BlazeSports International: Sports For All Project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

“Sports for All” Project continues in São Paulo, Brazil


Trainees in Sao Paulo enjoyed transferring their learning into a practical setting

This past week, USAID and BlazeSports International “Sports for All” initiative arrived in São Paulo to host a workshop on strategies for inclusion in physical activities and sports. In 2 days, 41 physical activity professionals from SESC Pompéia, participated in trainings to promote the integration of people with and without disabilities in the physical activity environment. Each of the professionals work in different fields but came together to learn how to use adaptive sports such as sit volleyball, boccia, wheelchair basketball and goalboall as a way of inclusion.  

The workshop included training in theory and in practical settings. The theoretical training explained the importance of including the minority without excluding the majority when building strategies for inclusion. The professionals were then able to put these theories into action by practicing different games and activities with each other.

Following these workshops BlazeSports attended the International Seminar on Inclusion in Physical Education and Sports which focused on New Perspectives on Professional Practice. Felipe Rodrigues, BlazeSport’s Director of International Sport for Development presented and participated in a roundtable discussion on the models of inclusion of people with disabilities in physical activity and sports. Alongside 2 other leading professionals in the sport for development field, Felipe presented the USAID and BlazeSports initiative “Sports for All.”

The whole group takin part in the Sport For All Project in Sao Paolo

The whole group taking part in the Sport For All Project in Sao Paolo

BlazeSports is excited to continue working on the USAID initiative throughout 2016 with workshops being held in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and Brasilia in March. As well as a celebration of the USAID and Blazesports initiative “Sports for All,” during next year’s Paralympic games in Rio de Janeiro.


Posted in Blog, News |

BlazeSports Haiti Celebrates

BlazeSports Haiti Celebrates International Day of People with Disabilities


December 3 marked International Day of People with People with Disabilities (IDPD) and BlazeSports Haiti celebrated this important day with a fun and inclusive sport festival at Centre Foyer d’Amour in Port-Au-Prince.  Two hundred children with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities participated together, demonstrating the power of sport and physical activity as vehicles for inclusion.  Many thanks to partners Gerrard Pierre-Charles Foundation, Haiti National Paralympic Committee and participating schools.Institut Monfort 042

Many of the children participating attend one of the three schools in Haiti implementing adapted physical education and physical activity programs developed by BlazeSports as part of an initiative funded by the UN, Office on Sport, Development and Peace.  Programs are facilitated in the schools by staff and teachers trained through this same initiative.




In 1992, the UN proclaimed December 3 as International Day for Persons with Disabilities to raise awareness, across all sectors of society around the world, about the importance of focusing on issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in development, both as beneficiaries and agents of change.  Each year a different them is celebrated.

For more information about BlazeSports’ work in Haiti, contact Felipe Rodrigues at 404-270-2037




Posted in Blog, Featured, News |

GA Disability Sport Awards 2014


Sunday, November 9th 2014, 2pm – 5pm

Atlanta History Center

130 West Paces Ferry Road

Atlanta, GA 30305 




Keynote Speaker: Aimee Copeland


Performance by: Full Radius Dance




  Nominations for the 2014 GA Disability Sports Awards are now CLOSED


BlazeSports America is proud to host this Awards Ceremony as we recognize individuals and teams in the following categories:

  • Male Junior Athlete: male athlete under the age of 18 who participated in an individual or team sport

  • Female Junior Athlete: female athlete under the age of 18 who participated in an individual or team sport

  • Male Adult Athlete: male athlete over the age of 18 who participated in an individual or team sport

  • Female Adult Athlete: female athlete over the age of 18 who participated in an individual or team sport

  • Male Military Athlete: male athlete who is either a veteran or active duty service member with a physical disability who participated in an individual or team sport

  • Female Military Athlete: male athlete who is either a veteran or active duty service member with a physical disability who participated in an individual or team sport

  • Junior Team: a team registered and actively competing in a youth league on the local, state or regional level

  • High School Team: a team registered and actively competing in a school league on the local, state or regional level

  • Adult Team: a team registered and actively competing in an adult league on the local, state or regional level

  • Volunteer of the Year: a person that volunteers in any capacity for an organization or program offering disability sports

  • Coach of the Year: a person that directly coaches an individual athlete, group of individual athletes or a team in disability sports

See the 2013 GA Disability Sports Award Winners 


Event Raffle – Trip for 2 to Las Vegas!

*Approximate value of $2100.00

-Complimentary 3 night stay at one of The Venetian’s or Palazzo’s luxurious suites with VIP Check-In

-Dinner for two at Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio

-Two show tickets to Rock of Ages or Human Nature

-Gondola ride for two

-Airfare for 2 from anywhere within the continental USA 

Drawing: Sunday – November 9, 2014 at the event. Winner does not need to be present.

Ticket price: 1 for $25 or 5 for $100

You can purchase your tickets online or at the event. 

Purchase your Las Vegas raffle tickets here!

 *Please note how many tickets you are buying in the comments section.





Posted in Featured, Georgia Disability Sport Awards, News |

Aimee Copeland to be the 2014 GDSA Keynote Speaker

We are thrilled to announce that Georgia’s own, Aimee Copeland will be our keynote speaker for the 2014 Georgia Disability Sport Awards.

