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 Blog, Georgia Disability Sport Awards, News |

UK Sport and Cultural Exchange kicks off in Washington D.C.

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 |

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 

 

Keynote Speaker: Aimee Copeland

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Performance by: Full Radius Dance

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Do you know an individual or team who should be recognized for their contribution to sport?

  Nominations for the 2014 GA Disability Sports Awards are now OPEN 

NOMINATE HERE

Nominations will be accepted until Friday, October 10, 2014

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 $1395.00

-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

 

PURCHASE EVENT TICKETS HERE

 

 

 

Posted in Featured, Georgia Disability Sport Awards, News |

Celebrating Jon McCullough, 1965-2014

 Update on Jon’s Memorial Services

Here is the link to  Jon’s Obituary

Jon’s family will hold a Memorial Service on Saturday September 6th at 4pm in Virginia. RSVP is requested. 

Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center
600 4-H Center Dr, Front Royal, Virginia 22630
RSVP: Via Facebook event or thelifeofjonmccullough@gmail.com

Join Us – BlazeSports’ Tribute to Jon McCullough – Monday Sept 8th at 3:30pm

Atlanta History Center, Centennial Room
130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, 30305
RSVP: By September 5 to mfrederick@blazesports.org

Light refreshments will be served.

Posted in Featured, News |

Team Blaze Racing at the Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival

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Team Blaze will be participating in the Hong Kong Atlanta Dragon Boat Festival Saturday for the first time, September 13th. This unique race will be held at Lake Lanier where the 1996 Summer Olympic Rowing and Paddling events were hosted. Moving into its eighth year, the Atlanta event is part of a series of races taking place in major metropolitan areas along the east coast including Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, and New York.

Our team, compiled of athletes, family members and staff, will be competing against 50 other teams with over 5,000 spectators that come out to join in the excitement and cultural experience.

If you would like to help sponsor Team Blaze, please find our fundraising page at http://www.gofundme.com/8yv6w8.

All funds raised will contribute towards the ongoing provision and development of sports programs and events for youth and veterans with physical disabilities in GA. Thank you for your support!

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 Dragon Boat Festival History

“Based on an ancient Chinese legend, the Dragon Boat Festival has deep cultural ties, evidenced by the ceremony and ritual surrounding the races. Four days before a traditional festival, the dragon boats are taken from repose to have their heads and tails attached. Typically, a community leader is invited to “dot the eye” of the dragon in a ceremony designed to rouse its sleeping spirit. While in some cultures the dragon is considered to be evil, in Chinese culture dragons are viewed as strong, powerful and frequently a symbol for the spring rains and growth. Dragons are also viewed as protective and benevolent, which is why dragon boat racing is often thought of as a means of spreading good luck. In return for staging the dragon boat races, it is believed that the community will be blessed with happiness and prosperity.

The dragon boat itself is a spectacle to behold. The slim, 39-foot teakwood racer (and fiberglass models) is crafted today in only a handful of boat-yards in Hong Kong. Distinguished by a fierce-looking dragon’s head at the prow and a tail at the stern, traditional dragon boats require thirty days, three craftsmen, and years of practice to produce.” http://www.dragonboatatlanta.com/about/history/

For more information about the event or Team Blaze contact Kit at kmccluskey@blazesports.org or call our office (404) 270 2000.

Posted in Featured, News, Support Us |

BlazeSports at National Junior Disability Championships 2014

Posted in News |

$25K Raised and Matched! Thank You

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