Happy Holidays!

Posted in News |

First Webinar of 2013!

Check out the archived webinar on the BlazeSports YouTube Channel

Click here to view the webinar:  http://youtu.be/5-yhxVJ6PqY

Introduction to Wheelchair Lacrosse

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

This webinar will introduce the sport of wheelchair lacrosse and discuss how you can begin to offer opportunities whether you are an adapted sport program or a lacrosse program.

Wheelchair Lacrosse is a new team sport being introduced into the adapted sport community. Ryan Baker and Bill Lundstrom, both from San Diego, founded Wheelchair Lacrosse USA (WLUSA) in 2009 and have helped develop teams nation-wide through camps and clinics offered in the communities that have shown interest in the sport. The goal of WLUSA is to grow and foster the sport of lacrosse and infuse it into the adaptive sport community. Over time WLUSA has partnered with various organizations to promote lacrosse, develop an official Wheelchair Lacrosse Rule Book and raise money to help bring this exciting sport to communities all over the country. WLUSA’s ultimate goal is to see the sport widely accepted by athletes and organizations all over the world and included in the Paralympic Games as a competitive option for athletes with mobility impairments.

Ryan Baker is from San Diego and is a T6 paraplegic as a result of motor vehicle accident that occurred the day after his high school graduation in 1991. Ryan loves the beach, snow skiing, and playing tennis. He is a peer mentor for other injured individuals, and loves to see people succeed. Ryan also hosts a podcast on iTunes called SCI Boot Camp that discusses spinal cord injury related issues.

Bill Lundstrom is a San Diego native.  In August 2002 he was in a motorcycle accident that resulted in a traumatic brain injury and stroke that left him a T7 paraplegic. Bill is competitive by nature; he played water polo in high school and rowed at Cal Sate Long Beach.  Bill is a husband, father, President of Lundstrom Engineering and Surveying and on the board of directors for non-profit, HeadNorth, which provides hope and help for individuals and families that have been affected by a spinal cord injury. Bill likes snow skiing and after his injury started Fighting Chair Sports, an organization that catered to wheelchair users on deep-sea fishing trips.

Title: Introduction to Wheelchair Lacrosse
Date: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST

Posted in CDSS, News, Webinar, Wheelchair Lacrosse |

Ann Cody Honored by the United States Olympic Foundation

From www.teamusa.org

United States Olympic Foundation honors three individuals for contributions to Olympic and Paralympic Movements

NEW YORK – The United States Olympic Foundation today presented three awards at the annual USOF Luncheon and Awards Ceremony in New York City. Ann Cody, Pat Summitt and Peter V. Ueberroth were honored in recognition of their commitment and contributions to the Olympic and Paralympic Movements.

The USOF was established after the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles to benefit Olympic, Paralympic and amateur sports in the United States. A nonprofit organization, its objective is to support the United States Olympic Committee and its member organizations. A separate entity from the USOC, the USOF oversees the corpus of endowed funds that resulted from the surplus from the 1984 Games.

Summitt, the winningest basketball coach in NCAA history, and Cody, a pioneer in the Paralympic sports movement, each received the George M. Steinbrenner III Sport Leadership Award. The award is presented annually by the USOF to honor outstanding members of the Olympic and Paralympic family who have contributed to sport through management, sport organization endeavors or the enhancement of competitive opportunities, and who have displayed qualities of leadership, ethical conduct and dedicated responsibility during a longstanding commitment to sport.

Ueberroth, former USOC chairman and MLB commissioner, received the William E. Simon Award, given by the USOF to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Simon – the award’s namesake – was president of the USOC from 1981-85 and served as U.S. Secretary of the Treasury for three years under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

About the award recipients

Ann Cody

Cody has been a tireless advocate for the Paralympic Movement. Through her leadership, the International Paralympic Committee established a policy on gender equity and implemented critical initiatives aimed at increasing participation by women in Paralympic sport. Cody serves on the IPC’s Governing Board and is the highest-ranking American and highest-ranking woman in the IPC. She is also a member of the International Olympic Committee 2018 Evaluation Commission and the USOC’s Paralympic Advisory Committee. Cody is a Paralympic gold medalist in track & field and competed on three U.S. Paralympic Teams (basketball, 1984; track & field, 1988, 1992).

