Maggie Frederick is currently participating in the UN Youth Leadership Camp in Bradenton, FL where she will be learning how to use sport as a tool for development and peace. Maggie is former athlete of BlazeSports, serving as an excellent role model and leader. She continues to represent Blaze and grow into an outstanding individual. Here is a reflection from the first, two days at the UN Youth Leadership Camp.
I was really nervous before arriving because I was not sure what to expect of the time spent here. But as soon as I arrived, I realized I would be learning so much; not only from the instructors but the people also attending the camp. There are 34 participants representing 20 countries. I really love interacting with other cultures and languages, and this definitely gives me the opportunity to learn more.
The first day consisted of introductions, along with a welcoming dinner. Before the welcome dinner I had the opportunity to speak on behalf of BlazeSports and why I am here. I am here because sports have done so much for me that I want gain as much information and tools to bring home so that I can encourage others to participate in sport. Everyone here has the same goal: to continue to grow sport in our communities.
What stood out for me is the different types of organizations the other attendees work with. There are a lot of people who work with underprivileged children. Although I have never had the personal experience of working with that group I want to learn as much as I can from these people because I find it very interesting.
On the second day, we learned about the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). It was really interesting when we got to participate in some sports because it was designed almost like our BlazeDays. I was able to demonstrate wheelchair basketball. I showed the group how to push, turn, dribble, and pick the ball up using your wheel. Then we split up into groups. I stayed and led the basketball station. After the session, everyone kept telling me thank you and how much fun they had. It was a really great feeling to know that I was apart of something they learned, and we are only on the second day.
This first two days of learning has really made me excited for more!
Camper: Michael Kitchens
Michael is one of BlazeSports’ wheelchair basketball athletes. He is eleven years old and has never been to camp. When asked if he was nervous to come to camp, he said, “NO! Because I knew lots of people would be here!”. Michael is energetic, playful, and likes to play games. Michael is excited to meet lots of people and fish! He is thrilled to be at camp!
Check out our Day 1 Highlight Video
As summer kicks off, a new and improved BlazeBlog begins!
BlazeSports has been growing in Georgia as well as nationally and globally. Our athletes, staff, and volunteers have gained unique experiences. Since summer is a busy time at Blaze with many exciting programs and events, BlazeSports wants to personally show you what is going on in the Blaze family.
The NEW and INSPIRING BlazeBlog will address personal stories, testimonials, pictures, videos, and many other things posted by our constituents and Blaze staff.
BlazeSports will be hosting its annual Summer BlazeCamp in Warm Springs, GA this week. BlazeCamp is a five day and four night camp filled with various adapted sports and recreation, and lots of fun! Campers will get the opportunity to make life long friendships. Most of the Camp Counselors are former campers themselves taking on new leadership roles. The BlazeBlog will feature stories from individual campers and counselors.
BlazeSports International is continuing to empower people with disabilities worldwide through sport. We will be participating in the UN Youth Leadership Camp 2014, hosted by the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace, on June 8, where our own Felipe Rodrigues will be speaking about our international projects alongside organizations such as Right To Play. He will be raising awareness of all attendees about BlazeSports’ various programs, specifically our Haiti project. The BlazeBlog will feature reflections from our student participants, Maggie and Dimitry, in the leadership camp.
Stay tuned in to read more about events, personal stories, and reflections!
“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/
Over the weekend of April 24-26, Jeff Jones and Sam Zapatka traveled to the campus of Springfield College in Massachusetts to deliver CDSS (Certified Disability Sports Specialist) training to students, faculty, and community members. This is the second of the six total presentations that will be delivered throughout the United States in 2014. In attendance were 30 Springfield College students, 3 Springfield College Professors, as well as 10 members from the surrounding New England community. Throughout the 2 day course, the participants were engaged in different presentations including adaptive sport equipment, Paralympic history, disability advocacy, and more.
The next CDSS presentation will take place in Huntingdon, Alabama July 18-19.
March is always a packed month for BlazeDays in schools due to Exceptional Children’s Week and on March 12th BlazeSports staff visited Haynes Bridge Middle School in Alpharetta. The school is a center school for children with disabilities and a wonderful example of inclusion, especially in P.E. activities. Students with and without a disability naturally paired up for partner activities and there was a excellent atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork.
Students race each other in wheelchair relays
The students moved around the groups trying the Paralympic Sports of sitting volleyball, blind running, wheelchair basketball and boccia. Maggie Frederick and James Adams both answered questions about their experiences as athletes with a disability.
James Adams introduces the BlazeDay concept to the group and talks about the Paralympics
Thanks to Sharon Munzenmeier for arranging the BlazeDay at Haynes Bridge and to the staff and students who took part throughout the day.