Nov 09, 2010

2011 USABA Goalball Tournament Calendar Announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 9, 2010
Contact: John Potts, USABA
719.534.3805
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Goalball player

Mark your calendars! Tournament dates and locations are established for the 2011 USABA Goalball tournament season. We're excited to announce a new competition site and the host for the 2011 USABA Goalball National Championship Tournament, The College at Brockport, Brockport, New York.

The College at Brockport has a reputation for sporting excellence and has extensive experience in hosting sports camps, NCAA sporting events and other major sporting competitions including the 5th International Special Olympics Games. The College at Brockport is also the home of Camp Abilities Brockport, an annual developmental sports camp for children who are visually impaired, blind, or deafblind.

Sites and dates for 2011 tournaments:

February 26-27, 2011
USABA Midwest Regional/John Bakos Memorial Goalball Tournament
Kalamazoo, Michigan

April 16-17, 2011
USABA/ABANJ Northeast Regional Goalball Tournament
Westmont , New Jersey

April 29-30, 2011
USABA Western Regional Goalball Tournament
Salt Lake City, Utah

June 15-18, 2011
USABA Goalball National Championships
The College at Brockport
Brockport, New York

December 8-10, 2011 (Tentative)
USABA National High School Goalball Championships
(Open to High School students 19 and younger)
St Augustine, Florida

Additionally, Salt Lake City, Utah was selected as host city for the June, 2012 USABA Goalball National Championships. Specific tournament dates aren't finalized and will be announced at a later date.

For additional information concerning the 2011 USABA Goalball schedule, including additional information and registration documents, please visit the USABA website Goalball Sport Information and Calendar: http://www.usaba.org/index.php/sports/calendar/


Mar 24, 2011

Anthem Life Insurance Company Sponsors USABA Ski Festival

Blind and Visually Impaired Skiers take to the Slopes, Erik Weihenmayer serves as Keynote Speaker and Role Model for Blind Athletes

Colorado Springs, CO  (March 4, 2011) – Sponsored by Anthem Life Insurance Company, The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to host the second annual Colorado Winter Ski Festival in Breckenridge, CO, from Friday, March 11 through Monday, March 14. Nineteen blind or visually impaired athletes of all ages and abilities will have the opportunity to learn to ski, race and shoot infrared biathlon rifles coupled with acoustic signals.

“With generous support from Anthem Life, USABA is pleased to partner with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center to provide a meaningful opportunity for 19 individuals who are blind or visually impaired, including our military service members and veterans with eye injuries,” said Mark Lucas, USABA's executive director. 

Highlighting this year's event is motivational speaker, climber and author of “The Adversity Advantage,” Erik Weihenmayer will speak to the USABA athletes, brokers and guests of Anthem Life about harnessing the power of adversity, the importance of a strong "rope team" and the daily struggle to pursue your dreams. Erik is the only blind person in history to reach the summit of the world's highest peak, Mount Everest , and also climb “the seven summits” – which are the highest mountains on all seven continents.

“Clearly, Erik's incredible accomplishments demonstrate that one does not need eyesight to have extraordinary vision”, said Pat Murphy, president and general manager of Anthem Life. “If a person is born with a disability or becomes disabled, including visual impairment, many things in their life change. However, this should not stop a person from enjoying a full, healthy and active lifestyle that includes sports and physical activities. We're proud to once again sponsor this event. It's a unique educational event for brokers and it's inspiring to be around these athletes.”

Trained guides and instructors are provided by the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC), a Colorado non-profit organization committed to expanding the potential of people with disabilities and special needs through meaningful, educational and inspiring outdoor experiences.

“This event has so many positive outcomes,” said Lucas. “People with visual impairments learn new skills so they can maintain an active lifestyle, and attendees can interact with Erik, who is the perfect role model for people in general.”

For more information or a schedule of events, contact Ryan Ortiz, USABA assistant executive director at (719) 660-8410, or go to: http://www.usaba.org.

About USABA

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA's mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. 

To learn more about Erik Weihenmayer and request him as a motivational speaker or learn more about his latest book “The Adversity Advantage,” go to http://www.touchthetop.com/contact.htm

About Anthem Life

Life and Disability products underwritten by Anthem Life Insurance Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


Apr 14, 2011

New Video Available to Provide Guide Runner Basics

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) - U.S. Paralympics, in conjunction with U.S. Association of Blind Athletes, is pleased to announce the release of the video resource Basics of Guide Running for Track & Field and Trail.

Basics of Guide Running for Track & Field and Trail is a user-friendly video for runners interested in becoming guides for visually-impaired athletes. The video's focus includes how to guide a visually-impaired athlete in the long and triple jumps, sprinting events and trail running. The instructors (Jerome Avery, Wesley Williams and Donald Cooper) are guide runners for U.S. Paralympic medalists, both current and retired, and provide concise and insightful tips for guide runners. Paralympic medalists featured in the video are Elexis Gillette and Josiah Jamison (silver and gold medalists, respectively, 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games) and Tim Willis (winner of five Paralympic medals).

“This is an opportunity to open doors for visually-impaired individuals who want to compete in track & field or just to become physically active,” said Cathy Sellers, Associate Director of Track & Field High Performance, U.S. Paralympics. Our objective is to eliminate the athlete's challenge of finding a guide and assist individuals interested in becoming guide runners.”

Mark Lucas, executive director of U.S. Association of Blind Athletes and partner in the video project says, “This DVD is a great tool to introduce athletes, coaches, running clubs and potential guide runners to the simple modifications used to include blind and visually-impaired athletes in the sport of track and field.”

To view the video on-line, click here.

Please feel free to share this link with others in your community.

To request a copy of Basics of Guide Running for Track & Field and Trail or to find out more information about where and how to compete for U.S. Paralympics, please email : .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit: http://usparalympics.org/pages/570

For more information about sports programs for visually impaired athletes, visit the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes website: http://www.usaba.org/


Apr 15, 2011

Funding Requests for 2011 Sports Camps

The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to announce that we are accepting funding proposals for 2011 Sports Camp Projects. Grant amounts will range from $500 to $1,500.

5 Grants of $500 will be awarded to organizations that conduct Sports Camps/Clinics.  For consideration; applicants must submit a proposal which include the following:

  • Dates and location of 2011 camp
  • An outline of camp program, including tentative schedule, sports included, staffing structure, competitions, etc.
  • Measurable outcomes
  • Fees charged (if any) to camp participants
  • The anticipated number of participants, including age range
  • The names, mailing addresses, and email addresses of all participants and staff

6 Grants of $1,000-$1,500 will be awarded to USABA Sports Clubs (application is available upon request). For consideration, applicants must submit a proposal which includes the following:

  • Dates and location of 2011 Camp
  • An outline of camp program, including tentative schedule, sports included, staffing structure, number of participants, age range of participants, competitions, etc.
  • A proposed budget, including anticipated expenditures and revenue
  • Measurable outcomes from expected
  • Fees charged (if any) to camp participants

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS for grants of $1,000-$1,500
Upon receipt of funding, organization will receive a contract including, but not limited to the following:

  • All student athletes and major staff/coaches must be current USABA members
  • Site directors must submit after-action reports. A minimum of 10 participant photos and 2-3 success stories to USABA within 30 days of the camp completion of the camp.
  • All paid and volunteer camp staff must sign the USABA Abuse Prevention Policy statement of understanding
  • All camps requesting use of USABA’s liability insurance must adhere to USABA’s policy to conduct background checks on all staff and volunteers who have direct contact with participants. A complete copy of USABA’s Abuse Prevention Policy is available upon request

DEADLINE DATE:  All applications must be received by April 15, 2011.

