David Bergman and Michael Higgins are blazing across 3,600 miles and 14 states to raise funds & awareness for BlazeSports America!
Great friends, Michael (a Type 1 diabetic) and David have completed multiple Ironman Triathlons, marathons, and other long-distance cycling adventures together. This time they have decided to do go coast-to-coast in 36 days to help veterans and youth with disabilities. They will be joined by their friend and fellow cyclist, Vik Nat in Colorado to finish the journey through the last five states.
Michael is a volunteer coach for the BlazeSports Track & Field team. He has trained Paralympic High School All-Americans and seen first-hand the impact that adaptive sports can have in the mental and physical lives of youth and veterans with disabilities. David is a Pediatrician at The Pediatric Place in Alpharetta, GA. In his practice, he cares for many children with physical and mental disabilities and enjoys seeing all children thrive
David and Michael will pick up an additional rider in Colorado for the last leg of the ride (5 states to go). Vik Nak is honored to join his friends on their journey to support BlazeSports America. A Systems Engineer for Georgia’s Own Credit Union, Vik loves working for a company that supports local charities and often gets involved. Vik is a loving husband of 22 years and proud father of two.
Follow David & Michael’s blog, here to stay abreast of their day-to-day journey and live vicariously from their bicycle seats!
To support David & Michael’s mission, click here to make a tax-deductible contribution to BlazeSportsand indicate “Blaze Across America” in the comment section.
Ride Begins: Tybee Island, GA (Atlantic Ocean) May 27, 2017
Ride Ends: San Francisco, CA (Pacific Ocean) July 3, 2017
14 States: GA-AL-MS-AR-OK-KS-NE-SD-WY-CO-UT-AZ-NV-CA
Total # cycling days: 36 days (we’ll have 2 rest days en route)
Total # cycling miles: 3600 mi
Support Van Drivers:
During their cycling adventure across America, they hope to have cyclists with disabilities join them for various road segments as they head westward. An inspiration to all athletes!
BlazeSports All-Star Camp is a fun, week long, overnight summer camp providing kids, ages 7-17 with a physical disability, a chance to learn and play a variety of adaptive sports and recreational activities.
Kids eligible for camp must have a physical impairment such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, acquired brain injury, dwarfism, amputation, spinal cord injury, visual impairment, muscular dystrophy or other related physical disabilities.
What’s Cool about BlazeSports All-Star Camp!
Our camp is unique in the fact that we cater to a wide range of physical disabilities (ambulant and wheelchair users) and all activities are adapted to match each camper’s ability.
*Wheelchair Basketball *Track and Field *Archery *Swimming
*Rock Climbing *Kayaking *Zip Lining *And much more!!!
New Camp Format! Campers will have the opportunity to try each sport, but also get to choose a “sport track” in wheelchair basketball, track & field, archery or swimming where they can focus on their favorite sports and receive extra coaching.
BlazeSports All-Star Camp coaches are all top level with years of coaching and playing experience. Some of our coaches are collegiate adaptive sport athletes and former Paralympians!
At BlazeSports, we recognize sport as a great way to stay active and healthy, but also as a tool for building life skills. By the end of the week, campers will leave more confident, independent, a better leader and have many new friends!
BlazeSports All-Star Camp takes place at the beautiful and fully accessible Camp Dream in Warm Springs, Georgia. The camp is set on 74 acres of wooded land, located in the grounds of the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation.
Camp Address: 6135 Roosevelt Highway, Warm Springs, GA 31830 Directions
Campers share a room within a large, air conditioned, modern cabin. There are typically 3 or 4 campers in each room. All rooms have an accessible en-suite bathroom with roll-in shower. All linens and towels are provided. There is a large central area within each cabin where campers meet and socialize.
The total cost of camp is $300.
*A limited number of scholarships are available to help with the cost of camp. Please complete the camper registration and a separate scholarship form will be sent to you upon request. Scholarships are decided on an individual application basis.
Please contact Camp Director (email@example.com) for the Camper Application.
How to pay
- Credit card payment can be made over the phone. Call (404) 270-2000
- Checks can be made payable to BlazeSports America and mailed to:
BlazeSports America, 1670 Oakbrook Drive Suite 331 Norcross, GA 30093
Camp Counselors (age 18+)
Camp counselors are the role models for our campers and will be responsible for a team of 6 – 8 campers throughout the week of BlazeSports All-Star Camp. Counselors will assist campers with activities of daily living, provide support and encouragement at all programs and ensures the health, safety and enjoyment of our campers.
The position of Camp Counselor is a volunteer position. Camp Counselors should be 18 years of age or older.
If interested in the position, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for application.
Help send a child to BlazeSports All-Star Camp!
Would you like to help cover the cost of summer camp for a child with a physical disability? Your donation would allow a camper, with financial need, to attend BlazeSports All-Star Camp and have a life changing experience!
