Author Archives: mgalic
“A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces, but also by the men it remembers, the men it honors.” – President John F. Kennedy
This Memorial Day we honor our heroes that have died while serving our country. However you choose to remember – decorating gravesites, visiting cemetaries, lowering or displaying flags, participating in a local parade – it says that these service men and women have and will not be forgotten. We are forever greatful for their sacrifice.
At this time BlazeSports also gives thanks to our Georgia Blazer Veterans and the many veterans and active duty military who have been wounded in combat.
If you are a veteran or part of the military, and are looking for disability sport opportunities, please check out our military programs page at:http://www.blazesports.org/what-we-do/programs/sports-programs-for-veterans-and-active-duty-service-members/
Get a BlazeSports Tag and Win a Prize!
When you renew your tag or get a new one this year…think of BlazeSports…think of creating more opportunities for kids and veterans with disabilities in Georgia to participate in sport and achieve their full potential. PURCHASE A BLAZESPORTS GEORGIA TAG and BE REWARDED! See details below.
The goal of the Tag, You’re It! campaign is to increase the number of new BlazeSports Georgia speciality tags purchased by the end of 2014. 50 is our goal!
WHEN: Anytime…when you get a new tag or renew an existing tag. (Happy birthday BTW). Or anytime you want to replace your existing tag.
HOW: At your local DMV office or online, look for our tag listed under “BlazeSports Georgia” or “Disabled Athletes”
WHO: All Georgia Residents
WHAT: For every tag purchased, BlazeSports receives $22 out of the every $35 tag purchased, that goes to support our BlazeSports Georgia programs and services.
CONTEST DETAILS: Submit a photo of your tag (and yourself if you want!) along with proof of payment and your name and email to firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 404-270-2039 or via our message on our Facebook page. Your information will automatically be entered into our monthly raffle for a chance to win BlazeSports merchandise and other cool prizes.
January 2014 Spotlight Athlete of the Month- Cathryn Gray
Starting this year, BlazeSports would like to spotlight one of our athletes each month. To start out the year we have selected Cathryn Gray.
Cathryn Gray, a 7th grader in Alpaharetta, GA, took up climbing only a few months ago as part of the Blazing New Trails Climbing program, a partnership between BlazeSports and Catalyst Sports. In that time she has found a sport she not only loves, but that she excels at. Cathryn, who has cerebral palsy, took to climbing instantly and found that she enjoyed not just the energetic nature of the sport but also the fact that she needs to plan, problem solve, be a team member, overcome her fears, persevere and strive to reach her goals.
“Rock climbing is challenging but not impossible. I’m exercising my brain, as well as my arms and legs”
It is this perseverance and ‘can do’ attitude that makes Cathryn an excellent choice for our Athlete Spotlight.
From the first time Cathryn was introduced to climbing at the Stone Summit Climbing Center in Atlanta, she was encouraged to set goals for what she wanted to achieve. At first it was to make it to the top of the smaller wall, then the bigger one, then to master the overhang and with each goal Cathryn set for herself, she embarked on achieving it with a remarkable determination, and always with a smile on her face.
Since this initial introduction Cathryn now climbs regularly with the Catalyst Sports group who practice on Thursday evenings at the Stone Summit. In addition, she is taking part in the 2nd phase of the Blazing New Trails Program in January 2014. The best part of all is that Cathryn now considers herself a “Rock Climber”, which according to Cathryn’s mom “other kids think is really cool!”.
Congratulations to Cathryn on being our Spotlight Athlete. Keep Reaching for the Stars and Blazing New Trails for yourself!
Presented by: Emory University Disability Studies Initiative and BlazeSports America
Read the FULL BlueBlaze Press Release
When: January 31, 2014, 12:30 pm – 2:00pm
(Doors open at 12. Refreshments served. Meet and Greet following event)
Where: Emory Unversity, Center for Ethics, Room 102
Reserve a Space: RSVP to DSI.RSVP@GMAIL.COM
**For ADA Accomodations Requests contact 404-727-9877 or 404-712-2049 (TDDL)
BlazeSports Hawks Travel to Whitewater as #9 in the country
BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varsity Team travel to frigid Whitewater Wisconsin to compete in the Midwest Junior Regional Tournament. A tournament that included 6 of the top 10 Varsity teams in the country. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association posted the first 2015 rankings. The top ten teams include the following teams. The teams in red are in Whitewater this weekend battling to improve their mid-season rankings.