NOTIFICATION:  Award recipients will be notified by April 25, 2011.

Submit your request to:

Mark Lucas, U.S. Association of Blind Athletes
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: (719) 630-0422
 


May 17, 2011

Sports Festival / Operation Mission Vision / Rocky Mountain State Games

The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Sports Festival and Mission Vision program provides athletes; including Veterans and active duty Service members who are blind and visually impaired, from all over the United States a unique opportunity to participate in the Rocky Mountain State Games.  Athletes will train, learn, refine their skills and compete alongside their sighted peers in various sports clinics instructed by USABA national coaches.  With the opportunity to hone your athletic skills, you will be empowered to elevate your sport to a higher level and take your improved game back into your own local community-based programs.  Some important dates to remember:

 

Arrival of Trainers and Coaches July 26
Train the Trainer Session (Trainers and Coaches only) July 26 – 27
Arrival of Athletes July 27
Sports Festival / Operation Mission Vision July 27 - 29
Rocky Mountain State Games July 29 - 31
Depart (Trainers, Coaches and Athletes) August 1

The Rocky Mountain State Games is a multi-sport festival for athletes of all ages and athletic abilities.  Recognized by the national Congress of State Games, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the 2011 Rocky Mountain State Games will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Organized and managed by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, the 2011 Rocky Mountain State Games will offer competition in 31+ sports.

Mark you calendars today and be on the watch for additional information on the USABA website (http://www.usaba.org) or contact Rich Cardillo at 719-630-0422 ext 15 or e-mail at   .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for program updates. 


May 20, 2011

Attention, Athletes Ages 12-19

Attention all Goalball Athletes, Judo Athletes, Powerlifters, Track/Field Athletes and Swimmers - Ages 12-19

Team USA

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) will host the 2011 International Blind Sports Federation (ISBA) World Youth and Student Championships in Colorado Springs, CO, July 13-18, 2011.

For consideration to compete in this prestigious event as a member of Team USA, you must:

  • Be a current USABA member.
  • Be a US citizen.
  • Be able to be classified under IBSA's rules (B1, B2, B3).
  • At least 12 years old on July 13, 2011, and not older than 19 years old on July 18, 2011.
  • Be actively competing in your sport:
    • Goalball players must be playing on a school or club team.
    • Track/field athletes, must be training/competing in track/field at school or in a track/running club.
    • Judo athletes must be training in a dojo and competing on a regular basis.
    • Powerlifters must be training and competing in USAPL sanctioned meets.
    • Swimmers must be training and competing in swimming at school or in a swim club.
    • We will be seeking International Paralympic Committee (IPC) sanctioning for track and field and swimming.  If you intend to compete in these sports and believe you may be in a position to establish records or rankings, you may also be required to obtain an IPC Athlete Sport License.
  • Send a letter of intent to USABA by September 1, 2010 which includes,  but is not limited to:
    • To your 2010 and earlier goalball, track/field, or swimming accomplishments including results from previous tournaments or meets.
    • The name of your goalball, track/field or swim club or team, dojo or powerlifting club.
    • A summary of your weekly training schedule and other athletic and personal achievements you'd like to share with us.
  • Complete all forms and follow the USABA Code of Conduct.

The coaching staffs for your respective sports will evaluate and select athletes from your letters of intent; tournament and meet results and your commitment to training and competing in your sport on a regular basis.  The USABA Sports Technical Committee will make the final athlete selections by March 15, 2011. USABA may provide partial funding support to athletes based on past accomplishment and training efforts and potential for future success.  All interested candidates must send letters of intent to:

John Potts
USABA Sports Director
1101 High Valley Ln.
Belleville, IL 62221
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

USABA will periodically update information on the World Youth Championships on our website: http://www.usaba.org or for more information call (719) 630-0422


May 24, 2011

USABA National Marathon Championships

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to host the 3rd Annual USABA National Marathon Championships in partnership with the Sacramento Running Association, which will be held in conjunction with the California International Marathon (CIM), December 4, 2011. “The race organizers and The City of Sacramento continue to exceed all expectations and USABA athletes are looking forward to another outstanding race this year”, said Mark Lucas, USABA Executive Director.

The event is open to athletes who are blind or visually impaired including military service members and Veterans with eye injuries to compete in the marathon as individual runners or as a member of a four person relay team. A special thanks to Dr. Michael Schermer, a board certified ophthalmologist who lives and works in Sacramento for his continued support of this event and his belief that running is a great way to build a healthy lifestyle.

For more information about the CIM please visit http://www.runcim.org or contact Rich Cardillo at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


May 26, 2011

WellPoint Foundation Awards $150,000 to USABA

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 26, 2011

 

WellPoint Foundation Awards $150,000 to the United States Association of Blind Athletes to Help Blind and Visually Impaired Teens Lead Healthier Lifestyles

May is Disability Insurance Awareness Month

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Teenagers who are blind and visually impaired will have new opportunities to live healthy, active lifestyles thanks to a $150,000 grant from the WellPoint Foundation to the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA). The grant will help teens in 12 states participate in a National Physical Fitness Challenge.

Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, lower risks of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, because of the many barriers and misconceptions about their abilities, approximately 70 percent of the nearly 56,000 blind and visually impaired children and youth in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical education curriculum.

“The USABA-WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge is a game changer for blind and visually impaired teens who typically are not afforded the same physical education and recreation opportunities as their sighted peers,” said Mark Lucas, executive director of USABA. “The USABA-WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge will get blind and visually impaired teens moving. Our goal is to motivate them to become more physically active and provide them with the additional tools needed to help them develop and lead healthy lifestyles long after the Challenge has ended.”

The USABA-WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge will provide nutrition education for up to 1,000 teens. Conducted through a structured, yet fun and challenging fitness and weight loss program, the Challenge will work to increase participants’ activity levels and improve their health, as measured through reductions in Body Mass Index (BMI) measures.

“The WellPoint Foundation is committed to helping children and adults live active lives and avoid the health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles and obesity,” said Steve Martenet, president and general manager of WellPoint’s Specialty Products, which includes dental, vision, workers’ compensation, voluntary, life and disability benefits. “We believe no one should ever be denied the right to enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of exercise, and we are proud to partner with the USABA to ensure that vision impairments do not limit the recreational opportunities afforded to kids across the country.”