Pat Summitt

Summitt is the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history. She coached the Tennessee Lady Vols from 1974-2012, winning eight national championships and 32 combined Southeastern Conference titles. Summit ended her career at the helm of the UT women’s basketball team with a 1,098-208 overall record. She brought that same standard of excellence to USA Basketball. As a player, she earned a spot on the 1976 U.S. Olympic Team, serving as co-captain and leading the team to the silver medal. As a coach, she guided the U.S. women to silver in 1983 and gold in 1984. Summitt was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Peter V. Ueberroth

Ueberroth has been an Olympic force for more than three decades. He initially made his mark as the president of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee from 1980-84. Under his leadership, the first privately funded Olympic Games resulted in a surplus of $238 million, which continues to support youth sports across the United States. He was elected as the first chair of the restructured USOC board of directors in June of 2004. In 2008, the USOC elected Ueberroth honorary president for a two-year term. Ueberroth’s Olympic accomplishments are reflected in numerous awards, including being named 1984 Man of the Year by both Time Magazine and The Sporting News and receiving the Olympic Order in Gold from the IOC at the culmination of the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Ueberroth served as MLB commissioner from 1984-89, and his 1985 book, Made in America, was a bestseller.

Winners of the George M. Steinbrenner III Sport Leadership Award:

2012 Ann Cody and Pat Summitt

2011 Thomas W. Weisel

2010 Tom Gompf

2009 Carol Zaleski

2008 Kirk Bauer

2007 Alan Rothenberg

2006 Walter L. Bush Jr.

Winners of the William E. Simon Award:

2012 Peter V. Ueberroth

2011 Henry A. Kissinger

2010 Daniel L. Doctoroff and Patrick G. Ryan


Josie Burke

(719) 433-3571


Posted in News, Policy/Advocacy, USOC |

The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation Supports CDSS Program



The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation has awarded BlazeSports America a grant to deliver four Certified Disability Sport Specialist (CDSS) Regional Training Workshops in 2013. Since its inception in 2010, the CDSS program has certified over 300 individuals in the best practices of adapted sport, recreation and physical activity program delivery. The CDSS program helps ensure that the people administering and delivering adapted sports programs are doing so in a safe, effective manner and to the standards of best practices.

Dan Humphreys, BlazeSports Director of Training, Education and Certification is looking forward to the impact this grant will have, “The CDSS program has realized higher demand than our resources allow. Not a week goes by that we don’t field a call asking about the next CDSS Regional Training Workshop and if we will be providing a training in New York or California or the Midwest. This grant will allow us to certify an additional 200 service providers and practitioners, building the capacity to deliver top notch adapted sport programs throughout the country.”

For information on hosting a CDSS Regional Training Workshop please click here http://www.blazesports.org/resources/professional-development/ or contact Dan Humphreys at 404-270-2028, email dhumphreys@blazesports.org.


Established in 2002, the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to improving the quality of life for those living with spinal cord injury (SCI) and supporting scientific exploration for effective therapies and treatments leading to a cure. Mr. Neilsen, himself a quadriplegic for 21 years until his death in November 2006, recruited experts in the SCI community to peer review all grants requests for scientific and clinical research, post-doctoral fellowships, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine Fellowships and quality of life grants. The Foundation currently funds scientific research grants, quality of life grants and SCI Medicine Fellowships which are disbursed throughout the United States and Canada.

For further information, please visit the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation website at www.chnfoundation.org.


Posted in CDSS, News |

Human Rights Day 2012


Monday, December 10th is Human Rights Day.

From http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/

Human Rights Day presents an opportunity, every year, to celebrate human rights, highlight a specific issue, and advocate for the full enjoyment of all human rights by everyone everywhere.

