BlazeSports – Haiti Cultural Exchange Experience

Haitians Wrap Up Exchange Trip to United States

After a busy weekend, the Haitian group of campers and leaders, who are participating in our U.S. Department of State – SportsUnited funded exchange trip, made their way to the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute in Warm Springs, GA to spend five days at BlazeCamp.

After unpacking their bags, the Haitian group leaders joined their American peers for camp training while the campers took a tour of the Little White House. There they learned about the history of former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who himself had a physical disability but never let this get in the way of his career and achievements.

The following day the U.S. campers arrived and from the outset it was evident that the language barrier was not going to be a big issue when I came to both groups interacting and having fun. It didn’t take long for everyone to start to relax and enjoy playing games with one another. Throughout the week more and more friendships were created between the two groups. U.S. camper Derek Duvell’s favorite part of the week was getting to know the Haitians and learning more about their culture.

During camp, both the Haitian campers and leaders were trying new activities they’ve never experienced before. Some activities included learning to swim, archery and track and field events. A common favorite was being able to go out on the lake in canoes, kayaks and paddleboats. Everyone was having a good time Kayakrowing under the fountain to cool off on the hot day. A true culture exchange moment came during the nights at the camp fire where the leaders taught everyone games that Haitian children play in their country. All the campers were smiling, laughing and enjoying learning the new games.

On the last night of camp, everyone dressed up and threw on a cowboy hat, bandana and sheriff badges for the hoedown party. Once they heard the music, people were showing off their best dance moves and having a great time. To end the week at camp, the campers split up into teams representing different countries for a mini Paralympic Games where more activities were played. Once the day started wrapping up, it was time to say goodbye to a group of people who truly made the week an unforgettable one.Haitians Hoedown

For their last day, the group was able to buy some souvenirs for themselves and family members and have an “all American” style sleepover at the Powder Springs First United Methodist Church.

Everyone was sad to see the Haitian exchange group fly on Sunday after 10 fantastic days in Atlanta but at the same time happy that new lasting friendships had been established. 

ad

 

 

Posted in Camp, Featured, Global Initiatives, Haiti, International, Internships, News |

Webinar: Program Access in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism

 

The NIDRR-funded ADA National Network presents a webinar on Program Access in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, May 22nd at 2pm EDT. John Wodatch, retired Disability Section Chief at the US Department of Justice, and Ray Bloomer, Accessibility Specialist with the National Park Service and Director of Education at the National Center on Accessibility, discuss how the program access standard in Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act applies to parks, recreation, and places of tourism. Registration for this program is free but required.

 

Posted in News |

Study Demonstrates Benefit of Exercise for People with Physical Disabilities

 

The NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Physical Disabilities published Self-Reported Depression and Physical Activity in Adults with Mobility Impairments (abstract) in the April issue of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The authors studied the relationship between depression and physical activity in persons with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, and post-polio syndrome, and looked at the impact of physical activity on depression levels in these groups. The major finding was that depression is lower in people who are more active.

 
Posted in News |

Wheelchair LaCrosse Hits Atlanta!!

logo

 

DSC_0696

WLAX ATL is starting a summer league and we are looking for athletes who would like to play on a regular basis or just come out and give it a try. To learn more about WLAX ATL go to our website www.WLAXATL.com or click on the link below: 

http://vimeo.com/47342908 

DSC_1560-1

If you are interested in our program please contact Karen or Sam Fallon at kvfallon@msn.com

We will play on Saturdays at The Cooler in Alpharetta.  We have the equipment –  we just need the players!!

DSC_1539

 
Posted in News, Wheelchair Lacrosse |

BlazeSports, the NWSA and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Present Access to Sport – Wheelchair Softball

On Wednesday, May 15th , BlazeSports America and the National Wheelchair Softball Association joined the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation to introduce the adapted version of America’s favorite pastime – wheelchair softball, featuring the personal story of standout athlete Brent Rasmussen and presented by Hall of Famer Bruce Froendt.

You can view the video archive of the webinar by clicking HERE.

 

Posted in Featured, News, Wheelchair Softball |

BlazeSports Summer Programs

 

 

 header

This Summer, BlazeSports is working with a variety of excellent partners to bring you a range of fun sporting activities for children aged 6-18 with physical disabilities.  Check out all that’s on offer below!

BlazeCamp

When: May 28th – June 1st  

Where: Camp Dream, Roosevelt Institute for Rehabilitation, Warm Springs, GA

Who: Children aged 8-18 with a Physical Disability

Cost: $350

To register complete the online Interest form: http://www.blazesports.org/programs/blazecamp/

Our multisport residential summer camp will take place at the beautiful camp location in Warm springs Georgia.  Packed full of sports and activities, fun and friendship!   Limited Spaces still available.

