FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2015
Cynthia Frisina, Executive Director
James Thomson, President
Boccia governance under new leadership in the US
Atlanta, GA – BlazeSports America is pleased to announce USA Boccia as the non-profit organization that will now serve as both the High Performance Management Organization for the sport of boccia in the US and the US Member of the Boccia International Sport Federation.
BlazeSports has served in this role for over eight years with the support of a dedicated technical committee. “BlazeSports is a multi-sport organization. With our restructuring and strategic planning we recognized that the sport and athletes would be better served by an organization that could focus solely on the sport of boccia and grow the sport in the US,” said Cynthia Frisina, Executive Director of BlazeSports America. USA Boccia is well-poised and prepared to do just that.
USA Boccia is headquartered in New York and lead by President James Thomson, a former boccia athlete and coach. “We have a Board of Directors with over 30 years of experience coaching and playing the sport, and a vision to grow and strengthen the Paralympic Sport of boccia,” remarked Jim Thomson, leaders of USA Boccia.
BlazeSports America and USA Boccia will be work closely together over the remainder of the year to ensure a smooth and successful transition. Boccia will continue to part of BlazeSports sport offerings at the grassroots level, in schools and serving veterans and individuals with physical disabilities.
All information regarding the governance of boccia, information for athletes and coaches and other initiatives can now be found at http://www.usaboccia.org.
About BlazeSports America
BlazeSports America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, that changes the lives of children and adults with physical disabilities through adaptive sport and recreation. Formed in 1993, as the direct legacy of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Paralympic Games, BlazeSports programs and services encourage lifelong health, build leadership skills, foster independence and inclusion, and promote an inclusive society. BlazeSports is a member of United States Olympic Committee Multi-Sport Organization Council and the USA Member Organization of Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association. For more information about BlazeSports, visit http://www.blazesports.org.
About USA Boccia
USA Boccia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in Bay Shore, New York, whose mission is to provide persons with physical disabilities the opportunity to play, learn, and compete in the sport of Boccia on the local, regional, national and international level. USA Boccia is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the High Performance Member Organization for the sport of Boccia. For more information about USA Boccia, visit http://www.usaboccia.org.
Join BlazeSports for our “Last Chance Track & Field Meet and Olympic Day
This event is sanctioned by Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports USA and registered as an official Olympic Day 2015. Athletes will have the opportunity to meet former Paralympians Jessica Galli-Cloy (Track) and Gavin Cloy (Wheelchair Basketball).
Who can attend: All track and field athletes with physical disabilities
Time: 9am check-in, 10am meet start
Date: June 20, 2015
Location: Centennial High School, 9310 Scott Rd. Roswell, GA 30076
BlazeSports Varsity Team Record Best Ever Season Finish
Teams had their sights set on taking down the BlazeSports Jr. Hawks coming into the 2015 National Wheelchair Basketball Championships, but our athletes rose to the occasion and brought their A Game.
The Varsity team entered into the tournament ranked 6th nationally, the highest ranking the BlazeSports Varsity program has seen. With the top ten teams being highly competitive BlazeSports was going to have to up the intensity to gain the wins.
BlazeSports showed that team work and determination could produce a win and advanced to the next round in the bracket after winning game 1. Even though Game 2 was a tough loss against Nebraska, the game had some shining stars including freshman, BlazeSports Hawks’ KJ Reese who provided a solid offense scoring his first 3-pointer of the season.
In Game 3, BlazeSports managed to pull out a win against #7 Seattle. Senior, Brent O’Grady went on an 8-0 run in the 2nd half finding his sweet spot and getting open every play! Samuel Armas grabbed a rebound in the final seconds beating out the buzzer showing the true heart and determination of the team. The final game of the tournament was against #4 Milwaukee Heat, a rematch of the BlazeSports buzzer beater in Whitewater, WI back in January. The Heat came out with vengeance and started to shut down the BlazeSports offense. Leading scorer, sophomore Josh Joines, contributed 18 points including a stellar 3 point shot and Brent O’Grady also hit a 3 pointer. Junior, Luke Hutchinson kicked off the game with a beautiful basket letting the Heat know BlazeSports was there to compete.
Our Varsity team ended the season with a 6th place finish going 2-2 at the tournament.