This year, the spotlight is on the rights of all people — women, youth, minorities, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, the poor and marginalized — to make their voices heard in public life and be included in political decision-making.

These human rights — the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, to peaceful assembly and association, and to take part in government (articles 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) have been at the centre of the historic changes in the Arab world over the past two years, in which millions have taken to the streets to demand change. In other parts of the world, the “99%” made their voices heard through the global Occupy movement protesting economic, political and social inequality.

Make your voice count!

Share your thoughts about the right to participate in public life and political decision-making, using #VoiceCount.

Take part in a series of four Goolge+ Hangouts between 22 November and 10 December to engage with senior UN officials and leading experts on the rights of minorities, persons with disabilities, the impact of business on human rights, and beyond.

And, starting on 1 December, send us your questions using#AskRights. Selected questions will be answered by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, at a Human Rights Day Google+ Hangout.

Stay tuned for more information.

Posted in International, News, Policy/Advocacy |

BlazeSports International Heads to Brazil – Host of 2016 Paralympic Games

Where in the world is BlazeSports International? Our international sport development team – Stuart Sharp and Felipe Rodrigues – spent last week in Brazil to provide training and build partnerships in preparation for Rio 2016.

Stuart Sharp, BlazeSports Director of International Development and Head of Technical Control and International Classifier for CPISRA, presented at the CPISRA Classification Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 28 – December 2, 2012. BlazeSports is the USA national member organization of the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) which is a founding member of the International Paralympic Committee.

During the conference, Stuart presented CPISRA ‘s 7- a- side Football’s new 5 year development plan and steps that are being implemented to support the transition of the sport becoming an independent body. Along with Dr Raúl Reina, Stuart facilitated a discussion on potential research project proposals on sports specific norms of those involved in CP football.

The international team then met with potential partner organizations including the Brazilian National Association of Sport for People with Physical Disability, Instituto Superar (Professional Paralympic Sport Club), and CERVIM (Rehabilitation Center that provides sport programs) to discuss potential future projects within the country.

The 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio will mark the 20th year anniversary of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics Games. As the legacy of these games, BlazeSports’ goal is to provide knowledge and expertise gained over the last two decades to support the host city in delivering sport development opportunities.

Posted in International, News |

New Programs for Veterans with Disabilities Offered by BlazeSports


Through grant funding provided by U.S. Paralympics, BlazeSports has recently expanded their programs available to disabled veterans and active duty service members by introducing 2 new sports.

Cycling is now being offered every Tuesday at Panola Mountain State Park.  There are a range of cycles to try including hand cycles and recumbent cycles.  Veterans experience regular physical exercise while enjoying the benefits of  the outdoor lifestyle in the park, located near Stockbridge.

James Johnson and Rodney Roscoe on their cycles.


James gets an upper body workout on the handcycle.

Archery is also new to the program and takes place on Friday afternoons at the Archery Learning Center in Snellville.  Participants receive expert instruction from Level IV USA archery instructor Ginger Hopwood.

Instructor Ginger Hopwood uses a mirror to teach Jonathan Moore proper body mechanics.

In addition to these new activities, bowling continues as a popular pursuit at Suburban Lanes in Decatur.  The program is held each week on a Thursday and are currently working towards their 1st tournament in December.

Veterans bowling at Suburban lanes in Decatur.

Swimming with coach Fred Lamback continues as a regular program.  Veterans and injured active duty members can work with coach Fred on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 12pm—1:30pm at Fort Gordon.

For more information about any of our veteran programs or to register to join a program please contact  Jeff Jones on 404-270-2036 or email jjones@blazesports.org.

Give the gift of sport this holiday season and help create more opportunities for disabled veterans and active duty service members by donating to BlazeSports.  Click HERE to make a donation.

Grant funding for these programs is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs.  These grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the armed forces.

Posted in Archery, Bowling, Cycling, News, Programs, Veterans |