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BlazeSports International just returned from Uganda this month after hosting amazing USAID Sports for Youth with Physical Disabilities Uganda Initiative Training Workshops & Festivals in both Kampala & Gulu. The trip was part of an initiative in partnership with USAID to host eight training workshops from 2017-2019 to equip leaders in Uganda with inclusive strategies to engage youth with physical disabilities through sport and activity.
Each training event was followed by inclusive sports festivals for the children with and without disabilities (reaching nearly 1,000 children) as an opportunity for trained leaders to implement learned skills and to promote positive messaging regarding individuals with physical disabilities. Read the full story here.
McClain Hermes Medals in 5 Events & brings home the GOLD from the World Para Swimming Championships!
Congratulations to our very own Team USA member, McClain Hermes for her amazing debut at the 2017 World Para Swimming Championships in Mexico City. McClain started the competition strong securing the first silver medal for Team USA at the Francisco Marquez Olympic Swimming Pool, swimming the S11 100 free in a time of 1:19.67 before going on to set an American record and win the gold in the 400 free (5:46.00) in her world championships debut!
McClain’s journey was amazing, medaling in every event she swam for a total of 5 medals:
- DAY 1: she secured the first SILVER for Team USA in the S11 100 free (1:19:67)
- DAY 2: she captured a second SILVER in the S11 100 backstroke making a new American record with a time of 1:26.38
- DAY 4: was a double medal day for McClain winning GOLD and setting another American record in the S11 400-meter freestyle (5:46:00) and BRONZE in the S11 50 free (37.74)
- DAY 5: she closed out her debut with another BRONZE in the SB11 100m Breaststroke
This video was shot posted by Matt Hermes. It shows McClain receiving the GOLD and the national anthem playing in her honor!
McClain on her double-medal day. . .
“It feels really amazing because I’ve had a really hard past year. After Rio, I got really sick and went through a lot. It feels great to show that I can overcome something and perform really well.”
Centennial H.S. All-American is blazing a trail to the top
Congratulations to both the BlazeSports Varsity & Prep Wheelchair Basketball teams! Both are ranked in the Top 10 in the November Rankings for Junior Varsity and Junior Prep NWBA Divisions.
The BlazeSports Jr. Hawks Varsity team earned the rank of #2 in the Nation after going 5-0 and being crowned Varsity Champions of the 2017 Courage Kenny Classic. We’re only second to the TIRR Memorial Hermann Houston Junior Hotwheels (who we haven’t played yet). The RHI Racers, Minnesota Jr. Rolling Timberwolves and Utah Rush round out the top five of the Junior Varsity Division Rankings. The top 16 ranked teams for Varsity will earn an invite to play in the National Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NJWBT) at the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NWBT) presented by ABC medical in Louisville, Kentucky, April 12-15, 2018.
The BlazeSports Prep team was ranked #10 in a highly competitive group. The #5 team is Lakeshore who we lost to in Overtime in Charlotte. The top ranked Prep Division team is the LWSRA Hawks – Prep of the Junior Prep Division followed by the Turnstone Flyers in the 2nd spot. The top five of the Junior Prep Division rankings follow with Minnesota Rolling Rowdies at No. 3, Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets Prep-Purple at No. 4 and the Lakeshore Sharks at No. 5. The top 16 ranked teams from Prep are initially offered an invitation to participant in the National Prep Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NPWBT) at the 2018 NWBT.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR for #GivingTuesday (11/28)
Make a donation through our Facebook page this Tuesday between 8am -9am EST and it can be MATCHED!
On #GivingTuesday, Facebook & The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are helping by matching your individual contributions up to $1,000 per donor. Matching starts at 8 am EST and will continue until $2 million is raised for US nonprofits through Facebook’s charitable giving tools.
- There’s never been a better time to give!
- Match begins November 28th at 8am EST
- Donate during our Power Hour 8am – 9am EST and your donation may be matched. Plus, your donation can help us win an additional $1,000 from Work for Good for the most individual donations in a power hour.
- Donations can be matched up to $50,000 per nonprofit with a max of $1,000 per donor until the matching funds run out.
- Facebook is also waiving all fees for donations for #GivingTuesday
Every dollar you give to BlazeSports America on #GivingTuesday goes toward helping us improve the lives of youth and veterans with disabilities through adaptive sports.
BlazeSports America is committed to changing lives through sports and recreation, training and education, and creating an equal playing field for all. We see first-hand the incredibly positive impact sports can make for people with physical disabilities – on both athletes and their families. Our youth programs increase the confidence of kids and help improve academic success as well as physical fitness. Our veteran programs are saving lives and helping veterans re-integrate successfully in their communities.