Fourth National Championship for the BlazeSports Prep Team
Our Prep team came into the national tournament as the defending 3-time National Champions. Our opponents were seen scouting the games, trying to figure out how to stop our mighty BlazeSports Prep team. The athletes calmed their nerves and played fantastic basketball throughout all three games of the tournament.
#33 Jeremiah Million made his first appearance at Nationals as part of the BlazeSports team and had a breakout tournament providing outstanding defense! Offensive powerhouses #4 Eric Francis, #10 Collin Lancaster and #30 Bailey Moody capitalized on scoring opportunities and created a major lead in the Championship game against the Chicago Skyhawks, a repeat of the 2014 Championship game, allowing Coach Marc Lancaster to put in each one of the 13 players making up the BlazeSports roster. Zachary Armas, one of the team’s most vocal and enthusiastic players entered into the game with 2 minutes left, bound and determined to make a basket. With 2 seconds left he got off a shot and swish went the net as the buzzer rang. Tears of joy from players, parents, and spectators flowed freely as the team won their 4th National Championship. A true BlazeSports team effort for the entire tournament.
Our eight month basketball season shows the true dedication from not only the players but from the parents and coaches as well. Our BlazeSports Jr. Hawks are a not only a team, but a family. Congratulations on a season well played!
NWBA National Championship 2015 Team Awards
Prep Championship Game MVP: Collin Lancaster
2nd Team All-Tournament Prep: Eric Francis
1st Team All-Tournament Female Prep: Bailey Moody
2nd Team All-Tournament Varsity: Brent O’Grady
2nd Team All-Academic Varsity: Luke Hutchinson
1st Team All-Academic Varsity: Josh Joines
Presidential Award: Chance Boyd
BlazeSports is honored to be the recipient of the Courage Kenny Award of Merit for Outstanding Leadership presented by the NWBA. This award recognizes BlazeSports’ vision, leadership, and service to the NWBA and development of Junior Division Wheelchair Basketball. We are delighted and honored to receive such a wonderful award!
Join our team for the 2015/2016 Season!
Would you like to get involved in the BlazeSports Wheelchair Baskletball Program?
The BlazeSports Aquathon will aim to raise funds for the overall swim program and to give individual competitive swimmers and families the opportunity to raise money to help pay for their meet entry fees and travel expenses. BlazeSports swimmers or who are non competitive and therefore do not have travel expenses can help raise funds for the overall swim program.
The Aquathon is also open to friends and families to get in the water and take part too!
REGISTER for the BlazeSports Aquathon!
Saturday April 18th 2015 2pm – 4pm.
Agnes Scott College, Swimming Pool
The $50 registration fee will go to BlazeSports and be designated to the swim program to cover coach fees, pool costs and administration costs. Aquathon participants will register as one of the following:
- A BlazeSports competitive swimmer raising money to cover your travel costs
- A friend/family member of a BlazeSports swimmer raising money to help with their travel costs
- A swimmer (BlazeSports or other) raising money for the overall BlazeSports Swim Program
How it works
- Swimmers will set their personal goal for the Aquathon based on their current swim level. E.g. swim 1 length, swim as many lengths in 2 hours etc.
- Swimmers obtain as many pledges as possible (for example $.50 per length or a suggested donation for completing their goal). Prior to the Aquathon, swimmers should solicit parents, relatives, neighbors, friends, work associates, and door-to-door in their neighborhood.
- Each swimmer will have two hours to complete their swim on the day of the Aquathon.
- Laps will be counted and recorded by a counter recruited by each swimmer. A lap counter sheet will be available at the Aquathon.
- After the Aquathon, pledges will be collected based on the actual number of lengths the swimmer swims or for completing their goal e.g. 1 length
Donations will be collected in one of the following ways:
1. A BlazeSports competitive swimmer raising money to cover your travel costs
Collect and keep your own donations.
2. A friend/family member of a BlazeSports swimmer raising money to help with their travel costs
Submit donations directly to the swimmer that you were fundraising for
3. A Swimmer (BlazeSports or other) raising money for the overall BlazeSports Swim Program
Submit a check to BlazeSports America
Contact Gillian Sharp
(404) 270 2034