The 12 states participating in the program through the WellPoint Foundation grant are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin. The WellPoint Foundation grant funds will be used to provide talking pedometers, t-shirts, prizes, fitness and nutrition coaches for teens participating in the program. 

The National Fitness Challenge will kick off on Wednesday, June 1, and last for one year. Each participant will submit baseline data that will be used in creating achievable fitness and weight loss goals that will result in a decrease in BMI.  Any adjustments made to short term goals will be provided by a fitness coach assigned to the group. Participants who achieve short-term goals will be rewarded with prizes.

Disability Insurance Awareness Month

According to the Council for Disability Awareness, most Americans are not covered by disability insurance. This is risky for many reasons, especially because the likelihood of experiencing a disabling injury or illness is more common than most people realize. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 51 million Americans were classified as disabled in 20021. And, since approximately three in 10 workers entering the workforce today will become disabled before retiring2, the financial hardships resulting from the lost income if the disability prohibits them from returning to their previous position can be devastating. In an effort to bring more attention to the need for disability insurance, the month of May is recognized as Disability Insurance Awareness Month (DIAM). The goal of DIAM is to have people think about their disability insurance needs and to become motivated to do something to address those needs.

1) “Americans With Disabilities: 2002,” U.S. Bureau of the Census, May 2006
2) Social Security Administration, Fact Sheet, Jan. 31, 2007

About USABA

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA's mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information go to http://www.usaba.org

About WellPoint Foundation

The WellPoint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of WellPoint, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of WellPoint, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses it’s funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation, please visit http://www.wellpointfoundation.org/.
 


Sep 01, 2011

USABA Has Moved Offices

The United States Association of Blind Athletes is pleased to announce that the National Headquarters Offices have moved to the U.S. Olympic Sport House in Colorado Springs, CO.  USABA's new contact information is:

Mailing Address:
1 Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO  80909

Phone Number:
(719) 866-3224

“In alignment with our strategic plan and our vision to be the nation’s leading sports resource provider for people who are blind and visually impaired, the move into the United States Olympic Committee’s Sport House further fosters our organizational growth which can only better serve our athletes," said Mark Lucas, USABA Executive Director.  He continued, "I would also like to thank the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind for providing office space to USABA  for the last 23 years.”

The U.S. Olympic Sport House is also home to several National Governing Bodies, including USA Boxing, USA Weightlifting, USA Judo, USA Badminton and USA Taekwondo.


Sep 15, 2011

USABA Seeking Bids for 2013 Goalball National Championships

USABA is seeking parties interested in hosting the 2013 USABA Goalball National Championships. As facilities are becoming increasingly more difficult to secure, USABA wants to get an early start on the site selection process for the 2013 tournament. This early start should provide ample time for organizers to plan and secure all appropriate resources that will enable them to host a successful tournament. An early start will also provide participants sufficient time to arrange their personal schedules and make cost-effective travel plans.

About goalball:
• Goalball is a team sport for athletes who are blind and visually impaired. Each year, USABA sanctions a National Championship tournament.
• Competition will run for two or three days (depending on the number of gyms provided by the host and/or the number of teams entered) and will include men’s and women’s pool play and medal matches.
Tournament and participant information:
• Approximately 20-22 Goalball teams (12-16 men’s teams, 8-10 women’s teams), each consisting of four to six athletes, two coaches and four staff.
• Eight to ten referees will be required based on number of teams entered.
When:
• June 2013. Dates are flexible; however the dates should be late enough to accommodate the majority of student participant summer vacations.
• Athletes will typically arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday with the final matches being held on a Saturday evening. Athletes typically depart Sunday morning.
Minimum staffing, facility and logistical requirements the selected LOC must be able to provide:
• Reasonably priced room and board for approximately 150 individuals (90 males, 60 females).
• Housing for 10 officials reasonably separated from athletes.
• Two or three gyms within close proximity of each other with seating for 100-250 persons in at least one of the venues. Gyms must be free of excessive noise and allow tape and goals to be placed on the floor for the duration of the event.
• Concession stand and eating area for 100+ in between games.
• Adequate locker room facilities for athletes and separate restrooms for spectators.
• Airport transportation as well as transportation between venues.
• Classrooms or other locations for teams to gather prior to games.
• Goalball goals and nets for all venues. If the LOC does not have goals/nets readily available, the committee can make arrangements to ship nets in from either USABA or a local chapter at the LOC's expense.
• Ten officials (USABA will provide airfare).
• A minimum of one athletic trainer per venue during all scheduled competition times.
• A minimum of 12-15 volunteers per site per session (ages 16 and up).
Fees: The Local Organizing Committee has the authority to set entry fees for the event (subject to USABA review and approval).   When establishing entry fees, please understand teams are independently funded and operate on extremely limited budgets.   We want to ensure maximum athlete participation so we appreciate your attention regarding fees and related expenses.

Special consideration also will be given to bids that include the involvement of local groups that work with athletes with disabilities.

For more information or to submit a bid proposal, please contact USABA Sports Director John Potts.


Sep 15, 2011

USABA Athletes Named to US Paralympics 2011 Track and Field High School All-American Team

US Paralympics recently announced their 2011 Track and Field High School All American Team. 

http://usparalympics.org/news/2011/09/06/2011-u-s-paralympics-track-field-high-school-all-american-team-announced/44498

Included were several members of USABA’s Team USA who recently competed in the 2011 International Blind Sports Federation World Youth and Student Championships:

     • David Brown (Hazelwood, MO)
     • Trevon Graves (St. Louis, MO)
     • Michael Kinoshita (Folsom, CA)
     • Carlos McCormick (Romney, WV)
     • Alexander Richmond (Birmingham, AL)
     • Samantha Smolka (Hometown, IL)

“This is an outstanding group of very talented athletes”  said John Potts, USABA Sports Director.  “Although this may be the first time we’ve heard of some of these names, it won’t be the last—talented as they already are,  each of them has the talent and commitment to continue to rise on the national and international stage.”

US Paralympics selected David Brown to compete with Team USA at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, a 2011 London Paralympics Games qualifying event.

For additional information on the USABA track and field program, contact Tim Cobb, USABA Track and Field Coach:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).
 


Sep 19, 2011

Cyclists Head to Colorado Springs for “Learn To Race” Cycling Camp

Military Service members with eye injuries and physical disabilities included as a part of rehabilitation process

(Colorado Springs, Colorado) – The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), in partnership with U.S. Paralympics, United States Handcycling and Disabled Sports USA is hosting a Developmental Cycling Camp for Riders with Disabilities at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, September, 18-25, 2011.

