2011 BlazeSports International Conference - (Video Link)
The 11th Annual BlazeSports International Conference on Paralympic Sport and Physical Activity wrapped up on September 18th in Decatur, Georgia, and the consensus says that it was the best ever. The attendees who traveled in from across the country and the globe were treated to sessions from renowned experts and cutting-edge professionals. Training ranged from hands on coaching sessions to policy discussions to a primer on social media, and Orlando Magic Vice President and NBA legend Pat Williams gave a killer keynote address.
Over 30 attendees pursued accreditation as a Certified Disability Sport Specialist (CDSS) through specialized sessions offered through the BlazeSports Institute for Applied Science. The CDSS Program is designed to benefit people at all different levels of engagement in disability sport. Through their participation in the CDSS program, volunteers, coaches, and professionals can demonstrate to employers and organizations that they are leaders in disability sport. The credential signifies the ability to provide safe, effective disability sport programming and knowledge of the latest research in the field. Further, the certification enhances existing credentials such as CTRS, CPRP, PT, OT, and others by demonstrating specialized knowledge in disability sport.
But the conference was not only about attendees receiving information from speakers; it was also about activists, coaches, athletes, and sport and recreation professionals from throughout the disability community coming together to forge friendships and strengthen existing bonds. The disability sports movement relies on these interpersonal connections to build strong networks, disseminate information, and organize events and initiatives. The conference helped to ensure that we–not just BlazeSports but all of us in the movement–will continue to succeed as we work to level the playing field for people with disabilities.
Congrats to everyone who helped make the Conference such a profound success, and a big thanks to all the presenters, attendees and volunteers!