BlazeSports a Finalist for the NCYS STRIVE Award – Vote Now!

BlazeSports America is honored that the National Council on Youth Sports has recognized us as one of five national finalists for the STRIVE Organization of the Year. This award recognizes organizations that embrace a “kids first” approach, evidenced by their implementation of recognized best practices and policies that protect kids and promote safety within their organization.  Voting is open now through August 1st, and individuals are welcome to vote daily! Every vote counts!

For more information on BlazeSports candidacy (including some great programs from our programs) and to VOTE, visit: http://www.ncys.org/strive

More on the STRIVE Award: This award recognizes organizations who have implemented at least three (3) health and safety initiatives demonstrating a “kids first” approach that protects kids and promotes safety within their organization. Criteria for selection included demonstrating a heartfelt passion and a commitment and a contagious spirit for helping kids succeed in youth sports activities while maintaining a commitment to established safety procedures.  This award praises organizations’ commitment to kids’ safety and health, demonstrating to young people that it is possible for Sports to Teach Respect, Initiative, Values and Excellence without compromising safety.

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BlazeSports Requests You Join Us For a CALL to ACTION for CRPD

BlazeSports Requests You Join Us For a CALL to ACTION for CRPD

The time has come to really make our voices heard!

As we recently shared, there has been exciting progress on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Now is the time to generate support for Senate ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and we could use some help. Can you spend less than 5 minutes today raising awareness and support for this issue in Congress?

The CRPD was inspired by US leadership in recognizing the rights of people with disabilities. The CRPD will improve access for Americans with disabilities who live, work, study, or travel abroad, including veterans. And, if you needed one more reason to support the CRPD, Article 30 of the Convention covers the right to participate in sports. As BlazeSports shared last month, the treaty has now been presented by the White House to the Senate for ratification. CRPD ratification is critical to maintaining our leadership role and to eliminating disability discrimination throughout the world.  Disability rights issues have always enjoyed strong bipartisan support (the ADA Amendments passed with unanimous consent in Senate).

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  Senator Kerry recently convened with the 7 Democratic and Republican sponsors of the CRPD treaty. (Sens. McCain, Moran, and Barrasso are the leading Republican supporters of the treaty; Sens. Durbin, Harkin, Coons and Udall are the leading Democratic supporters.) Sen. Kerry has agreed to hold a hearing and send the treaty to the Senate floor for a vote on July 26th for the anniversary of the ADA…. only if we have indications of support from enough Republicans (14) to win ratification by this Wednesday (June 27th). 

This news is a result of much hard work! Thanks to considerable public support, the treaty recently moved from the State Department to the White House and from the White House to the Senate! Now we have a short time left to have a hearing and a vote to reach our goal of ratification. Thousands of Americans have already sent letters/emails to the White House… hundreds of you have walked the Halls of Congress.. but now BlazeSports America and numerous other disability organizations are asking our friends for another great push. We have 3 R champions so far (McCain, Barrasso, and Moran) but we need 11 more. Our Republican leads agreed to work hard to get the votes but they can’t do it without your LOUD help!

Below is a list of senators that are almost there but need to hear your voice and we need to act fast!  Tell the senators that the CRPD deserves a hearing and a vote NOW. Make the Anniversary of the ADA on July 26th once again become a beacon of hope to people with disabilities and their families and friends around the world by passing the CRPD treaty on this important occasion. Time is running out in this Congress.CRPD costs the US no additional funds; ratification requires no change to U.S. law; it is good for US business.

CONTACT THESE SENATORS NOW – THEY MUST HEAR FROM THE COMMUNITY
BY WEDNESDAY!

Message: Will you support the CRPD (Treaty
112-7)? We want a hearing and floor vote in time for
the ADA anniversary!