Twenty camp participants including blind and visually impaired cyclists and their sighted pilots who ride tandem bikes; cyclists with lower mobility impairments who use hand cycles; cyclists with cerebral palsy or head injury who use both standard bikes and amputee cyclists who ride either single bikes or hand cycles will learn advanced bike handling skills and road racing strategies and receive instruction in track riding. 

Among the participants will be military veterans and active duty service members who sustained physical and sensory disabilities as a result of service in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.  Camp staff will include certified cycling coaches, a certified mechanic and guest speakers from a variety of sports related fields.

The list of participating athletes includes:

Tandems:
Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt (stoker), Philadelphia, PA
John Schmidt (pilot), Philadelphia, PA
Stan Moore (stoker), Medford, OR
Dan Nelson (pilot), Winnetka CA
Larry Gunter (stoker), Phoenix City, AL (Military)
Greg Hoffman (pilot), Doylestown, PA

Single Bikes:
Ivan Valentin, San Antonio, TX (Military)
Andre Cilliers, Fort Belvoir, VA: (Military)
Lee Nortn, Naples, FL (Military)
Gabriel Monreal, San Antonio, TX (Military)
Loyal Pyczynski, Orlando, FL
Nieves Rodriguez, Temple, Texas

Hand cyclists:
Matthew Robinson, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Military)
Alicia Dana, Putney, VT
Will Groulx, Portland, OR (Military)
Thea Rosa, Cool, CA
Tom Davis, Fremenot, IN (Military)
Tim Connor, Hilliard, Fl (Military)
Todd Nipp, Colorado Springs, CO
Sean Haggard, Denver, CO (Military)

“Our goal is for cyclists to gain the riding knowledge and experience in order for each athlete to return to their respective local communities motivated to set a goal of training to compete for the United States in future regional and national events, including for some cycling at the Paralympic Games", said Cycling Coordinator Pam Fernandes who also is  a Paralympic Gold medalist and World record holder in tandem cycling.

The United States Association of Blind Athletes enhances the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. http:www.usaba.org

United States Handcycling Federation, Inc. is a non-profit corporation designed to create integrated cycling opportunities for wheelchair users and athletes with lower-mobility impairments: http://www.ushf.org

Disabled Sports USA provides the opportunity for individuals with disabilities to gain confidence and dignity through participation in sports, recreation and related educational programs:  http://www.dsusa.org

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and promoting excellence in the lives of people with physical disabilities.    http://usparalympics.org/
                                                                                                 

“This project is supported by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee.”

 


Sep 30, 2011

Judo Coach Master Walter Dean Inducted into Masters Hall of Fame

Anaheim, CA – Master Walter Dean of Carlsbad, CA, formally from Stuart, FL, was recently inducted into the 2011 Masters Hall of Fame in a formal ceremony held at the Anaheim Convention Center. Dean was presented with the prestigious Platinum Life Time Achievement Award, one of the organization’s highest honors.
 
Master Dean started his martial arts career over 55 years ago and holds a 9th degree black belt in Judo and a 6th degree black belt in Jujitsu. He is internationally recognized for his work coaching athletes for the Paralympics and other world events. Dean is considered an expert at teaching martial arts to blind students and teaching other coaches these methods. Dean was part of the 1996 and 2000 Paralympics teams and has participated in over 15 World Games. The Paralympics is a premiere Olympic-quality sporting event and is run in parallel with the Olympics every four years. Walter Dean also spent many years working with the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) of Colorado Springs, CO, a leader in sports for the visually impaired. He was head judo coach and member of the Board of Directors.
 
Walter Dean has been selected as the Chief Technical Delegate for the Parapan American Games in Guadalajara Mexico this November, representing the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) Judo Committee. The Parapan American Games is the selection event for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, and athletes selected at this event will qualify for a spot at the Paralympic Games.

Walter lives in Carlsbad with his wife of 41 years, Ginny, who is also a black belt in Judo. Dean is still involved with Judo on an International level and teaches three to four times a week in San Marcos at the San Diego Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Judo Academy.
 
Dean’s lifetime attraction with Judo came from the desire to help children build confidence, gain self esteem and become more disciplined. Walter is the President of the Pacific Southwest Judo Association, a group that helps black belts and judo clubs in the San Diego area develop excellence.
 
Master Dean said about this award, “When I looked around the room and saw so many men and women that have given so much more to Martial Arts I was truly humbled.”  For press information about the Masters Hall of Fame, please contact Kamatoy Media Group at 619-573-9456.

 


Nov 09, 2011

WellPoint Foundation Impacting Blind and Visually Impaired Teens Nationwide

18 Agencies Participating in Fitness Challenge

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Thanks to a generous $150,000 grant from the WellPoint Foundation to the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), 18 partnering agencies from across the United States are providing more than 700 blind and visually impaired teenagers with an opportunity to increase their physical fitness levels and begin living a healthy and active lifestyle. The USABA-WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge program is a year-long program that began this summer.

“Our goal is to help each participating teen become more fit and lose weight by using fun and challenging physical activities”, said Mark Lucas, executive director of the United States Association of Blind Athletes. “Each participating agency submits baseline data and monthly updates that are used to create and modify achievable fitness and weight loss goals for the teens to help them decrease their Body Mass Index.”

Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, a lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, because of the many barriers and misconceptions about their abilities, approximately 70 percent of the nearly 56,000 blind and visually impaired children and youth in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical education curriculum.

“The WellPoint Foundation is committed to helping children and adults live active lives and avoid the health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles and obesity,” said Mike Walsh, president and general manager of WellPoint’s Specialty Products, which includes dental, vision, workers’ compensation, voluntary, life and disability benefits. “We believe no one should ever be denied the right to enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of exercise, and we are proud to partner with the USABA to ensure that vision impairments do not limit the recreational opportunities afforded to teenagers across the country.”

The 18 agencies participating in the USABA-WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge program include:
• The Braille Institute of Orange County                                         California
• The Braille Institute of Los Angeles                                              California
• LightHouse for the Blind of San Francisco                                     California
• Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind                                   Colorado
• Colorado Center for the Blind                                                      Colorado
• State of Connecticut: Board of Education & Services for the Blind   Connecticut
• Center for the Visually Imapired                                                  Georgia
• Indiana School for the Blind                                                        Indiana
• Kentucky Association of Blind Athletes                                         Kentucky 
• Delta Gamma Center for the Visually Imapired                             Missouri
• Missouri School for the Blind                                                       Missouri
• Inter-Actions in New Hampshire                                                  New Hampshire
• New York Institute for Special Education                                      New York
• Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment                   New York
• Lighthouse International                                                            New York
• Cleveland Society for the Blind                                                   Ohio
• Ohio School f/t Blind and Columbus Parks Recreation                   Ohio
• Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped                            Wisconsin

The funds from the WellPoint Foundation grant are used to provide talking pedometers, t-shirts, prizes, fitness and nutrition coaches for teens participating in the program. 

