BlazeSports International Heads to Brazil – Host of 2016 Paralympic Games

Where in the world is BlazeSports International? Our international sport development team – Stuart Sharp and Felipe Rodrigues – spent last week in Brazil to provide training and build partnerships in preparation for Rio 2016.

Stuart Sharp, BlazeSports Director of International Development and Head of Technical Control and International Classifier for CPISRA, presented at the CPISRA Classification Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil November 28 – December 2, 2012. BlazeSports is the USA national member organization of the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) which is a founding member of the International Paralympic Committee.

During the conference, Stuart presented CPISRA ‘s 7- a- side Football’s new 5 year development plan and steps that are being implemented to support the transition of the sport becoming an independent body. Along with Dr Raúl Reina, Stuart facilitated a discussion on potential research project proposals on sports specific norms of those involved in CP football.

The international team then met with potential partner organizations including the Brazilian National Association of Sport for People with Physical Disability, Instituto Superar (Professional Paralympic Sport Club), and CERVIM (Rehabilitation Center that provides sport programs) to discuss potential future projects within the country.

The 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio will mark the 20th year anniversary of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics Games. As the legacy of these games, BlazeSports’ goal is to provide knowledge and expertise gained over the last two decades to support the host city in delivering sport development opportunities.

Posted in International, News |

International Day of Persons with Disabilities


Monday, December 3rd is the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  The theme for 2012 is Removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society for all.  According to the U.N. website, persons with disabilities are “the world’s largest minority”, with over one billion people, or approximately 15 per cent of the world’s population, living with some form of disability.

Evidence and experience shows that when barriers to their inclusion are removed and persons with disabilities are empowered to participate fully in societal life, their entire community benefits. Barriers faced by persons with disabilities are, therefore, a detriment to society as a whole, and accessibility is necessary to achieve progress and development for all.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) recognizes that the existence of barriers constitutes a central component of disability. Under the Convention, disability is an evolving concept that “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”

Accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities are fundamental rights recognized by the CRPD and are not only objectives, but also pre-requisites for the enjoyment of other rights. The CRPD (Article 9, accessibility) seeks to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of life and development. It calls upon States Parties to take appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to all aspects of society, on an equal basis with others, as well as to identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to accessibility.

In spite of this, in many parts of the world today, lack of awareness and understanding of accessibility as a cross-cutting development issue remains an obstacle to the achievement of progress and development through the Millennium Development Goals, as well as other internationally agreed outcomes for all.

The commemoration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2012 provides an opportunity to address this exclusion by focusing on promoting accessibility and removing all types of barriers in society.

Visit United Nations Enable for more information on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).


Posted in Blog, Featured, International, Policy/Advocacy |

BlazeSports Disability Sport Training a Success in Amman


In partnership with the Jordan Football Assocation (FA) and the Jordan National Paralympic Committee, BlazeSports concluded its two week training program in Amman, Jordan with two disability football hands-on and interactive courses. Through this November training series alone, 208 participants attended training sessions on 7 different topics as a result of USAID-funding in Jordan. These courses were made possible through partnerships with the Jordan NPC, Scottish Disability Sport, CPISRA, Jordan FA, and International Table Tennis Federation.

Many of the participants trained during this project will deliver sport programs in their own communities with a focus on recruitment and identification of athletes with physical disabilities. A second series of workshops and multi-sport festivals are being planned in the coming months.

Pictures from trainings series in Jordan

Week 2
The first of the two courses provided course participants with the tools to positively include individuals with disabilities into mainstream football sessions. This course also provided participants with information about various disability groups and the opportunities available for footballers with impairments to enjoy and realize their full potential within the sport.

The second 2-day course, delivered in partnership with CPISRA, provided the course participants with background information on Cerebral Palsy 7-A-Side Football and opportunities to apply newly obtained skills in session design, tactical awareness and classification, in particular with members of the recently formed Jordanian CP Football program.

Week 1
BlazeSports and the Jordan National Paralympic Committee (NPC), hosted Disability Sport Education Courses in General Disability Sport, Athletics, Boccia, Wheelchair Basketball, and Table Tennis. Jordan NPC Technical Director, Jasser Nuweiran remarked, “It’s been 4 years since the JPC has hosted Paralympic trainings in Amman. We couldn’t be happier with [our] new agreement with BlazeSports. This week we saw the interest in Paralympic sport rise and we were able to train over 100 students, coaches, and administrators.”

Over 50 coaching education candidates are expected to attend the second week of the training series facilitated by BlazeSports and Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association (CPISRA) at the Prince Ra’ad Bin Zeid Sports Complex and at the Jordan Football Association (JFA).

Posted in Featured, International, News |