BlazeSports – Haiti Cultural Exchange Experience

Haitians Wrap Up Exchange Trip to United States

After a busy weekend, the Haitian group of campers and leaders, who are participating in our U.S. Department of State – SportsUnited funded exchange trip, made their way to the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute in Warm Springs, GA to spend five days at BlazeCamp.

After unpacking their bags, the Haitian group leaders joined their American peers for camp training while the campers took a tour of the Little White House. There they learned about the history of former U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who himself had a physical disability but never let this get in the way of his career and achievements.

The following day the U.S. campers arrived and from the outset it was evident that the language barrier was not going to be a big issue when I came to both groups interacting and having fun. It didn’t take long for everyone to start to relax and enjoy playing games with one another. Throughout the week more and more friendships were created between the two groups. U.S. camper Derek Duvell’s favorite part of the week was getting to know the Haitians and learning more about their culture.

During camp, both the Haitian campers and leaders were trying new activities they’ve never experienced before. Some activities included learning to swim, archery and track and field events. A common favorite was being able to go out on the lake in canoes, kayaks and paddleboats. Everyone was having a good time Kayakrowing under the fountain to cool off on the hot day. A true culture exchange moment came during the nights at the camp fire where the leaders taught everyone games that Haitian children play in their country. All the campers were smiling, laughing and enjoying learning the new games.

On the last night of camp, everyone dressed up and threw on a cowboy hat, bandana and sheriff badges for the hoedown party. Once they heard the music, people were showing off their best dance moves and having a great time. To end the week at camp, the campers split up into teams representing different countries for a mini Paralympic Games where more activities were played. Once the day started wrapping up, it was time to say goodbye to a group of people who truly made the week an unforgettable one.Haitians Hoedown

For their last day, the group was able to buy some souvenirs for themselves and family members and have an “all American” style sleepover at the Powder Springs First United Methodist Church.

Everyone was sad to see the Haitian exchange group fly on Sunday after 10 fantastic days in Atlanta but at the same time happy that new lasting friendships had been established. 

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Posted in Camp, Featured, Global Initiatives, Haiti, International, Internships, News |

BlazeSports Summer Programs

 

 

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This Summer, BlazeSports is working with a variety of excellent partners to bring you a range of fun sporting activities for children aged 6-18 with physical disabilities.  Check out all that’s on offer below!

BlazeCamp

When: May 28th – June 1st  

Where: Camp Dream, Roosevelt Institute for Rehabilitation, Warm Springs, GA

Who: Children aged 8-18 with a Physical Disability

Cost: $350

To register complete the online Interest form: http://www.blazesports.org/programs/blazecamp/

Our multisport residential summer camp will take place at the beautiful camp location in Warm springs Georgia.  Packed full of sports and activities, fun and friendship!   Limited Spaces still available.

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Blaze All Stars Summer Sports Camp (Cerebral Palsy specific)

When:  June 12th, 13th, 14th 3.30pm – 5.30pm

Where: Hembree park, 850 Hembree Rd, Roswell, GA 30076

Who: Children aged 6-18 with Cerebral Palsy (ambulant or wheelchair user)

Cost: $50 / 3 day camp

Register online today:  https://blazesports.wufoo.com/forms/blaze-allstars-sports-camp-registration-form/

Come along to Hembree Park and try out a range of different sports including tennis, soccer, baseball, basketball and boccia. 

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Adaptive Water Sports Days

When:  June 10th, 25th and July 30th (Leave 8am from ATL. Return 5pm)

Where: Lake Tobesofkee, Macon, GA (BlazeSports run transport from Atlanta)

Who: Children aged 6-18 with physical disabilities 

Cost: $10 per person per day

To reserve a place email : gsharp@blazsports.org or call (404) 270 2034

First come first served (limit of 12 people each day)

Try a variety of water sports including sit ski, jet ski, sailing, kayaking and tubing.  Activities provided and supervised  by Phil Jackson at Lake Tobesofkee Aquatics.

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Soccer Camps

These camps are designed to teach the game of soccer to children aged 6-18  with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke, or amputation. Participants should be ambulant (able to walk unassisted) and be independent with personal care. The primary goal is to develop fitness and have fun through the game of soccer.