About USABA
Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA's mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information go to http://usaba.org/

About WellPoint Foundation
The WellPoint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of WellPoint, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of WellPoint, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses it’s funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company's annual associate giving campaign and provides a 50 percent match of associates' campaign pledges. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation, please visit http://www.wellpointfoundation.org/.
 


Nov 12, 2011

USABA Seeks Program Assistant

Primary responsibilities include developing and implementing an annual marketing and membership plan in support of the strategic plan which concentrates on promoting the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes and increasing its memberships.  Assist the USABA Military Sport Program Coordinator by providing operational support for the development and implementation of sports programs and services to facilitate the rehabilitation of disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces with eye injuries and the reintegration of those individuals into their home communities.

Click here for full job description and how to apply.


Nov 21, 2011

Athletes to Compete in 2011 California International Marathon

Military Service Members and Veterans Included in Competition

November 23, 2011

(Colorado Springs, Colorado)- In partnership with the Sacramento Running Association, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to host the 3rd Annual USABA National Marathon Championship which will be held in conjunction with the California International Marathon (CIM) on December 4, 2011.  Joining the field of 18 visually impaired competitors this year are Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, WA) and Amy McDonaugh (Irmo, SC).  Aaron is a professional triathlete and is considered the fastest physically challenged triathlete in the world.  Amy is the fastest visually impaired American woman running competitively at the marathon distance and is expected to lead this year’s field of visually impaired athletes.

"The California Marathon is an outstanding opportunity for athletes who are blind and visually impaired to showcase their abilities," said Mark Lucas, USABA Executive Director.

USABA has also entered 4 relay teams into the event including two teams consisting of five Veterans with eye injuries: Lawrence Hooper (Houston, TX), Chess Johnson (Port Orchard, WA) Stephanie Timmer (Naperville, IL), Tom Monroe (Pueblo, CO) and Richard Hunter (Folsom, CA).  “USABA is honored to provide our Veterans the opportunity to experience how sport can lead to a more active lifestyle despite their vision loss,” said USABA Military Sports Program Coordinator, Rich Cardillo.

USABA would also like to thank Dr. Michael Shermer for his continued support of this event and runners who are blind and visually impaired.  This year's national championships is sponsored in part by Dr. Michael Schermer, VSP and the California Academy of Eye Physicians & Surgeons. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact; Rich Cardillo; Military Sports Program Coordinator
Office: 719-866-3221; Cell: 719-650-2234; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 

 


Dec 16, 2011

Georgia Firebolts and VIP Sports Claim 2011 USABA National High School Goalball Championship Titles

- James Crozier, Tournament Director

Twenty-Four teams from all corners of the United States recently converged at the campus of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (St. Augustine, FL), to compete for 2011 USABA  National High School Goalball Championship titles.   The tournament proved to be action-packed, with an entire tournament roster filled with  high-level, highly competitive teams.  With many close games and games going into overtime during quarter-final, semi-final, and final tournament rounds, the competition was exciting for the fans, and the athletes involved had experiences they will never forget.

On the girl's side, the defending 2010 national champion Georgia Firebolts proved to be the class of the field, cruising through the entire tournament to reclaim the national championship crown for a second consecutive year.  Led by girls’ tournament MVP, Amanda Dennis, the Georgia Firebolts frustrated teams with their outstanding defense, allowing only 3 goals during the entire tournament.   

On the boy’s side, the path to the gold medal was a much closer affair.  With close games during quarter-final and semi-final rounds, the gold medal game between VIP Sports and Pennsylvania would not be decided during regulation play, but, instead had to go to sudden-death overtime.  On the second throw of the overtime period, VIP Sports right-winger, and boys’ side tournament MVP, Dustin Vargo, put a shot in the left corner of the goal to score the game winner and capture the gold medal and 2011 National Championship.

VIP - 2011 Boy's ChampionsGeorgia Firebolts - 2011 Girl's Champions

 

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to gold, silver, and bronze medals being awarded, first and second place teams also received trophies.  In addition to medal awards, the tournament also named an All-Tournament Team, Tournament MVPs, and team sportsmanship awards.  Below are the tournament results:

Results:

Boys:
1st Place –VIP Sports
2nd Place – Pennsylvania Wolfpack
3rd Place - Arizona

Girls:
1st Place – Georgia Firebolts
2nd Place – Utah Rage
3rd Place – California (Junior Blind)

All-Tournament Team:

Boys:
Dustin Vargo – MVP (VIP)
Callahan Young (VIP)
Preston Radke (Pennsylvania)
Nathan Purcell (Washington)
Jahron  Black (Pennsylvania)
Jernigan Nezisosie (Arizona)

Girls:     
Amanda Dennis – MVP (Georgia) 
Marybai Huking (Utah)   
Kassandra Hernandez (Georgia)  
Paula Ward (Utah)   
Kayla Collins (Florida)   
Alexia Streudle (California)

Sportsmanship Award:

Boys:
Washington

Girls:     
South Carolina  
 


Jan 20, 2012

Funding Requests for 2012 Sports Club Project Grants or Sports Camps

The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to announce that we are accepting funding proposals for 2012 USABA Sports Club projects or sports camps/clinics. Grant amounts will range up to $1,500.

For consideration, applicants must submit a proposal which includes the following:
• Dates and location of 2012 camp, program, clinic or project 
• An outline of camp, program, clinic or project, including tentative schedule, sports included, staffing structure, competitions, equipment specification/intended use
• Measurable outcomes 
• Fees charged (if any) to camp or program participants
• The anticipated number of participants, including age range
• The names, mailing addresses, and email addresses of all participants and staff
• Funding preference will be given to Sports Clubs that promote participants to become USABA members
• How agency will recognize USABA


Upon receipt of funding, USABA Sports Clubs will receive a contract including, but not limited to the following:
• Agencies receiving funding must be a 2012 USABA Sports Club
• There is no fee involved in becoming a sports club
•  USABA Sports Club information is on the USABA website:  http://www.usaba.org
• Site/program directors must submit after-action reports.
• A minimum of 10 participant photos and 2-3 success stories to USABA within 30 days of the camp completion of the camp or program, or after of any equipment procured with grant funds
• At least one photo providing USABA recognition is required for us to post to the USABA website and Facebook page 
• All camps requesting use of USABA’s liability insurance must adhere to USABA’s policy to conduct background checks on all staff and volunteers who have direct contact with participants. A complete copy of USABA’s Abuse Prevention Policy is available on the USABA website at: http://usaba.org/index.php/membership/safety-initiatives/

DEADLINE DATE:  All applications must be received by April 16, 2012.

NOTIFICATION:  Award recipients will be notified by April 26, 2012.

Submit your request to:  Mark Lucas, U.S. Association of Blind Athletes
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Phone: (719) 630-0422


Feb 23, 2012

NIB Now Accepting Applications for Leadership Development

The Fellowship for Leadership Development, sponsored by NIB, is a salaried program that combines business-focused, on-the-job experience with professional development activities. Legally blind individuals who have an undergraduate degree, work experience and passion for business are invited to apply.  

