We’re thankful for…

 

#1. The opportunity to work with energetic, fun, determined kids watching them learn new skills, improve their fitness, meet new friends and beam with pride at what they accomplish.

#2. Our Veterans! They’ve been through so much and now they put in so much to achieve new goals and dreams…for some it’s the Paralympics while for others it’s to be able to ride a bike with their families. 

#3. The Families that spend hours every weekend driving long distances and sitting on the side of a court or a swimming pool or a track to make sure their loved ones have the best opportunities available to them.

#4. Our Partners - we are lucky to work with a variety of wonderful organizations and individuals to increase the capacity of what we do and make us better at doing it.

#5. The Supporters and donors who make it all possible! THANK YOU

 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from all at BlazeSports 

 

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Posted in Featured, News |

‘Tis the Season for Giving

Support BlazeSports when you do your online holiday shopping

Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchase each time you make a purchase through AmazonSmile and choose BlazeSports as your charity of choice.

Bookmark this page, http://smile.amazon.com/ch/58-2087265 , to remember this simple way to give back to the BlazeSports each time you make an Amazon purchase.

Your support will help more children, adults and veterans be a part of our impactful programs.

BlazeSports
Posted in Featured, Fund Development, News, Support Us |

GA Disability Sport Awards 2014

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Sunday, November 9th 2014, 2pm – 5pm

Atlanta History Center

130 West Paces Ferry Road

Atlanta, GA 30305 

 

PURCHASE EVENT TICKETS HERE 

 

Keynote Speaker: Aimee Copeland

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Performance by: Full Radius Dance

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  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 |

Announcing the launch of VA Paralympic Soccer Camp Program

In partnership with the U.S. Soccer Federation and U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs, BlazeSports is excited to announce the pilot of the nation’s first “VA Paralympic Soccer Camp” program.

This BlazeSports’ program is designed specifically to identify injured military personnel and ex-service veterans who qualify to compete in Paralympic 7-a-side Soccer. Athletes selected for the program will attend a six day camp held in Atlanta, GA at Oglethorpe University where they will participate in daily soccer sessions under the supervision of qualified U.S Soccer coaches. In total 3 camps will be held in Atlanta this year with all travel, accommodation and food expenses provided to attending athletes. During each camp players will have the opportunity to impress US Soccer coaching staff with the chance of being selected for the Paralympic National Soccer Team.

U.S. Soccer’s Paralympic Head Coach said regarding this new project “this is an exciting new partnership with BlazeSports that will be increase opportunities for injured current and ex service personnel to access this game of soccer. This will hopefully just be the start of many new grassroots partnerships that will in time grow awareness and participation of Paralympic Soccer across the country.”  

For any questions regarding the VA Paralympic Soccer Camp, please contact Sam Zapatka, coordinator of the program by email: szapatka@blazesports.org

VA Poster Group Veterans

Posted in Featured, News |

Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Open Their 2014-15 Season

Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Win Double Honorsprep

The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks were a perfect 9 for 9 at the 2014 North Carolina Winter Classic winning both the Varsity and Prep divisions. The Junior Wheelchair Hawks’ Prep team earned a spot in the championship game with victories on Saturday against the Mississippi Wheelcats, Rollin Hornets (NC) and the Lakeshore Sharks (AL).

The Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep team faced the second year team, the Mississippi Wheelcats in the Championship Game. The Wheelcats proved to be the Hawks’ toughest competition of the weekend scoring 17 points against the Hawks in their first match up, more than twice the Hawks’ other two opponents.  In the Championship Game, the Hawks continued with their trademark tenacious defense led by Collin Lancaster and Taevon Grant holding the Wheelcats to only 4 points at half time. The Hawks got 11 points from Collin Lancaster, with 8 points from Eric Francis and Taevon Grant to lead at the half 29-4. The Hawks use the strong first period to give the chance to play their bench the entire second half.  Hawks win 29-6.

Armas boys

With four straight wins, the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep Team won their third consecutive Winter Classic Championship. In addition to the Championship honors, Collin Lancaster was selected to the All-Tournament Team and Eric Francis was named MVP for the 2014 Winter Classic Prep Tournament.

