, street chalk, watercolors, sketch pads, etc.)
  • Harmonicas
  • Talcum powder

If you choose to donate items, please be sure that they get to the BlazeSports office by Thursday. And if you have any questions feel free to contact us at 404-270-2000.

When you’re grilling burgers or hitting the beach this Memorial Day weekend, please think for a moment of those in Haiti for whom each day is a struggle to survive. We here in the U.S. are tremendously lucky, and it is obligation to offer a hand to those fate has placed in the world’s more troubled corners. None of us can do everything, but together, we can certainly do something.

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Congratulations…BlazeSports’ Ann Cody honored by alma mater

Ann Cody, BlazeSports’ Director of Policy and Global Outreach, was selected by the University of Illinois to receive the 2011 Alumni Humanitarian Award. According to the UI website, the award was established in 2001 and “is bestowed upon alumni of the University of Illinois by the Alumni Association, on behalf of the University of Illinois. It is presented to those alumni who, through their outstanding involvement and dedication, have made a significant contribution of volunteer leadership or service which has improved or enriched the lives of others and the welfare of humanity, and whose accomplishments reflect admirably on or bring honor to their Alma Mater” (

Ann was selected for her long commitment to and meaningful work in disability rights. Visit the UI Website and the Awards Ceremony Photo Gallery.

Congratulations Ann…we are all proud of you!

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Keep up with us through the Blaze Blog!

Blaze Blog

BlazeSports America is very pleased to inaugurate the ongoing Blaze Blog. We will keep you up to speed with our goings ons and also with other pertinent news, events and issues from around the world that impact on disability sport and physical activity. Welcome and please visit often! Click Blaze Blog to go there now…

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From CEO Carol Mushett: The Bottom Line for the New BlazeSports

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11th Annual BlazeSports International Conference on Paralympic Sport and Physical Activity






General Conference Schedule


Thursday, September 15:             Arrival, Registration and Curb Side Consulting 4-8pm


Friday, September 16:                   Conference Sessions 8am – 5:30pm


Saturday, September 17:              Conference Sessions 8am – 5:30pm


Sunday, September 18:                 Conference Sessions 8am –1pm

Call For Proposals

BlazeSports America is accepting proposals from high-quality presenters for innovative, timely, and dynamic educational sessions to be presented at the 11th Annual BlazeSports International Conference on Paralympic Sport, Physical Activity, and Recreation Therapy, September 15-18, 2011 in historic Decatur, GA. Sessions will take place at the Holiday Inn Decatur Conference Center and Agnes Scott College.

For disability sport, physical education, physical activity, and recreation professionals, this conference will deliver high-level, evidence-based, knowledge, and hands-on training.  Through reviews of previous conference evaluations, surveys, and a study of current trends, conference attendees are seeking information and training in the areas of:

  • Coaching Development — Presentations should demonstrate how coaches can effectively apply the current research to their daily activities. Topics may include: coaching philosophy, planning, goal setting, sport psychology/mental skills training, skills and drills, long term athlete development, etc. Topic areas can cover novice and/or advanced coaches and may be classroom or hands on sessions.
  • Adapted Physical Activity and Education — Topics in this area should focus on adapting physical education and activity for inclusion, benefits of physical activity in the school setting for children with physical disability, disability specific modifications for physical activity, specialized equipment that can be used by children with physical disability to participate in physical education and activity.
  • Sport Technical Assistance — Specific topics can be covered such as classification, event management, risk management, site and facility use/specifications, equipment maintenance and repair.
  • Sports Medicine/Injury Prevention and Management — Think of disability and sport specific issues relative to common overuse injuries, how they can be prevented and managed.  Topics should include strength and conditioning program concepts used to prevent common overuse injuries as well as best practices in dealing with sport and physical activity related injuries.
  • Policy and Environmental Change – Topics in this area should focus on policies and strategies aimed at increasing physical activity and healthy living among people with disabilities.  Such sessions may include: access for underserved populations, inclusion in school sponsored athletic programs, built environment, joint use agreements, inclusive and adapted physical education, and physical activity programs.
  • Research and Statistics — We are looking for research topics that can be either directly applied to existing programming or used to generate new programming that will facilitate positive outcomes.  Why is physical activity important?  How much physical activity is required to show a significant change in health status?  What effect can a person’s perception of control over their leisure activity choices have on their long term rehabilitation success?
  • Advocacy — This topic can take many forms.  While advocating on a national level for policy change is important, there must be a progression in learning to advocate.  Topics in this area should include: understanding the ADA (and how policies address  access to physical education, recreation, physical activity, and sport), how to advocate effectively, areas where you may need to advocate for yourself or your clients, what role advocacy groups can play in effecting change.

We seek high-quality speakers and facilitators who can challenge us to think about the world in new ways and help us sharpen our skills that are essential to provide dynamic experiences for professionals, volunteers and participants in disability sport, physical education, physical activity, and recreation therapy.

Target Audience
The international conference draws disability sport, adapted physical education, physical activity, and recreation professionals from across the country and around the world. Presentations should apply to program administrators, coaches, athletes, therapists, and other disability sport, physical education, physical activity, and recreation professionals and educators. The international conference audience is comprised of experienced professionals as well as newcomers to disability sport, physical activity, and recreation therapy.

General Information — Educational Breakout Sessions
Educational breakout sessions are ninety minutes in length. Presenters are encouraged to leave ten minutes or more for questions and answers with participants. Lectures, hands-on workshops, and panel presentations are welcome.

Submitting Session Proposals
Proposals will be accepted beginning May 24 through July 31, 2011. Submitters will receive notification by August 5th as to the disposition of session submissions.

Presentations must not have a commercial message for a particular organization or business or be perceived as a “sales pitch.” BlazeSports America reserves the right to reject any proposal.

Proposals are taken through an online form. Click here for the online form.  The submission site allows you to cut and paste in plain text from Word, in areas requiring more detail. The site provides a confirmation e-mail, upon request, confirming our receipt of your submission. You may submit multiple sessions for consideration, however; we suggest no more than two submissions.

Selection Process
Sessions are reviewed and ultimately selected by the Proposal Review Team. On occasion, submitters will be asked for further clarification. All submitters will receive notification by August 2011.

Application Process
Submit the completed application form to BlazeSports America, Inc. and the following:
1) Current resume;
2) Verification of degree and post-secondary coursework if relevant (transcript and copy of degree as appropriate with requirements of certification level);
3) Verification of continuing education and/or CEUs as relevant;
4) For CDSS II, III & IV verification of CPR/First Aid certification or equivalent for international candidates;
5) For CDSS I – IV copy of BlazeSports documentation of successful completion of BlazeSports Institute of Applied Science CDSS Curriculum (offered annually);
6) Completed and signed verification form of field-based experience;
7) Successfully passes the written and oral certification test (waived during grandfather period);

Questions regarding the conference may be addressed to Dan Humphreys, Director of BlazeTEC, at the BlazeSports National Office,

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