Additional Information


Mar 07, 2012

Vancouver, Washington Selected as 2013 USABA Goalball National Championshp Tournament Site

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2012
Contact:  John Potts, USABA
(719) 534-3805, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON SELECTED AS 2013 USABA GOALBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT SITE

(Colorado Springs, Colorado)  The United States Association of Blind Athletes is excited to announce the Northwest Association for Blind  Athletes (NWABA) and Vancouver, Washington are selected to host the 2013 USABA Goalball National Championship Tournament, June 20-23.

“Over the past couple of years, NWABA and other organizations have worked hard to make the Pacific Northwest our hotbed for growth in goalball,” says USABA’s Goalball Coordinator, John Potts.  “We’ve seen new several goalball teams from California, Washington and Oregon compete in our national goalball program and we’re aware of several additional teams being formed that we hope we’ll soon see in tournaments. The fact they were selected as the 2013 USABA Goalball National Championship Tournament site is a testimony to the hard work that has led to the success of goalball in this region.”

The Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) provides life-changing sports and fitness programs for individuals of all ages and ability levels who are blind and visually impaired. They provide programming throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana.

Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA's mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information go to http://www.usaba.org

Additional information on the June, 2013 tournament will be posted to the USABA website (http://www.usaba.org) and provided to USABA members via email. 
 


Mar 07, 2012

Jim Mastro Candidate for US Olympic Hall of Fame

Voting is now open! Jim Mastro, multi-sport Paralympic athlete and medalists is up for induction into the 2012 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, but he needs your votes to win! Click here to vote now.   If you require assistance registering with the website, please call the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Hotline at (719) 866-2312. 

It is hard to know where to start with Jim’s accomplishments because there are so many. He is the first Paralympic athlete to medal in four different sports: track & field, judo, wresting and goalball. He has competed as a multi-sport athlete on seven Paralympic Teams between 1976 and 1994 as well as competed in many Pan American Games and World Championships. Jim was the first, ever, blind athlete to be selected as an alternate for a U.S. Olympic Team (Greco-Roman Wrestling, 1976). Throughout his athletic career Jim earned 10 Paralympic medals and 17 International medals. Still need proof that Jim is the ultimate athlete? Well, an ESPN article states, “Once, to raise money for his family to travel and watch him at the Paralympics, he lifted a 45-pound weightlifting bar 1,300 times in 15 minutes. Before another Paralympics, he knocked off 3,076 pushups in an hour.” Jim is the definition of a Paralympian. Allstate is looking to honor and induct “role models and heroes” into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and Jim Mastro is just that. He has shown that with dedication and determination he can overcome even the toughest challenges.


The 2012 U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame presented by Allstate has five Paralympic athlete nominees, but only one will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this July in Chicago. Jim Mastro is a member of the USABA Hall of Fame, National Wrestling Hall of Fame, but he needs your votes to be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

Go to TeamUSA.org/halloffame to cast your vote for Jim Mastro once each day, now through April 9, 2012.  If you require assistance registering with the website, please call the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame Hotline at (719) 866-2312. 
 


Mar 08, 2012

2012 USABA Goalball Season Kicks off with John Bakos/USABA Midwest Regional Tournament

A new tournament site, several new teams and all-star matches were among changes US goalball enthusiasts experienced this past weekend as the 2012 goalball season kicked off at the John Bakos/USABA Midwest Regional Goalball Tournament.

After many years at Kalamazoo, Michigan, the 28th edition of this tournament found a new home in Warren, Michigan and along with the change of venue, the tournament welcomed several US teams that participated for the first time or returning after an absence of several years:

California Cyclones
Michigan Striders
Ohio Bats
Rose City Thorns – Men
South Florida Rage
Tennessee Tornados

After a heated round of pool play, the initial field of 16 men’s teams, including three teams from Canada, narrowed down to 8 teams that would advance to the quarterfinal round:

Atlanta Force
British Columbia
California Earthquake
Michigan Wrecking Crew
New York Knights
Nova Scotia
Pennsylvania Venom
Quebec

As the dust settled on the quarter final round, three very tough teams from Canada and an outstanding California Earthquake would advance to the semifinals to battle for the right to play for gold in the finals. 

In the first semifinal game against California, Nova Scotia took a 3-1 lead at halftime.  In the second half, California pushed back with a goal, but couldn’t clinch the win.  Final score 3-2, Nova Scotia.  The second semifinal paired Canadian rivals Quebec and British Columbia.  Fans in this gym witnessed another match equal in intensity and also ending in a 3-2 finish, this time with the victory going to British Columbia.  

It was all Canada in the men’s gold medal match with a young Nova Scotia team facing a seasoned British Columbia. Ninety seconds into the match, Brendan Gaulin would capitalize on a penalty shot to put British Columbia in the lead.  Nova Scotia would quickly bounce back to tie the game, but Brendan Gaulin would score again; the first half would end with 2-1 British Columbia lead.  In the second half, Brendan Gaulin would score the hat trick, sealing Nova Scotia’s fate.  British Columbia would take the gold medal with a 3-1 final score. 

The lone US hope for a men’s medal, California Earthquake would relinquish the bronze medal to Quebec who overtook California  7-3.  

The following women’s teams would emerge from pool play to the semifinal round:

Georgia Firebolts
Kalamazoo Kraze
New Jersey
Pool Team

In the first women’s semifinal match, the Georgia Firebolts, 2011 USA national championships women’s silver medalists, would face off against a team comprised of pool players Cathy Morgan, Tracey Sinkovic and Christy Ray.  Although the pool team played valiantly, the Firebolts would prevail with a 3-1 win.  In the other women’s semifinal pairing, the Kalamazoo Kraze would gain a 1-0 lead against New Jersey they would keep until the final buzzer.  They would later meet Georgia to play for the tournament championship. 

The women’s gold medal game was a nail-biter between the Georgia Firebolts and the Kalamazoo Kraze.  Neither team would concede a goal with regulation play ending with a tied 0-0 score.  Two minutes into the first overtime period, Leanne Merren would drive a ball down the line that would find its way into the goal and win her team the women’s gold medal.  Final score: Kalamazoo Kraze 1, Georgia Firebolts 0. 

The bronze medal match would be the Pool team versus New Jersey.  In another very tight game, the Pool team, playing together for their first time a this tournament would find a way to overtake New Jersey and win by a 2-1 margin.

The next tournament will be the 2012 ABANJ/USABA Northeast Regional Goalball Tournament to be held in Westmont, New Jersey, April 14 and 15.  The application deadline for teams is April 2.  For additional information regarding the tournament can be found on our events calendar.  

 


Mar 08, 2012

Jen Armbruster, five-time Paralympian and five-time member of World Championship teams

What happens when you are a star basketball player and your sight begins to deteriorate? Does this end your sports career—or worse yet, turn your world upside down?