There are 2 camp locations. To register follow the link below:

Roswell Recreation and Parks, July 8th – 12th 

http://registration.challengersports.com/CampUrl.asp?Uid=1-3GECU0X8

Norcross Soccer Academy, July 22nd – 26th 

http://registration.challengersports.com/CampUrl.asp?Uid=1-QPCVUQFD 

If you have any questions about any of our summer opportunities please call Gillian on (404) 270-2034 or email gsharp@blazesports.org

 

Posted in Athletics (Track and Field), Camp, Football 7-a-side, News, Programs, Wheelchair Basketball |

Haitian’s Prepare for Sports United Funded Trip to US BlazeCamp

BlazeSports Haiti this week hosted a workshop in Port-au-Prince for parents of the 12 Haitian children with physical disabilities who will be travelling to Atlanta for BlazeCamp in May.

The meeting provided an opportunity for the parents to learn more about the exciting activities that their children will experience during their trip to the US between May 24th–June 2nd . It also provided the chance for those attending to meet with the six emerging Haitian sports leaders who will be accompanying the group.

During the exchange trip the children will be attending BlazeCamp at Roosevelt Warm Springs, from May 28th – June 1st and will have the opportunity to experience a taste of American life during several excursions around the City of Atlanta.

During the workshop the parents were shown a short video of the training in which the Haitian leaders had recently participated in preparation for the trip, and were provided with some background on the Sports United program.

Haiti Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6npzInkpoYI

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The parents were also shown video of some of the activities the children will be participating during their time at BlazeCamp and given the opportunity to ask questions.

BlazeCamp Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1l4AqIe4LSU

Director of BlazeSports Haiti, Daniel Pierre Charles said “some of the parents are naturally nervous regarding the exchange trip but we tried to provide them with as much information as possible and we used team building sessions for them to get to know the staff and also each other.  In the end everyone was extremely excited about this once in a life time opportunity”.

Do you stay in the US and want your child to have the opportunity to be at BlazeSports Summer Camp?  Sign up your child for BlazeCamp now!

Registration form: http://www.blazesports.org/programs/blazecamp/

For more information regarding BlazeCamp and other opportunities for children and youth with physical disabilities please contact our office: email info@blazesports.org or telephone 404 270 2000.

 

Posted in Camp, Featured, Haiti, News |

Video Exclusive: Sport as a Vehicle of Change in Haiti

 

As part of its multi-year project, funded by USAID,  US Department of State (SportsUnited) and the UNOSDP, BlazeSports is continuing to provide new and improved opportunities for people with disabilities in Haiti to participate in sport. Following our extensive in country work, and with specific support from SportsUnited, a delegation of 20 youth with disabilities and emerging leaders from Haiti will travel to Georgia to participate in BlazeSports Summer Camp. Youth with disabilities from Haiti will join with their peers from Georgia and across the US in a 10 day cultural sports exchange at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation. The residential camp will include track and field, swimming, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, boccia, wheelchair lacrosse, and table tennis. Additional activities include water skiing, scuba, kayaking/canoeing, fishing, camp fires and bowling.

The video below provides an insight to the activities which Blaze staff and US based exchanged participants experienced when they recently traveled to Haiti:

– See more at: http://www.blazesports.org/2013/02/haitians-to-participate-in-blazecamp/#sthash.Q601p4tj.dpuf

 

 

 

 

During the 7 day sport and cultural exchange experience, BlazeSports had a key role in supporting the Haitian Paralympic Committee National Disability Sport Festival. Additionally, Blaze staff delivered Paralympic sport training to 96 young leaders, coaches, and instructors in order to increase capacity of Haitians involved in Paralympic sport. Moreover, BlazeSports provided a cultural exchange opportunity for 4 Americans including 3 members of the US Paralympic soccer team and a sport management student from Springfield College.

 

Posted in Camp, Featured, Haiti, International, News |

BLAZECAMP 2013 Registration is OPEN!!

 

We are delighted to announce that registration for BlazeCamp2013 is now OPEN!

BlazeCamp2013 will run from May 28th – June 1st at our fully accessible camp location in Warm Springs Georgia.

Please visit this link to register your interest and find out everything you need to know about this unique summer camp experience for youth aged 8-18 with a physical disability:

http://www.blazesports.org/programs/blazecamp/

PASS IT ON! – do you know anyone who would love to go to BlazeCamp 2013?

Posted in Camp, Featured, News |