Author Archives: webmaster

Swimmers, Grace Bunke & McClain Hermes interviewed by Michael Koenigs (ABC News)

Friends ‘just keep swimming,’ despite blindness and bone cancer.

BlazeSports Swim Team members and great friends, Grace Bunke & McClain Hermes, were interviewed by Michael Koenigs (ABC News) on what it means to swim together and support each other as one faces progressive blindness and the other fights bone cancer.  See the full interview here:

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Posted in News |

BlazeSports Inaugural Halloween Extravaganza


When:  Sunday, Oct. 29th, 2p – 4p
Where:  Roswell Area Park Community Activity Building
Click here to RSVP

Don’t miss BlazeSports America’s first Halloween Extravaganza, a fun-filled Fall celebration created by BlazeSports America’s new Youth Advisory Board to give the youth (from all our programs) and their families a chance to socialize and get to know each other better. The Extravaganza will include a Halloween costume contest, Halloween candy & treats, Fall-themed picnic yard games, basketball and other fun, sports & recreation opportunities! All BlazeSports youth, families, coaches & friends are invited! Look forward to seeing you there!

If you’re planning to attend and want to contribute to the festivities, here’s a list of items we need and a link to sign-up.  (Please do not feel obligated to bring anything. This is completely optional)

  • Halloween decorations, (inflatable pumpkins, signs, fun decorations)
  • Assorted bags of candy for “trunk or treat”
  • Halloween themed cupcakes, treats, desserts
  • Assorted beverages
  • Yard games, (corn hole, rubber horseshoes, ring toss, jarts, etc.)


A special thanks to the BlazeSports Youth Advisory Board for making this event possible:
Vicki Bunke, Carmen Hermes, Marc Lancaster, Quala Davis, Lorie Vondrak, Sam Zavitz & Tom Kiel

Posted in News |

BlazeSports America 2016 Impact Report

2016 was the realization of a dream. 20 years after the 1996 Paralympic Games were held in Atlanta, Georgia, BlazeSports America continues to deliver every day on our mission to change the lives of individuals with physical disabilities through adaptive sports and recreation. Thank you for being a part of our journey and a partner in helping us transform thousands of lives in such important ways.

BlazeSports America’s mission is to change the lives of children and adults with physical disabilities through adaptive sport and recreation. Since the organization’s start in 1996 following the Atlanta Paralympic Games, more than 997,000 people have been reached worldwide with over 21 million hours of adaptive sports programming and leadership.

This is just a drop in the bucket when looking at the broad scale of how much of an influence BlazeSports America has had on so many youth, parents, veterans, and volunteers.

Click here for the PDF.

Posted in Featured, News |

Register for Our FREE Adaptive Rowing Clinic!

Make plans to join us for this fun, introductory rowing clinic!

SAVE THE DATE: Sunday, October 1st

BlazeSports is teaming up again with the Atlanta Rowing Club  to offer you a FREE clinic to see if rowing is the thing for  you!  Come out and enjoy an afternoon learning to row on the Chattahoochee River!  The clinic will be structured to provide basic classification, instruction and potentially move to some on the water demonstrations.

Atlanta Rowing Club

Make plans to join us for this fun, introductory rowing clinic!

Learn More & Register Here

WHO:  People with physical disabilities of all ages.

WHEN:  Sunday, October 1st |   2p – 4p


LOCATION:  Chattahoochee River
Azalea Boat Launch
500 Azalea Drive
Roswell, GA





Posted in News |

Register for our 2017 Fall/Winter Programs!

It’s here!

Check out our Fall/Winter program guide filled with the most up-to-date information about our adaptive sports programs!  From track and field, soccer, archery and rock climbing to  Wheelchair Basketball, Swimming and clinics, water days, veteran swim days and more. . . it’s all in here!  Be sure to register before they all fill up!

Click here for a PDF version of the 2017 Fall/Winter Program Guide

Posted in News, Programs |

FREE Veterans Adaptive Rock Climbing

Posted in News |

2017 Adaptive Sports Summit in Kampala a Success!

On January 19 and 20, 2017, 41 attendees from 33 organizations from Kampala and Gulu representing all sectors came together for the 2017 Adaptive Sports Summit hosted by the Uganda Paralympic Committee and BlazeSports International. The Summit is part of a larger three-year initiative funded by USAID to build capacity related to inclusion and adaptive sport in Uganda and get kids with physical disabilities more active. In the photo above, US Ambassador Deborah Malac and Rosemary Seninde, Ugandan Minister of State for Primary Education, Ministry for Education and Sports spoke to attendees on Day 2 of the Summit in support of the project.

BlazeSports International and the Uganda Paralympic Committee are pleased to present our first e-newsletter for USAID’s Sport for Youth with Disabilities Project.  The purpose of this quarterly newsletter is to provide updates on the project’s progress and share your success stories.  We welcome your feedback, contributions, photo or video stories at

Mini-Grant Funding Request for Application
In March 2017, BlazeSports and the Uganda Paralympic Committee shared a Request for Application with all coalition members to support local adaptive sport programs for youth with physical disabilities in Kampala and Gulu.  Ten applications were received and are currently under review. Four grantees will be funded. Grantees will be announced in September 2017.  The grants are for the period of Oct 1, 2017 – August 31, 2019.

Meet our Project Ambassadors!
Top Row (left to right): Sam Gombya and David Emong
Bottom Row (left to right): Aidah Katushabe and Charles Okwonga

  • Sam Gombya
    Deputy Mayor for Kampala Central, popular musician, and polio survivor
  • David Emong
    Uganda’s First Paralympic Medalist in 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
  • Aidah Katushabe
    Wheelchair basketball player; 2nd year medical student at Makerere University
  • Charles Okwonga
    Wheelchair basketball player with Gulu Wheelchair Basketball Club


We are grateful to everyone who signed up for one or more of the workgroups. As part of the coalition, the following workgroups were formed:

  1. Communications and Outreach
  2. Training and Capacity Building
  3. “Call to Action” Document
  4. Gulu Region

All workgroup members should have received an email to set a date for our first workgroup meeting in August 2017.  Workgroups will meet quarterly throughout the project via conference call or skype. The Coalition will meet 1-2 times per year in person in Kampala.

What’s Coming Up?

Training Workshop and Youth Inclusive Sports Festivals

  • Dates: Early November 2017
  • Locations: TBD in Kampala and Gulu

Success Stories, Pictures, Events related to adaptive sports and inclusion in your organization, school or community?
We want to hear them. They will be included in future e-newsletters.  Please email

About the USAID Sports for Youth with Disabilities Project

  • Three year project Oct 1, 2016 – Sept 30, 2019
  • Target regions: Kampala and Gulu
  • 3 main project components:
    1. Partnership Development
    2. Capacity Building
    3. Program Development
  • By the end of the project, we hope that together we can:
    • Secure strong multi-sector support and commitment for recommendations in Call to Action document
    • Contribute to the development of a sustainable infrastructure for furthering the goals in the Call to Action
    • Train 240 community-based practitioners in adaptive sport, inclusion and physical literacy
    • Serve 1000 children with and without disabilities through sports festivals and seed-funded programs (50% girls with disabilities)
  • Project Lead: BlazeSports International
  • In-country Project Partner: Uganda Paralympic Committee
Posted in Blog, International, News |