If you are someone like Jen Armbruster you would not stop competing— you would just change directions. You would stick with another, yet unique, round ball sport that affords the same highly competitive “thrill of victory and agony of defeat”—goalball.

Jen Armbruster, born in Taipei, Taiwan, is ranked as one of the top players in the world. She is a five-time Paralympian and five-time member of World Championship teams. Jen served as the U.S. goalball team captain since 2000 and was elected by her peers to be the flag bearer for opening ceremonies at the 2008 Beijing Paralympic games— at which she and her teammates won the gold medal defeating their rival, China.

Armbruster is a member of the first Paralympic team to obtain residency at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. She has been working in the field of sports administration for ten years and just recently took a new job at Portland State University as their Coordinator of Adaptive Recreation and Community Out-reach.

She is currently training for the 2012 Paralympic team that will be competing in London Paralympics this summer.

So who is this person, who— in spite of going totally blind the day before her senior year in high school— went on and achieved  ‘super star’ status, was honored to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the Paralympic Games in Beijing, and is the team captain whose team wins gold medals on an international stage?

1. Describe what it was like to stand on the podium in Beijing receiving the gold medal?

It sounds cliché but words can’t really capture the moment; however, I’ll try. There was a sense of pride that overwhelmed me. To stand up there with my teammates and know that everything we had worked for paid off was amazing. It was the proudest moment obviously in my competitive career. I have been on many winning “teams” but we were really truly a team and we left everything out on the court. Our reward was to hear the Star Spangled Banner, which means a lot to my family and me. My father is career military. There was so much pride in that moment representing our country, family and friends. There were a lot of smiles and tears while singing along to the best national anthem in the world!

2. Did you ever imagine that you would have competed in five Paralympic games and now have the opportunity to represent your country again for the sixth time in London?

No way would I have thought that I would have this privilege to represent the United States! As many may know, goalball is a pretty ruthless sport on the body and I have already had a couple of surgeries. I am thankful to the ‘docs’ who did the cutting and putting me back together, as well as many thanks to my athletic trainers and strength and conditioning coaches that have always gotten me back onto the court. It is truly an honor to be able to represent my country again in London this summer for the 6th and, maybe, last time. The next games would put me in my 40’s. (Editor’s note: Bets are on that she will be there a 7th time!)

3. Eric Weihenmayer in his book “The Adversity Advantage” makes the point that a disability can become a motivator for a person to rise higher than he or she might have risen had the individual not been challenged by the adverse barriers imposed upon him or her? In your own life, do you think this point has validity?

I would say I think that is true in some cases, but in mine I don’t think so. I’ve always had pretty high expectations for myself and when I lost my sight that never really changed. I still set high expectations— they were just different ones. I’ve always been highly motivated in my life and yes maybe the blindness motivated me in a different way; however, had I not lost my sight there would have been something there to motivate me from within.

4. Olympic fans love the television networks’ “Up Close and Personal” features in which highly successful world-class athletes, who seem ‘larger than life’ on the international stage, are, in actuality “Average Joes and JoAnnes” who are very down to earth. Do you agree that while many of them overcome adversity and all of them have natural-born athletic ability, what sets them apart from others is that they got there by sacrifice and very hard work?

Yes, I would agree that sacrifice and very hard work are two essential elements that top level athletes have in common. I would also say that another very common theme is support. I don’t know of any high level athlete that did it by themselves. Those sacrifices were also made by their family members, friends and co-workers. The hard work was possible because someone else took the time to get them to practices when they were younger, they shot hoops in the backyard with you, maybe it was a coach that stayed after or came in early. I think behind every successful athlete that you see there is a huge ‘pit crew’ that has helped them along the way. They are not always acknowledged but are very present in that athlete’s life.

5. You are a role model for everyone in our country— not only for people with disabilities. Who are your role models who have had a profound impact on your life and the direction it has taken?There are so many but I would say my family members were key. My folks always set an example of working hard and more importantly having fun while you competed— with sportsmanship. With all of this will come success in time. I always looked up to them and my older sisters when it came to watching and enjoying sports.

Other role models were several coaches in my life. My middle school basketball/volleyball coach Diane Worner went through my vision loss with me and never gave up on me. We adjusted my role on the basket-ball and volleyball team but she always pushed and had faith in me.

As a kid growing up I looked up to Pistol Pete Maravich and Isaiah Thomas in basketball. I also love listening to and following Coach Pat Summit and the University of Tennessee Lady Vols. I was going to play for her one day but plans changed when I lost my vision before my freshman year of high school.

6. What role has your family played in your life and your high level of achievement?

My family made sacrifices along the way getting me to practices, financially supporting me and helping me fund raise. My father became a local goalball coach and eventually the head coach since 1996 of our national team. He had always been a coach so when I lost my vision this was just a different sport to coach and figure out strategy-wise. He is the best out there. My Mom and my sisters have made many a goalball game, that is for sure. My sister, Michele, has designed the team uniforms since 2006 and hasn’t missed a Paralympics except my first.

7. What were your thoughts when you first learned of the prognosis of your visual impairment.

Well strangely enough when I was first diagnosed, my vision was supposed to stay stable at around 20/1600 or so. It was three years after my initial diagnosis that I had eye pain and went totally blind within four hours. So I really didn’t have time to think about when I lost my vision—it just sort of happened. I know my first initial thought was anger that I wouldn’t be able to play basketball at the highest level. I was fortunate though that I had gotten introduced to goalball and had already made the U.S. team before I went totally blind. The next thought was— I’m heading to college in less than a year— what do I need to ‘get done’ to be successful. My third thought was— well, now I can get a guide dog, for sure. I again was in a great position. I’m not sure if I wanted to give up, but if I had ever thought about it I’m pretty sure my family would have given me a swift kick in the butt.

8. Describe your experience going through school with a disability and later in life receiving rehabilitation services?

Again, I was very lucky and had a unique situation in my school district. When I had partial vision I was getting some basic O&M training but mostly I could use a CCTV. I could get through school with that and some help from my folks reading to me and helping me transcribe some homework. Then I went totally blind a day before my senior year of high school. I was never supposed to lose any more vision. Ooops! Well I also was leaving for the 1992 Barcelona games a day after my senior year started. So I went to the games as a newly totally blind person. When I came back my school district, an outside agency, and the Colorado School for the Blind did something unheard of and I’ve never seen it since. Everyone worked together and didn’t fight over money. The “team” came together and for the last two periods of the school day I was going to receive O&M, daily living skills, computer training and whatever I needed to get me ready to head to college.

My school was out in the middle of nowhere really but my school district agreed to pick me up after 5th period and take me into town. Our meeting point was the Colorado School for the Blind, even though I was never a student there they let me meet my O&M Vision teacher who was from an outside agency that my school district contracted with. We would meet there and the school let us try a variety of computer programs to see what one I was wanting to use. I tried the new Jaws. We tried an old Optacon. The Colorado School for the Blind opened up their kitchen for us to work on some cooking skills and because they were downtown we started our O&M lessons from there as well.

