On Friday February 7th the BlazeDay team visited The Epstein School in Sandy Springs.
Throughout the day students from Kindergarten – 8th Grade took part in the Paralympic-style activities.
Former Blazers Maggie Frederick and James Adams joined the Blaze Staff and fielded some great questions from the Epstein students about their experiences as an athlete with a disability.
Thanks to all at The Epstein School for hosting us!
Interested in hosting a BlazeDay at your school or in your local community? Find out more HERE
James Adams leads Sitting Volleyball
Epstein students line up for wheelchair relays
Volleyball with Maggie Frederick
An adpated version of the Paralympic sport of Goal Ball
BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks travel to Omaha, Nebraska for the 2014 Midwest Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, or as it is affectionately referred to by the locals – The Throw Down in the Dawg Pound. The Hawks will play 6 games in two days including 3 games against top 10 ranked teams in the country. The Hawks will be represented by a partial Varsity squad of 7 players:
- Samuel Armas #2 Villa Rica
- Joshua Joines #11 Kennesaw
- Treyvon Smith #14 Athens
- Chance Boyd #15 Atlanta
- Brent O’Grady #23 Marietta
- Bryan Powell #25 Marietta
- Luke Hutchinson #43 Marietta
Their schedule includes:
Saturday, Feb 8
- 11:30 am v Sioux Falls (ND) #18
- 1:00 pm v Tulsa (OK) not in top 32
- 4:30 pm v Timberwolves (MN) #4
- 7:00 pm v Dallas (TX) #6
Sunday, Feb 9
- 8:30 am v Nebraska #2
- 10:00 am v Utah not in top 32
The Hawks finished 19th last year and hope to improve their national ranking to be able to play in the top 16 at this year’s National Championships.
Follow the Hawks progress here, on Twitter of Facebook as they fight their way through the Dawg Pound.
Wheelchair Rugby, Smashing Stereotypes One Hit at a Time
When: January 22, 2014, 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST
Presenters: Jeff Jones, BlazeSports America, USA Head Coach James Gumbert, and current co-captain and USA National Team member, Joe Delagrave
Continuing Education Units: 0.1 CEU credit will be provided
Description: You may have heard of the sport described as Murderball or competition in “Mad Max-style” chairs, created in Canada to give opportunity for quadriplegics. It has been featured in the critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated documentary, Murderball, which follows the pitted rivalry between USA and Canada, and the life of USA Wheelchair Rugby athletes on their quest for gold in the Athens Paralympic games.
Join us for a view into one of the fastest growing parasports in the world, through the eyes of USA Head Coach James Gumbert and current co-captain and USA National Team member, Joe Delagrave. With sellout crowds at the London 2012 Games, three gold medals in 2013, regain of their number one ranking, and a new partnership with USA Rugby, wheelchair rugby is poised to reclaim their World Championship title in 2014 and dominate the Rio 2016 Games. Learn more about the sport as a whole, how it changes lives, and how you can support or get involve.
About the Access to Sport Webinar Series
This webinar series is brought to you by The Reeve Foundation Paralysis Community and BlazeSports. The BlazeSports America Access to Sport webinar series is designed to introduce people with spinal cord injury and other mobility impairments to the wide world of adapted sport.
Amandi and Colin Lancaster
Amandi Rhett joined BlazeSports as a volunteer with the track and field program in 2012 and since then has devoted many hours to training the Georgia Blazers athletes and preparing them for a number of competitions throughout the season.
As a former member of the Women’s Track team at Georgia Tech, Amandi naturally took a lead role with the young track athletes, using her personal experience of training and competing at a high level to encourage the athletes each week to improve on their personal performance.
As a result of her commitment to the training program, Amandi was invited to travel with the team to Minnesota for the Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports (WASUSA) National Junior Disability Championships (NJDC) as head coach for track and field. Amandi was on hand both track side and in the field pits to offer advice and last minute motivation to the athletes as they prepared for their events. The hard work of Amandi and the athletes paid off with every member of the travelling GA Blazers team breaking a National record. The majority of athletes also finished 1st place in each of their track or field events – a fantastic achievement and the culmination of an excellent season.
In addition to her love of the sport of track and field, Amandi also has a strong interest in Prosthetics and Orthotics and volunteering for BlazeSports is a great way to combine her passion for both. She recounts how participation in track and field has had a profound impact on her life.
“It has afforded me a great education and an opportunity to travel the world. Mostly, I love how participation in athletics builds discipline, character, and self confidence in young people and I have enjoyed participating in the personal growth and development of the Georgia Blazers Track and Field team.”
BlazeSports is delighted to have Amandi as part of the team and would like to thank her for her time, energy and commitment to the Track and Field program over the past two years.
BlazeSports sends our thoughts and prayers to all the runners, spectators, and families affected by Monday’s horrific attack on a treasured national sporting and civic event. Our own Ann Cody reflects on what the Boston Marathon means to the athletes who dream of making that final turn onto Boylston Street.