The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks’ Varsity Team earned a spot in Sunday’s Championship games with four wins on Saturday.  The Hawks would face the local rivals, the Lakeshore Lakers, which in the match-up on Saturday, the Hawks beat 64-24.  Defense was the key to the first win over the Lakers and it would continue during their second game. The Hawks started strong behind 18 points from Josh Joines and 6 points from Treyvon Smith and led 30-19 at half time.  The Hawks defense stiffened in the second half allowed allowing only 8 points. Hawks got points from 8 of their 12 players including: 33 from Josh Joines, Treyvon Smith (11), Samuel Armas (4), Cameron Elzey (4),Brent O’Grady (3) and KJ Reese, Jordan Kozloski and Polina Glukhova who each scored 2 points . Hawks win their third consecutive Varsity Winter Classic Championship, 61-27.

Josh

Josh Joines was selected to the Varsity All-Tournament Team. Josh shot 45 of 72 for a .625 tournament shooting % and had the tournament high point total with 91 points scored.  In the two Lakeshore Games, Josh outscored the entire Lakeshore team, 26-24 and 33-27. Congratulations Josh!

BlazeSports would like to congratulate both the Prep and Varsity team of the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks for their strong start to the 2014-15 season. Next up for the Hawks is a pair of road trips on the weekend of December 5.  The Prep squad travel to Rockford, IL to battle some of the top Prep teams in the Midwest, while the Varsity team travels to Houston to mix it up with a bunch of top 10 teams.

Special thanks to Bridge II Sports and the Charlotte Rollin Hornets for hosting another successful Winter Classic.

 

For more information on the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks, contact Jeff Jones at jjones@blazesports.org or call 404-270-2036.

 

 

 

Posted in Featured, News, Wheelchair Basketball |

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.

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Posted in Georgia Disability Sport Awards, News |

UK Sport and Cultural Exchange

BlazeSports America and UK Sport Exchange participants arrived in Washington, D.C. to kick off the BlazeSports UK Sport and Cultural Exchange project in collaboration with the US Embassy in London.    Seven young people with physical disabilities from the UK along with BlazeSports staff will participate in an incredible experience integrating the two cultures – UK and the US. The Exchange group will spend time in Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA and Montgomery, Alabama,  The purpose of the exchange is… to learn various ways to promote cultural integration between British and American citizens and civil society organizations.  This exchange will also focus on the role of disability sport in inclusion and society.

The 7 participants pose to a picture in the National Mall with the Capitol Hill as a background

The 7 participants pose to a picture in the National Mall with the Capitol Hill as a background

During their time in Washington, D.C. the members of the exchange will explore the Nation’s Capital, tour multiple American universities, participate in a disability awareness day ,and speak with various representatives, advocates, and educators of disability and inclusive sport development.

Here are a few highlights from Washington, DC: 

On the first day, the UK Sport Exchange was spent touring the beautiful city of Washington, D.C. and learning about one aspect of American culture. 

“We went into Washington, D.C. and went to famous sites like the U.S. Capital building, The White House, Abe Memorial, and the Washington Monument. It was such a great day, and I had such a laugh,” Stefan Hoggan, one of our seven participants said on Tuesday morning.

The following day, the Blaze UK Exchange group met with staff members of the United States Agency of International Development (USAID); Charlotte McCain-Mhlapo, Coordinator for Disability and Inclusive Development;Jill Moss, New Media Development and Internet Freedom Fellow; Maryanne Yerkers, Senior Civil Society Specialist, and Leah Maxson, Technical Advisor for Disability. The USAID is one of BlazeSports main funders for international sport development projects. The Exchange participants participated in a round table discussion talking about various topics, such as, the overall goal of USAID, disability rights, social media enforcement, and youth in sport development.

“It has been an incredible experience thus far, and I am looking forward to the rest of the trip. I am beyond thrilled with everything we have learned so far and can’t wait to bring new ideas to Scottish Disability Sport,” group leader, Jennifer Livingstone said.

The participants also had the opportunity to visit U.S. Department of State and Sports United to discuss topics on Sports Diplomacy

The group meets with Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED) at the beautiful Georgetown University campus

The group meets with Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED) at the beautiful Georgetown University campus

Initiatives. Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, Judith Huemann, facilitated a round table discussion, which gave participates the chance to discuss various policies, ask questions, and speak on behalf of their communities in Scotland.

For the remainder of the UK Sport Exchange, activities include a visit to Nationals Park, one of the most accessible MLB stadiums, a round table discussion with Maryland University government representatives, meeting with the Institute for Educational Leadership, and many other learning opportunities. 

Posted in Featured, Global Initiatives, International, News, Policy/Advocacy |