Sponsor a camper HERE
Questions about camp? Call (404) 270-2034 or email email@example.com
U.S. Ambassador to Uganda to launch USAID’s Sports for Youth with Disabilities Initiative with BlazeSports International
USAID’s Sports for Youth with Disabilities Initiative is a 36-month sport development and health project in Kampala and Gulu. The project’s goal is to contribute to the improved physical literacy and the increased inclusion of children with physical disabilities in sport and recreation programs in the community. Physical literacy is the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life. This is a growing movement across the globe linked to better health, prevention of chronic health conditions, and improved physical activity. The initiative will host eight training workshops from 2017-2019 that equip 240 local leaders in Uganda on inclusive strategies to engage youth with physical disabilities through sport and activity. Trainings hosted in Kampala and Gulu will be followed by inclusive sports festivals for the children with and without disabilities (reaching nearly 1,000 children) as an opportunity for trained leaders to implement learned skills and to promote positive messaging regarding individuals with physical disabilities.
For Immediate Release
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
U.S. Ambassador to Uganda to launch USAID’s Sports for Youth with Disabilities Initiative with BlazeSports International in Kampala on January 20, 2017
Atlanta (January 20 2017) – U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac will officially launch USAID’s Sports for Youth with Disabilities Initiative during an Adaptive Sports Summit on January 20, 2017 in Kampala. The two-day Summit – a key component of the initiative – convenes key leaders and stakeholders committed to improving the lives of children and youth with disabilities in Uganda. The three-year initiative is led by BlazeSports International and the Uganda Paralympic Committee and made possible due to the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Ambassador Malac noted that, “Right now, nearly 2.5 million Ugandan children – more than 13 percent overall – live with some form of disability. If Uganda is to meet its development potential, we need to provide opportunities to help these children become productive and valued members of society. And we can start by working together to make these children healthier, more physically active, and more empowered in their everyday lives.”
The Adaptive Sports Summit will be held January 19-20, 2017 in Kampala at the Sports View Hotel. The Summit will convene leaders in fields related to disability, sport and physical activity, including community-based organizations, schools and government agencies. Participants will draft a Call to Action Plan at the Summit, which aims to contribute to improved physical activity, participation, inclusion and physical literacy among Ugandan children with physical disabilities, especially girls.
Mpindi Bumali, President of the Uganda National Paralympic Committee and main in-country partner said, “The Plan will build on Uganda’s current strengths and gaps related to inclusion and access to adaptive sport programs. It will identify strategies for various sectors to work together to improve children’s health in Uganda.” Once completed, the Plan will be shared widely with a focus on gathering support from various leaders to take on various aspects of the Plan. A second Summit will be held in 2019 to document project results and implementation of the Plan.
“BlazeSports International is honored to be working with USAID/Uganda, the Uganda National Paralympic Committee and other in-country leaders to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion and ultimately improve access to quality inclusive sport and physical activity programs for kids with disabilities, especially girls, in the country,” said Cynthia Frisina, Executive Director of BlazeSports.
USAID’s Sports for Youth with Disabilities Initiative is a 36-month sport development and health project in Kampala and Gulu. The project’s goal is to contribute to the improved physical literacy and the increased inclusion of children with physical disabilities in sport and recreation programs in the community. Physical literacy is the ability, confidence and desire to be physically active for life. This is a growing movement across the globe linked to better health, prevention of chronic health conditions, and improved physical activity.
The initiative will host eight training workshops from 2017-2019 that equip 240 local leaders in Uganda on inclusive strategies to engage youth with physical disabilities through sport and activity. Trainings hosted in Kampala and Gulu will be followed by inclusive sports festivals for the children with and without disabilities (reaching nearly 1,000 children) as an opportunity for trained leaders to implement learned skills and to promote positive messaging regarding individuals with physical disabilities.
About BlazeSports International
A legacy organization of the 1996 Paralympic Games hosted in Atlanta, BlazeSports International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers children and adults with physical disabilities through adaptive sport and recreation. As a USAID registered Private Voluntary Organization with support from the U.S. Department of State and the United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace, BlazeSports International has worked alongside project partners to launch new sport for social change initiatives and strengthen existing programs in Brazil, Egypt, Haiti, Jordan, Russia, South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago.
For more information, please contact email@example.com or visit www.blazesports.org.
From our families to yours, wishing you the very best holiday!
Congratulations to our BlazeSports Jr. Hawks Varsity & Prep Wheelchair Basketball teams!
NWBA National rankings came out yesterday and our Varsity team is ranked #2 in the nation after we beat (3) of the Top 5 ranked teams at the Rockford Tourney and Prep is ranked #4!
The Top 16 ranked teams get automatic bids/qualifiers to Nationals in April!
Way to go!!
If you’d like to read the article, please go HERE