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.
Blaze visited Coralwood school in Decatur this month as part of their exceptional children’s week activities. Coralwood is becoming a regular fixture on the calender and we love to visit this unique school. The student population is Pre K and Kindergarten and has a high number of children with a range of disabilities. During the BlazeDay the children tried wheelchair relays, goal ball and sitting volleyball.
Thanks to Mr Schoates, PE Teacher and all the staff at Coralwood for hosting us again! As always we had great fun!
Over the course of the last couple of months, our veteran athletes have been extremely active with many weekly programs. As the
Roosevelt and Dixie Games approach in April and May, our veteran athletes have been training hard in preparation of bringing home some hardware. Jacques Swafford has recently found his niche in the weight room as he has been training rigorously every Monday and Wednesday at the Coan Recreation Center in Decatur.
Specifically, Jacques is focusing on his field event techniques which include javelin, shot-put, and discus. He is committed to qualifying for the VA standards. As our indoor archery program makes its way outside to Panola Park at the end of March, our veteran athletes have been very successful under Paralympic Coach Ginger Hopwood. Keith Thompson, the newest member to our program, has been a standout archer as he routinely hits the bulls-eye.
Despite the bitter cold in the past few months, many of our veteran athletes have attended our cycling program at Panola Park. While the trails are notorious for difficult hills and sharp turns, they do not stop Rony Carolus and James Johnson. Both athletes have improved substantially since the beginning of the season and we look forward to cheering them on during the Roosevelt Games, Dixie Games, and Valor games.
Are you a veteran or an active duty service member with a physical disability?
Contact Sam Zapatka for information about getting involved: firstname.lastname@example.org (404) 270 2000