2014 Boccia Clinics Posted! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to learn about this exciting Paralympic sport

Posted in Boccia, Featured, News, Programs, Veterans |

BlazeSports continues its sport for development work in Haiti

On Friday, March 21st a group of 18 coaches, community leaders, sport professionals gathered at the Centre for Research and Training for Economic and Social Development (CRESFED) for a Sport for Development workshop, facilitated by BlazeSports and Kennesaw State University. The participants had the opportunity to learn about ways in which sport can be use to achieve inclusion in schools and address social issues in Haiti. Dr. Sherrill Hayes, Director of the Masters of Science in Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University, facilitated a roundtable where participants had a chance to not only learn from each other but left with concrete action steps to implement in their communities

photo2  “The UNOSDP funded training hosted by Fondation Gerard Pierre-Charles and BlazeSports America was a top-notch professional event. It was energizing to be in a room filled with Haitian professionals from different government Ministries and local NGOs. Their enthusiasm and willingness to learn from the trainers,  share and learn from each other was the most encouraging aspect of the day-long workshop for me.  The whole process was facilitated by the instantaneous interpretation conducted by two interpreters and heard through headsets. This application of technology made the training flow quickly without the need for frequent pauses. The participants demonstrated their comprehension of the content by engaging with the trainers and having challenging discussions with each other about both the issues facing and the possibilities for sport for development and peace in Haiti. In contrast to many workshops, this group had more energy by the end of the day and was ready to continue the plans they had developed during the day. Thank you to all the project partners and all the Haitian participants for a transformative experience.” – Sherrill Hayes, Director of the Masters in Science in Conflict Management at Kennesaw State University

 

 “The workshop was able to remind each participant the power of sports , not just running every day in the news with large global elitephoto3 athletes with large salaries and a whole industry behind it, but also the other sports, which are performed by anonymous people , who practiced in the streets , squares , on the beaches and in the mountains. That practiced by boys and girls without athletic and muscular bodies , seniors , people with disabilities , ourselves, the sport in which one character is and where winning is not the goal , which educates and forge values, improving health, building citizens , sport for all, which is finally a vector of social development.” – Daniel Pierre-Charles, Director of Youth and Sport Programs at the Foundation Gérard Pierre-Charles

As part of BlazeSports initiative in Haiti, the first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace will be celebrated on April 6th. In partnership with the Ministry of Youth Sport and Civic Engagement (MJSAC, acronym in French) BlazeSports and the Foundation Gérard Pierre-Charles  will organize an inclusive sports festival, with children with physical, sensory, intellectual and children without disabilities. In this festival the youth will discover various Paralympic sports such as boccia, sitting volleyball, and games that allow them to improve the perception, coordination and conditioning of the participants with and without disabilities. It will also be an opportunity to raise awareness of disability rights and promote the values ​​associated with sport for all, such as solidarity, environment, fair-play, cooperation and respect.

Posted in Featured, Haiti, International, Programs, Training and Education |

Coralwood BlazeDay

Blaze visited Coralwood school in Decatur this month as part of their exceptional children’s week activities.  Coralwood is becoming a regular fixture on the calender and we love to visit this unique school.  The student population is Pre K and Kindergarten and has a high number of children with a range of disabilities.  During the BlazeDay the children tried wheelchair relays, goal ball and sitting volleyball.

Thanks to Mr Schoates, PE Teacher and all the staff at Coralwood for hosting us again! As always we had great fun!

Posted in Blog, News, Programs |

Operation Blaze: Veteran Athletes In Training for the Competition Season

Over the course of the last couple of months, our veteran athletes have been extremely active with many weekly programs. As the 

Jacques workoutRoosevelt and Dixie Games approach in April and May, our veteran athletes have been training hard in preparation of bringing home some hardware. Jacques Swafford has recently found his niche in the weight room as he has been training rigorously every Monday and Wednesday at the Coan Recreation Center in Decatur.

Specifically, Jacques is focusing on his field event techniques which include javelin, shot-put, and discus. He is committed to qualifying for the VA standards.  As our indoor archery program makes its way outside to Panola Park at the end of March, our veteran athletes have been very successful under Paralympic Coach Ginger Hopwood.  Keith Thompson, the newest member to our program, has been a standout archer as he routinely hits the bulls-eye.

James cycle

 

 

Despite the bitter cold in the past few months, many of our veteran athletes have attended our cycling program at Panola Park. While the trails are notorious for difficult hills and sharp turns, they do not stop Rony Carolus and James Johnson. Both athletes have improved substantially since the beginning of the season and we look forward to cheering them on during the Roosevelt Games, Dixie Games, and Valor games. 

Are you a veteran or an active duty service member with a physical disability?

Contact Sam Zapatka for information about getting involved: szapatka@blazesports.org  (404) 270 2000

Posted in Blog, Programs, Veterans |

BlazeDay at Trinity School

BlazeSports had a great day at Trinity School on Monday February 24th. Students from 2nd – 6th grade took part in all the Paralympic style activities including our very own Blazer Eric Francis who is a member of the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep Team and a 5th grader at Trinity.  

Eric Francis shows his speed

Eric Francis shows his speed

Eric proved that training pays off when none of his classmates could catch him in wheelchair relays. 

Thanks to all the staff and students at Trinity for welcoming the BlazeSpots staff and for taking so many excellent pictures throughout the day (we stole a few!).

Interested in hosting a BlazeDay at your school or in your local community? Find out more HERE 

Posted in Blog, News, Programs |

Hawks Compete in the Music City Madness

logoBlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks travel to Murfreesboro, TN and Middle Tennessee State University for the 2014 Southern Regional Tournament.  Both the Hawks’ Varsity and Prep squads are looking for a successful tournament as they position themselves for the National Championships in April.

While Atlanta was digging out of its second winter snow storm in as many weeks, the NWBA was releasing the first Varsity Division national rankings of the 2014 season.  The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks received a #12 ranking, up from #19 from the end of the 2013 season.  Although Prep Division rankings were not released, since the Hawks’ Prep team is two-time defending national champions who have not lost since first winning the championships in 2012, we can assume they are still the #1 ranked Prep team.

The Hawks start the three day Music City Madness Tournament with both the Prep and Varsity teams playing at 2:30pm.  The Hawks’ Prep squad will play local rival the Lakeshore Foundation (AL).  The Varsity team will face RHI (IN).  If the Hawks win, they both play their second games on Saturday.  The Varsity’s main competition will be on Saturday and will come from the Houston, Milwaukee or Indiana team.

Follow the Hawks progress here, on Twitter or Facebook .  

Posted in Blog, News, Programs, Wheelchair Basketball |

BlazeDay At Epstein School

On Friday February 7th the BlazeDay team visited The Epstein School in Sandy Springs.

Throughout the day students from Kindergarten – 8th Grade took part in the Paralympic-style activities.

Former Blazers Maggie Frederick and James Adams joined the Blaze Staff and fielded some great questions from the Epstein students about their experiences as an athlete with a disability.

Thanks to all at The Epstein School for hosting us!

Interested in hosting a BlazeDay at your school or in your local community? Find out more HERE

Posted in BlazeDay, Blog, News, Programs |