 

LUGAR (IN) – supported
ADA and ADA Amendments! 
Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-4814

CORKER (TN) Click here to email or Call: (202)224-3344

BLUNT (MO) – supported ADA Amendments! Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-5721

BROWN (MA) Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-4543

ENZI (WY) – supported ADA Amendments! Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-3424

AYOTTE (NH) Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-3324

CHAMBLISS (GA) - supported ADA Amendments! Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-3521

GRASSLEY (IA)- supported ADA and ADA Amendments! Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-3744

JOHANNS (NE) Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-4224

MURKOWSKI (AK) – supported ADA Amendments! Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-6665

GRAHAM (SC) Email matthew_rimkunas@graham.senate.gov or Call: (202) 224-5972

COBURN (OK) Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-5754

COATS (IN) – supported ADA! Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-5623

ALEXANDER (TN) – supported ADA Amendments! Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-4944

RISCH (ID) Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-2752

HUTCHISON (TX) Click here to email or Call: (202) 224-5922

SEND FEEDBACKBY WEDNESDAY to egrant@usicd.org

Senator name:

Date of contact:

Description of contact:

Does the senator support the CRPD/lean to support/oppose?

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Boccia Debuts at 2012 National Veterans Wheelchair Games

BlazeSports America, with the assistance of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Local Organizing Committee of the 2012 Richmond National Veterans Wheelchair Games, offered the Paralympic sport of Boccia as a demonstration sport for the first time at a National Veterans Wheelchair Games (NVWG). More than 70 veterans participated in 60 matches during the four hour boccia clinic.

Games were divided into the eight VA classifications: IA, IB, IC, II, III, IV and V, as well as three divisions: Novice (first time participants), Open and Masters (athletes over the age of 50).

Although Boccia is a sport primarily played by athletes with cerebral palsy, athletes with other disabilities are eligible to play at the International and Paralympic level, making it a perfect sport for veterans with eligible disabilities. A brief description of the four functional boccia classes and eligible disabilities includes:

Individual BC1 is played by Players classified within the CPISRA Classification system as CP1 or CP2 (foot Player). Only Veterans who are stroke survivors or have a traumatic brain injury fitting the specific BC1 functional profile maybe eligible for BC1 Competition. Players may be assisted by one Sport Assistant, who should be positioned behind the playing box in a designated area. These Sport Assistants perform tasks such as: adjust or stabilize the playing chair, passing a ball to the Player, and rolling the ball.

Individual BC2 is played by Players classified within the CPISRA Classification system as CP2 (U). Only Veterans who are stroke survivors or have a traumatic brain injury fitting the specific BC2  functional profile maybe eligible for BC2 competition. Players are not eligible for assistance by a Sport Assistant. They can only ask for assistance from the Referee, in their time, to pick up a dropped ball from the court or to go into the court.

Individual BC3 (Players using an assistive device) is played by Players with a very severe locomotor dysfunction in all four extremities of a cerebral or non-cerebral origin. Players will not functionally propel the wheelchair and will be dependent on assistance or an electric wheelchair. Players will have no sustained grasp or release action. They may have arm movement, but have insufficient functional range of movement to consistently propel a Boccia ball into court. Veterans who are stroke survivors, have a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury or other disability fitting the specific BC3 functional profile maybe eligible for BC3 competition. Each Player is allowed to be assisted by a Sport Assistant, who will remain in the player’s box, but who must keep his/her back to court, and eyes averted from play.

Individual BC4 is played by Players with a severe locomotor dysfunction of all four extremities combined with poor dynamic trunk control, with non-cerebral origin or degenerative cerebral origin. The Player will be able to demonstrate sufficient dexterity to manipulate and throw a Boccia ball consistently into court. Poor grasp and release will be evident, combined with poor timing of release and follow through. Lack of control over smoothness and speed of movement and synchronization may also be observable. Veterans who are spinal cord injured or have another disability fitting the specific BC4 functional profile maybe eligible for BC4 competition. Players are not eligible for assistance by a Sport Assistant. They can only ask assistance from the Referee, in their time, to pick up a dropped ball from the court or go into the court.

For more information on the sport of Boccia, a copy of the official rules, the 2012 National Championship registration packet, Boccia Activity cards and more, visit the BlazeSports website at: http://www.blazesports.org/sports/boccia/.

BlazeSports would like to thank the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Local Organizing Committee of the 2012 Richmond National Veterans Wheelchair Games for providing the opportunity for BlazeSports to offer Boccia as a demonstration sport.  Thanks also to Charles Brown, veteran and member of the BlazeSports National Boccia Team and John Powell, also a veteran, for assisting with the officiating. Special thanks to Kathryn Wilson and all the fantastic volunteers that helped run the event.