1 Houston TIRR Hotwheels
2 Courage Center Jr. Timberwolves
3 Milwaukee Heat
4 Seattle Jr. Sonics
5 Dallas Jr. Mavericks – White
6 Grand Rapid Jr. Pacers
7 Utah Rush
8 Turnstone Flyers
9 Atlanta Jr. Wheelchair Hawks
10 Nebraska Red Dawgs
The Hawks #9 ranking is their best mid-season ranking in Hawks (Blazer) history. The Hawks play Utah (#7), Milwaukee (#3) and Turnstone (IN) (#8) on Saturday. Sunday’s games will depend on Saturday results.
Day 1: Midwest Junior Regional Tournament
With early morning temperatures in the single digits, BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varsity Team arrived on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater for a 12:00 match up against 7th ranked Utah Rush.
The Hawks started off strong on the offensive side while playing some of the best defense of the year. They led 33-16 at the half behind 20 points from Josh Joines and 6 points from Samuel Armas and 4 points from Treyvon Smith. The Hawks defense held Utah to 34% shooting. The momentum continued through the second half. Head Coach Jason Joines commented “ it was the best basketball we have ever played.” Josh Joines finished with 28 points followed by Sam Armas, KJ Reese and Brent O’Grady with 8 points, Treyvon Smith with 6 points and Jordan Kolowski with 2 points. Hawks win 62-33.
Playing 4-5 games in a two day weekend tournament has it challenges. The Hawks came off a great first game and had to face #3 Milwaukee Heat in a back-to-back game. Momentum is a great thing and the Hawks used it and had a great start in game 2. The Hawks defense held to Heat to 36% shooting while the Hawks shot 46% to build a 25-16 first half lead.
The Heat changed their defense in the second half and the Hawks had trouble getting their shots. Foul trouble in the second half also took away the Hawk’s first half momentum. Starting point guard, Brent O’Grady fouled out while the Hawks second starting guard, Treyvon Smith saw limited second half action due to 4 fouls. The Hawks stayed close to end, but lose 44-38. Josh Joines and Treyvon Smith each scored 10 points. Jordon Kolowski added 8 points while Samuel Armas score 3, and Brent O’Grady and KJ Reese both scored 2 points. Although it was a close and disappointing loss, on the positive side the Hawks held the #3 team in the country to only 16 first half points and a total of 44 points.
The Hawks finished a long day with a 6:00 pm game against the #8 ranked team Turnstone Flyers (IN). The afternoon break gave the Hawks time to regroup and prepare for Game 3. The break was the perfect cure for the Hawks shooting slump in the second half of Game 2. The Hawks scored a season high 42 first half points with 8 of the 9 players on the scoreboard. Treyvon Smith’s 14 points, Josh Joines 8 points and Brent O’Grady’s 8 points led the offensive charge. The Hawks defense was back in fine form holding Turnstone to only 15 points. Hawks lead 42-15 at the half.
The second half allowed the Hawks to rest their starters and give some playing time to the bench. Josh Joines led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Treyvon Smith with 17 and Brent O’Grady with 14. Samuel Armas scored 8. Jordon Kolowski added 4 points while Cameron Elzey and Luke Hutchinson each added 2 points. KJ Reese rounded out the scoring with 1 point. Hawks win 71-43.
The tournament format has the Hawks playing two games on Sunday. The Hawk’s first game will be a rematch against the Turnstone and the final game against #10 Nebraska.
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year from all of us at BlazeSports!
2013 was a great year with much change and a year for which we can truly look back and smile!
Thank you for being part of the BlazeSports Family – whether you are an athlete, a parent, a volunteer, a CDSS holder or attended one of our trainings, one of our funders, a donor, a sponsor, an intern, a camp counselor, a BlazeCamper, a winner of a Georgia Disability Sport Award (or a nominee), a Twitter follower, a Facebook friend, a community partner – in Georgia, across the US and around the world…whatever your connection, you are part of the BlazeSports Family and we thank you for making us the organization we are today.
All the best, BlazeSports Board and Staff