On Patriot’s Day all of Boston comes together, as they have for over 100 years to stage one of the great sporting events in the world. The entire city celebrates this race and its athletes. The race course is lined with spectators who take the time to look up your race number so they can cheer you on by name, the smell of barbeque permeates the air tempting you to stop for a bite, and college students offer you a beverage as you pass on by. It is an incredibly celebratory event for everyone.
The Boston Marathon was the biggest race on my calendar when I was an elite wheelchair racer. My coach is from Boston and he wouldn’t have it any other way. Boston is a rite of passage for marathon runners and racers. Qualifying for and competing in Boston is a major life achievement. Family and friends – the people we treasure the most – make the pilgrimage to Boston to watch us race in the Marathon. My most treasured people have been spectators in those stands on Boylston Street.
Long before the Paralympics gained worldwide attention, the city and people of Boston were celebrating our sport and our athletes. From the race start to the press conferences to the awards ceremony to one of the most coveted prize purses in the world, Boston rolls out its red carpet for wheelchair racers. Television crews capture the lead racers and commentators call the entire race. The Boston Globe made household names of Jean Driscoll and Ernst van Dyke among others. We owe them our gratitude for hosting one of the great sporting events in the world.
For now, we will keep the city and the people of Boston in our hearts.
Written by Ann Cody, BlazeSports Director of Policy and Outreach
By Charity Mahone, BlazeSports Intern
Last semester, my professor, invited a representative from BlazeSports America to my Introduction to Sports Management course at Georgia State University. Admittedly, I was unaware of the organization. To be honest, I was quite familiar with the opportunities in athletics and professional sports. I never considered the possibility of working with individuals with a physical disability as it pertains to sports. Nevertheless, Dan Humphreys did an exceptional job explaining how individuals with physical disabilities actively participate in sports. Then he discussed the purpose of BlazeSports America and how the organization impacts the disability sports world.
After class, I immediately pursued an opportunity to be an intern at the organization. At the time, Jeff Jones, Director of Sport & Community Programs, was unavailable to extend me an interview. He was away on business. He promised me he would provide me the opportunity to interview with him when he returned. I believe a week or two passed. Honestly, I thought he forgot about me. I was wrong. When he returned, he did exactly what he told me—contacted me for an interview. That meant a lot to me. After the interview, he asked me when I needed to hear an answer by. I told him as soon as possible. Guess what? The very next day, he extended me an internship opportunity. Once again, he did exactly what he promised. As a student seeking to gain experience, his consistency further compelled me to take the internship opportunity with the BlazeSports.
Unfortunately, some students have a far from rewarding experience at their internship. Sadly, these students spend majority of their internship handling small task such as—filing or making copies. However, I am not having that experience with BlazeSports America. I have only interned three weeks with the organization but I am beyond happy with my choice. Why, you may ask? I have been given the opportunity to provide assistance to BIG events hosted by Blaze such as—The South Eastern Wheelchair Basketball Conference Championship, the Roosevelt Games, and the Dixie Games. Also my supervisor, Gillian Sharp, continues to provide me with daily opportunities to enhance my professional skills. For instance, just yesterday she invited me to accompany her to a business meeting and she even asked for my input. My supervisor asked for my input!
I am grateful and blessed to work with an organization that is focused with not only making the community better but making their employees and interns better professionals as well.
As we enter 2013 I can’t help but think of the reports (http://azstarnet.com/news/national/some-states-opt-to-keep-cursive-in-curriculum/article_4e128d03-2fe4-5563-bd6e-e4a28da75d04.html) of 45 states considering curriculum changes that eliminate cursive handwriting in favor of keyboarding skills. While this may simply be a sign of progress I shudder to think of a world in a few years where I show my niece (almost three years old now) a hand-written memento from her great-grandmother and she turns to me with a puzzled looks and asks “What language is that?”
While the demise of cursive handwriting may not be the end of the world, it comes at the same time that social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are littered with contractions, slang, abbreviations, and acronyms that have all but replaced the lexicon and grammar that was part of the daily grade school and middle school curriculum for Generation X. In many ways this is a result of limited space and time constraints coupled with the main objective of quickly communicating a simple, straight forward piece of information through social media. But what is the cost of this new social media language? The answer may lie in part in how deeply these habits have infiltrated our use of language and grammar in areas outside the social media context.
Have you allowed LOL and CU L8R to creep into your everyday lexicon? Without the benefit of MS Word Spelling & Grammar Check do you know when to use there, their, and they’re or its and it’s? Is your resume free from all spelling and grammar errors? This article (http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/07/i_wont_hire_people_who_use_poo.html) by iFixit CEO KYLE WIENS posted on the Harvard Business Review Blog Network discusses the importance of grammar in today’s job market.
We want to hear from you. Do you think social media slang can affect the use of proper grammar in other areas of communication?