See you in Tampa in 2013!

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Strengthened Partnership Helps Support Paralympic Dream

BlazeSports is delighted to announce that our Haitian in-country director, Daniel Pierre-Charles, has been named by the Haitian Paralympic Committee as their Chef de Mission for the London 2012 Paralympic Games in August. The Haitian Paralympic Committee president, Jean Chevalier Sanon invited Daniel Pierre-Charles during their recent trip together to Bogota, Colombia where they attended the 1st Americas Paralympic Summit.

This news comes in the same week that BlazeSports has agreed to support the Haitian Paralympian Josué Cajuste during his final preparations for London 2012, where he will compete in both the Javelin and Shot-put. Josué will stay at the BlazeSports Haiti Sports Academy in Port Au Prince and, through various partnerships, will be provided with equipment and training to help him to prepare for the Paralympic Games in August.

BlazeSports is honored to be asked by the Haitian Paralympic Committee to support their participation in the Paralympic Games, and we looks forward to watching Josué as he progresses in his dream of competing in London 2012.

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Three Georgia Blazers Nominated to US Paralympic Swim Team

BlazeSports America would like to congratulate the three Georgia Blazer swimmers and the other 30 swimmers who have been nominated for the 2012 London Paralympic Team. The roster includes 34 athletes (20 female, 14 male) who will compete in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, August 29 – September 9, pending approval from the USOC.

Three Georgia Blazers nominated to the London US Paralympic Team include:

- Lantz Lamback (Augusta) a two-time Paralympian (2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing) has been nominated to his third Paralympic Team.

- Brad Snyder, a 2006 graduate of the Naval Academy, lost his eyesight in September 2011 when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off during a day of military operations in Afghanistan. BlazeSports Head Swim Coach, Fred Lamback, worked with Brad for months as he prepared for his first swim meet after his injury in Afghanistan. The Paralympic Trials was Brad’s second disability swim meet.

- McKenzie Coan, a 14 year old Clarkesville, GA  teenager also nominated to her first Paralympic Team attempting to be one of the youngest swimmers on Team USA.
Congratulation Lantz, Brad and McKenzie!

For more information visit the US Paralympic website at:
http://www2.teamusa.org/US-Paralympics/Features/2012/June/17/US-Paralympic-Swimming-Team-named.aspx

 

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Blazers Make a Big Splash at Paralympic Swim Trials!

Paralympic Swim Trials: Final Day

During the third and final day of the U.S. Paralympic Swim Trials, the Georgia Blazers were busy. All four swimmers swam the 200 Individual Medley.

McKenzie Coan placed 3rd in the S8 heat with a time of 3:35.95. Lindsay Grogan placed 3rd in the S9 division with a time of 3:05.57. Lantz Lamback recorded his only 2nd place finish of the meet with a time of 2:47.59, while Brad Snyder placed 1st in the S11 race with a time of 2:32.31.

The Blazers long distance specialist, McKenzie Coan placed first in the 1500 free with a time of 22:40.15. Brad was the only Blazer in the 100 Breaststroke and he finished with a 1st place finish at 1:28.87.

The final event of the three day competition was the 100 free.  McKenzie finished 3rd in the S8 class with a time of 1:15.38 and Lindsay finished 5th in the S9 class at 1:11.68.

Both Lantz and Brad hoped to solidify their spot on the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team with strong finishes in the 100 Free. Lantz recorded his fifth 1st place finish with a time of 1:03.55.  Brad swam to his 6th and final 1st place with a time of 57.75.

The U.S. Paralympic Swim team will be announced on Sunday, June 17.

 

Paralympic Swim Trials: Day 2

The competition for a slot on the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Swim Team continued on Day 2 of the Paralympic Swim Trials at the Bismarck State College Aquatic & Wellness Center in Bismarck, North Dakota.