DSC_4192

Blaze All Stars Summer Sports Camp (Cerebral Palsy specific)

When:  June 12th, 13th, 14th 3.30pm – 5.30pm

Where: Hembree park, 850 Hembree Rd, Roswell, GA 30076

Who: Children aged 6-18 with Cerebral Palsy (ambulant or wheelchair user)

Cost: $50 / 3 day camp

Register online today:  https://blazesports.wufoo.com/forms/blaze-allstars-sports-camp-registration-form/

Come along to Hembree Park and try out a range of different sports including tennis, soccer, baseball, basketball and boccia. 

 DSC_3937

Adaptive Water Sports Days

When:  June 10th, 25th and July 30th (Leave 8am from ATL. Return 5pm)

Where: Lake Tobesofkee, Macon, GA (BlazeSports run transport from Atlanta)

Who: Children aged 6-18 with physical disabilities 

Cost: $10 per person per day

To reserve a place email : gsharp@blazsports.org or call (404) 270 2034

First come first served (limit of 12 people each day)

Try a variety of water sports including sit ski, jet ski, sailing, kayaking and tubing.  Activities provided and supervised  by Phil Jackson at Lake Tobesofkee Aquatics.

DSCN9739

Soccer Camps

These camps are designed to teach the game of soccer to children aged 6-18  with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, or amputation. Participants should be ambulant (able to walk unassisted) and be independent with personal care. The primary goal is to develop fitness and have fun through the game of soccer.

There are 2 camp locations. To register follow the link below:

Roswell Recreation and Parks, July 8th – 12th 

http://registration.challengersports.com/CampUrl.asp?Uid=1-3GECU0X8

Norcross Soccer Academy, July 22nd – 26th 

http://registration.challengersports.com/CampUrl.asp?Uid=1-QPCVUQFD 

If you have any questions about any of our summer opportunities please call Gillian on (404) 270-2034 or email gsharp@blazesports.org

 

Posted in Athletics (Track and Field), Camp, Football 7-a-side, News, Programs, Wheelchair Basketball |

33rd Annual Dixie Games Wrap-Up

covercrop

The 33rd Annual Dixie Games concluded on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12th with Track and Field at Alfred E. Thompson Stadium located on the beautiful campus of Westminster Schools Atlanta.  The 33rd installment of the Dixie Games marked its return to Atlanta after three highly successful years in Tampa.  Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation and Paralympic Sport Club Tampa Bay set the bar high as hosts over the last three years but BlazeSports and Shepherd Center met the challenge and provided three full days of competition.

Highlights from the 2013 Dixie Games include:

  • Over 200 athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers attended the Dixie Games which offered Paralympic-style competition in, Archery, Table Tennis, Boccia, Weightlifting, Track and Field,  Swimming, and Wheelchair Fencing

 

 

  •  One world record was eclipsed in the Long Jump by Josh Kennsion who is a quadrilateral amputee who runs and jumps on prosthetics

 

  • One America’s record was eclipsed in discus by Atlanta athlete Cassie Mitchell who is also a Shepherd Center Athlete

 

  • Numerous National Track and Field records were broken including five by our very own Georgia Blazers; Collin Lancaster, Curran Brown, Bryan Powell, James Adams and Ja-Que Billingsley and,

 

 

  • Curtis Lovejoy, 5-time Paralympian, Shepherd Center Athlete and Coach, was inducted into the Dixie Wheelchair Athletic Association Hall of Fame

 

Spirit of Excellence Award Winners:

Archery:  Catalina Bustamante, Mitchell Miles, Jon Moore 

Fencing:  Ellen Geddes, DeJuan Surrell 

Swimming:  Nigel Hambrick, Ashley Bateman, Beecher Bruno, Madison Stanley 

Table Tennis:  Jeff DeLeon, Catalina Bustamante 

Weightlifting:  Michelle Gowland, Johnnie Alexander, Ja-Que Billingsley, Matthew Giardino 

Boccia:  Tim Field 

Field:  Crystal Molina, Dylan Wilson, Centra Mazyck, James Johnson 

Track:  Curran Brown, Cole Wooten, Michelle Taylor Page, Jose Pulido

Spirit of Excellence Award selection is based upon effort, sportsmanship, knowledge of the sport, and being a role model.

 

You view photos from the 2013 Dixie Games here:

Friday – Archery, Table Tennis, Boccia, Weightlifting
Saturday – Seated Field, Swimming, Wheelchair Fencing
Sunday – Track and Ambulatory Field

Complete results for the 2013 Dixie Games can be downloaded here: 2013 Dixie Games Results.  For more information about the history of the Dixie Games please visit www.DixieGames.org.  

Thank you to all the sponsors, volunteers, athletes, coaches, and officials that made the 2013 Dixie Games a success.

sponsor block

Posted in Archery, Athletics (Track and Field), Boccia, Featured, News, Programs, Swimming, Table Tennis, Veterans, Wheelchair Fencing |