By Gillian Sharp – Manager of Community Programs at BlazeSports
BlazeSports worked in partnership with Fayette County Parks and Recreation to offer a day of adaptive watersports at Lake Tobesofkee in Bibb County, GA.
Phil Martin of Adaptive Aquatics along with his staff and volunteers prepared everyone for the day ahead. A wide variety of activities were offered including kayaking, sailing, fishing, pontoon boat, tubing, jet skiing and sit skiing. Participants were encouraged to try as many different watersports as they wanted.
Everyone had a fantastic time trying the different sports, many for the 1st time, while staff ensured that safety and fun were of top priority.
BlazeSports would like to thank Debbie Parish of Fayette County Parks and Rec , Phil Martin of Adaptive Aquatics at Lake Tobesofkee and all the wonderful staff and volunteers who were there to support us.
By BlazeSports America intern Philip Cook
In the United States today, there are a limited but growing number of opportunities for young athletes with disabilities to participate in organized high school and club sports. Many students with disabilities are interested in extracurricular opportunities – including high school sports – yet most high schools across the country do not have organized sports in place that include students with disabilities. Fortunately, thanks to public pressure in recent years, several states have begun to consider including adaptive sport athletic programs.
This spring this issue received added attention when a Michigan father made national news for pushing to amend the age limit on high school athletics to ensure that his son – a 19-year-old rising senior – would have the ability to continue playing football. (More on that story is available here: http://blazesports.org/2012/04/high-school-athletic-associations’-age-limit-rules-and-student-with-disabilities/) After doing intensive research, BlazeSports identified fifteen states that offer opportunities for high school students with disabilities to participate in organized sports. These fifteen states include Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.
The two most common school team sports that are available for students with disabilities are track and field and wheelchair basketball. This is not surprising given that these are two of the easiest to accommodate students with disabilities. Ohio became the latest state to add wheelchair championships for track and field athletes with disabilities. On June 8, 2012, the Ohio High School Athletics Association made the decision to add wheelchair championships to its state track and field meet beginning in 2013. Though only fifteen state high school federations allow youth with disabilities to participate in school organized sports, hopefully one day soon the other thirty-five states will follow suit.
Hey everyone it’s Josh McKinney, U.S. Paralympic National Soccer Team midfielder, back for the third installation of our guest blog. I just got back home for a short break after our three week camp out in Chula Vista, CA. We are spending a lot of time together as a team and you can see it’s paying off when we are on the field! It is also definitely helping the younger players gain confidence. All the players had a great camp and are excited as London gets closer. Less than 50 days to go! Thanks to the Navy guys for coming out and mixing in with a few of the scrimmages. They always bring the level of play up helping us compete harder during the scrimmages.
After the break we meet back up for a month long camp back out in California, where the staff will also choose the top 12 players during the camp that will travel to London. So it should make for some intense training sessions as players want to make the team!
Keep following the BlazeSports Blog to learn more about Josh and the entire U.S. Paralympic National Soccer Team as they prepare for London.