The four Georgia Blazers concentrated on 100 back, 50 Free and the 50 and 100 fly on Day 2..  Lindsay Grogan started the day off with a 6th place finish in the S9 100 Back with a time of 1:30.02. McKenzie Coan finished 2nd in the S8 100 Back with a 1:30.42 swim.  Lantz Lamback finished first in the S7 100 Back with time of 1:14.44, getting closer to being selected to his third consecutive Paralympic Team.

In the 50 Free, Rookie Paralympic hopeful Brad Snyder recorded a blistering 27.15 for 1st place in the S11 class. McKenzie and Lindsay both finished 4th in their 50 Free races with times of 36.35 and 31.90 respectively. Lantz added to his first place performances with a 30.44 1st place finish in the 50 Free.

Lantz and Brad finished up Day 2 with Butterfly races. Lantz scored a third 1st place finish with a 33.88 in the S7 50 Fly, while Brad finished the S11 100 Fly with a 1st place performance of 1:06.08.

Follow the Blazers and all the Paralympic hopefuls as they finish the trials on Saturday.
http://www.bismarckaquatics.com/hytek/results/evtindex.htm
GO BLAZERS!

 

Paralympic Swim Trials: Day 1

The top U.S. athletes with a physical disability from around the country will compete at the Bismarck State College Aquatic & Wellness Center in Bismarck, North Dakota, in the 2012 U.S. Paralympics Swimming Trials from June 14th -16th. The competition is the sole selection event for swimming athletes to qualify for the 2012 Paralympic Games.

The Georgia Blazers Swim Team is being represented at the trials by four Paralympic hopefuls! Two-time Paralympian Lantz Lamback is trying to make his third consecutive Paralympic Team. Lantz is joined by first-time Paralympic hopefuls, McKenzie Coan, Lindsey Grogan and Bradley Snyder.

Lantz swim in the Paralympics in 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing). At the Beijing games, Lantz won the most medals of all the Team USA male swimmers – 4 medals including a Gold medal World Record performance. Lantz swam a 4:55.19 400 free on the opening day of competition to set a new American record and put him in 4th place in the world in the S 7 class, a great start to his efforts to make his third Paralympic Team.

Brad Snyder, a 2006 graduate of the Naval Academy, lost his eyesight in September 2011 when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off during a day of military operations in Afghanistan. Fred Lamback, Georgia Blazers swim coach, worked with Brad for months as he prepared for his first swim meet after his injury in Afghanistan. Brad had an excellent 400 free on Thursday, swimming a 4:35.62 which is the #1 time in the world for S 11 swimmers.

McKenzie Coan is a 14 year old Clarkesville teenager attempting to be one of the youngest swimmers on Team USA. McKenzie swam a 5:27.14 in the 400 free which put her in 4th place in the world for S 8 swimmers and a very good position for consideration for the 2012 London squad.

Finally, Lindsey Grogan, a graduate student at the University of Georgia, swam a 5:25.21 in the 400 free but is still on the bubble as far as making the team.  Her best events are Saturday, June 16th, and hopefully give her a better chance to make the team.

2012 London Paralympics: The 2012 Paralympic Games will take place in London, England, August 29 – September 9. More than 4,000 athletes with a physical disability from 165 countries will compete in 19 sports.

Bismarck Competition Facilities: The BSC Aquatic and Wellness Center hosting the trials features an eight-lane, 50-meter pool and is fully accessible. The facility also provides ample seating for spectators.

Following the Competition: To follow the day-to-day results visit the US Paralympic website at: http://www.bismarckaquatics.com/hytek/results/evtindex.htm More Blazer results to come!

The final US Paralympic Swim Team will be announced on Sunday, June 17.

GO BLAZERS!

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Save The Date – 2012 Paralympic Kickoff Party

Come celebrate the kick off of the London 2012 Paralympic Games with the legacy organization of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games!  Fun and festivities for all ages. (Click here for the Save The Date Page)

When: August 29, 2012, 6-9pm

Where:  The Solarium in the historic Oakhurst community, Decatur, GA

Who:  You! (Open to thepublic)

Why:  Raise community awareness and support a great nonprofit

What: Fun and festivities for all ages

For sponsorship opportunities Click Here

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