Aimee, a University of West Georgia graduate student, miraculously survived a near fatal case of necrotizing fasciitis after falling from a zip line in May 2012. Against all odds and medical knowledge, Aimee lived through the infection, but lost her entire left leg, right foot and both hands during the process.

Two years since her accident, Aimee is living more independently, staying active and working on her second master’s degree. She enjoys the outdoors and working with others. She continues to live life to the fullest and uses her story to inspire others who face similar struggles. 

The Georgia Disability Sport Awards will be held on Sunday, November 9th from 2pm-5pm at the Atlanta History Center.



Posted in Georgia Disability Sport Awards, News |

UK Exchange highlights Stefan Hoggan

BlazeSports America is currently hosting a UK Sport Exchange for seven participants, all from Scotland. The participants arrived on Saturday, September 6 in Washington, D.C. to tour the city and participate in many round table discussions with various educators, activists, and advocates on sport development and disability rights. We have featured an article kicking off the exchange program, and would like to give one of the seven participants, Stefan Hoggan, the opportunity to reflect on his experience. Stefan Hoggan is a 21-year-old swimmer from Scotland who completes at the competitive level, as well as, maintain a full time position at  local pharmacy. He has already become a huge inspiration and we can’t wait to see all of the things he has to offer. The follow reflection is based on his experience thus far.SH

On the first day, we went into Washington, D.C. and went to famous sites like the Capitol building, The White House, Abe Memorial, and the Washington monument. It was a great day and I had such a laugh. One of our leaders, Emily, learned new words, such as, ‘braw’ and we learned that fossett means ‘tap’ in Scottish. At the end of our day, we had the chance to come together and collectively think of a word that best described our day. After much thinking, we decided on the word: FANDABIDOSEY. In other words, we had a fantastic day interacting with each other and touring various historical monuments and museums.

 The next day was filled with adventure and education. After lunch we were all having a craving for frozen yogurt. Emily made several comments on how good it is in America, and it all made us anxious to try it. We got lost in Washington, D.C. looking for a frozen yogurt shop, but finally found it after talking to two Americans. Even though we walked forever and got a little turned around, we were able to see more of the city, as well as, entertainment along the streets. There was a man dancing in the middle of the road. I was shocked that nobody had stopped him. We finally found the shop, and I can now say that frozen yogurt is brilliant. After our long journey, we met with USAID and learned a lot about disability rights and about how we use sport to get disabled and abled people integrated.

SH2On Day 3, we visited Georgetown University, where we got to tour the campus, which was very cool, and exactly what it’s like in the movies. It is really interesting how different our universities are compared to American universities. Afterwards, we met with Judy Heumann, who is an advocate for disability rights. I was beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to be apart of a round table discussion with many educators and advocates on disability rights. I can’t wait to see what is in store for the remainder of our time in Washington, D.C. 

Posted in Blog |

BlazeSports Wraps Up Summer Camp With City of Milton

One of the highlights of the summer was seeing success with one of our new partnerships with the City of Milton Parks and Recreation Department. Twice a week, BlazeSports would join Camp Joyful Soles to provide two hours of physical activity for the campers.  Joyful Soles is a summer camp for high functioning children with mild cognitive disabilities, ages 13-21 years old. Each camper had the opportunity to learn a variety of sports including boccia, basketball, soccer, baseball, sit volleyball and other group games, along with yoga.

Throughout the summer we saw great improvement in each of the camper’s motor skills, coordination, social skills, confidence and participation. We are looking forward to continuing those improvements and help keep those campers active throughout the year. BlazeSports works to promote living a healthy lifestyle, because children who participate in regular physical activity are happier, healthier and more likely to become active, independent adults.


Camper Highlight

You could always count on first time camper, Brandon, to come into the gym full of energy. Brandon is a sophomore in high school and takes great pride in his boccia game. He doesn’t play competitively, but enjoys playing in his back yard with his brother and mother. Basketball was something that didn’t come as easily to Brandon as some of the other sports, however he said that he improved his skills each time he played and would like to continue playing throughout the year.

Carly, also a sophomore, is a third time veteran camper. She always came in with a smile on her face and a willingness to try whatever was planned for the day. Carly’s favorite sport at camp was baseball. Carly plays basketball for her church league and runs cross country in the fall for her high school. She enjoys being active and encouraged her fellow campers to do the same. She is already excited for BlazeSports to come back to camp next year.

brandon1   carly

Posted in Blog |

BlazeSports Highlights Accomplishing Intern

As Sonja Ast wraps up her internship at BlazeSports, she reflects on her accomplishments and the lives she has impacted, as well as, those who have impacted her.

Sonja, along with three other interns have been working with Blaze athletes for the past two months in various sport and educational programs. The opportunity that BlazeSports has provided her will give her the knowledge and experience she will need to continue in sport recreation.  She’s a senior at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia; currently studying Therapeutic Recreation. Sonja would like to give our Blaze family a reflection of her experience at BlazeSports America.

Being an intern at BLazeSports America has been the best experience of my life. I’m so excited that I got the opportunity to do this because I got to explore the world of adapted sports which I thoroughly enjoyed. I loved helping out with summer basketball practice for the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks. I also really liked being exposed to all the programs and assistive technology that they offer. BlazeSports has also given me a chance get some coaching experience which I hope to aspire to be one day. I highly recommend for other interns to come here, because it’ll truly be the best experience you’ll get.

Posted in Blog |