It was an amazing team of folks that came together with myself, my parents and representatives from my school district, staff from the school for the blind, and also from an outside contractor. We sat down and talked about my goals and what I needed and then mapped out a successful plan that worked beautifully. I believe the money got split up in a way that worked but the bottom line was that it wasn’t a barrier. They put the student— which was me— first.

Now to listen to them— I was a key piece to success because I was involved with my path through school. I was at all of my IEPs. Just like any successful sports team, we all worked together and the result led me successfully through under-graduate and graduate school. The strong foundation I received in school helped me along my academic and career success.

9. What would you say to administrators of schools and agencies that provide services to children and adults with disabilities?

I would say treat everyone as an individual and make sure they are a child or an adult who are part of that plan. They know their goals and your job is to help them to achieve them. I know through the process a couple of times I was told “Don’t you want to go into rehab teaching or rehab counseling?” I said, “No I don’t.” Don’t try to ‘pigeon hole’ folks. I am all about what is reality and being realistic with folks but listen to the child or adult and create a plan for them. Don’t just throw gadgets at them because they are a totally blind individual assuming they must need Jaws, a braille display, slate, and “tactile everything.”

See where they are in their lives and what works for them. I went the tech route. I use braille for labeling and, now that I have a newborn, I am starting to read it because I’m motivated. Listen to your student or client—big or little. I know case loads are high but don’t try and do a ‘cookie cutter’ solution.

10. How would your friends and family describe you? Is your blindness such an insignificant characteristic that— when they describe you— it may get mentioned toward the bottom of the list, if at all?

I’ll go with what my friends and family say, but this makes me blush. “Hard working, adventurous, insane, humble, funny, loyal, intense, and laid back.” I know the last two are opposites but it’s what they say. I often hear “thoughtful, smart and courageous,” which sometimes comes from probably the “blind thing.” But “blind” is not something they throw out too much unless they are describing me to someone so he or she can find me. The “blind chick with the Shepard” tends to stand out more than the 5’8” blond.

11. Dr. Dean Tuttle in his book on ‘adjustment to blindness’ pointed out that such a process never ends and that, rather than ‘adjustment’, a better word would be ‘adjusting.’ Do you agree?

I would say “adjusting” is a better word, because you adjust constantly in life. If you remain stagnant then there isn’t any growth happening. I am now “adjusting” as a new mother who is blind. More circumstances come up every day that I have to adjust to and many more are around the corner as my little dude starts to crawl, then walk, then being engaged in activities, homework, etc. Also being a 20 or 30 year old person who is blind, I’m sure will be different then when I’m in my 40s, 50s etc. Always adjusting!

12. What advice would you give young teenagers or adults who recently experienced an irreversible loss of vision?

I think first to look at what you have and not at what you have lost. You will be okay and you will do almost everything you did before but certainly you will do it differently. Also let people support you but do not use people. It is okay to ask for help when you need it, but knowing when to ask is key. Don’t get easily offended by those trying to help. Be patient and explain what you need and don’t need. Be creative in this. Do you need “talking everything gadgets” or can you put a couple of braille dots ‘here and there’ to make a microwave or phone accessible? Never give up on what you want. Think about what it is you are wanting to achieve and figure out a way to get it done. Also remember again that every successful person has a ‘support crew’ behind them. Use your resources, but don’t abuse them.

13. Of your many accomplishments, what would you consider to be your greatest?

 Parenthood. I’m loving watching my son grow up. A mere 7 months, but he has changed my world for the better without doubt. I’m also very fortunate to have      my life partner with me as well who is also on the U.S. team. So there is a lot of togetherness.

 Next I would say the 2008 games where I was elected by my athletic peers to be the flag bearer for opening ceremonies. As I have said, our flag means a lot to me, growing up as a military kid. To walk in the stadium waving “Old Glory” for the world to see with my father, career military and coach, escorting me in. It was a “Wow” moment for sure. Then to go through the games and win in overtime at the semifinals to advance against China for the gold in Beijing kept it being a “Wow moment.” It was awesome.

 

 

 

 

By: Dr. Michael Bina, editor of Stone Soup de Jour and USABA board member


Apr 06, 2012

April 10 is the Last Day to Provide Inputs for 2014-2017 IBSA Goalball Rulebook Revision

April 10, 2012 is the last day to provide inputs for the 2014-2017 Goalball Rulebook revision.   Complete information regarding the rule change process and a submission form are available here.


Apr 10, 2012

USABA Announces New Sponsor Vanda Pharmaceuticals and 24Sleepwake.com

USABA is proud to announce our newest sponsor Vanda Pharmaceuticals and 24Sleepwake.com which are conducting an awareness campaign for a sleep-wake disorder commonly experienced by people who are blind.  Like them on Facebook by clicking here, follow them on Twitter by clicking here and check out their website here

If you or know someone who is totally blind and suffers from irregular sleep patterns, we want to hear from you.  Vanda Pharmaceuticals is conducting a study that is evaluating an investigational treatment.  The study does not require any overnight stay in a lab and participants are compensated for their time and travel expenses. For more information on the clinical trials and to complete a survey to better understand the condition and determine if you may be eligible to participate, call 1-888-389-7033, Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit www.non24registry.com 

Inability to Maintain a Good Night’s Sleep May be a Sign of an Under-Recognized Circadian Disorder

More than 50 percent of individuals who are totally blind may suffer from an under-recognized condition which prevents them from maintaining a regular sleep pattern; impacting their health, lifestyle and relationships.

Known as Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder (Non-24-Hour), the condition can push the timing of an individual’s body clock off the 24-hour clock, making them unable to maintain a regular schedule of sleep and wakefulness. Those with the condition may experience bouts of severe insomnia, sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness during the day, all on an irregular and rolling basis.

“Sometimes I fall asleep and stay asleep,” says Dan Roy, a Braille translator for Horizons for the Blind in Des Plaines, Illinois who is congenitally blind and has experienced recurring bouts of troubled sleep and daytime fatigue since childhood. “Other times I wake up after a few hours and can’t get back to sleep.” At work, Roy adds that he must “…try to fight through my sleepiness” in order to maintain productivity.

What is the Cause?

For individuals with no light perception, the lack of cues for daylight can cause the sleep cycle, one of many circadian biological rhythms, to be out of synch from the 24-hour clock, gradually shifting their body’s perception of when it is day versus when it is night over the course of weeks and months.  

Extensive research is underway to learn more about the cause and possible treatment of the condition. One organization, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, is conducting a series of nationwide clinical trials of people with total blindness. These studies continue to recruit eligible participants and Vanda has screened more than 1,400 individuals for potential participation to date. Recently reported results from one of the trials demonstrated the ability to reset the body clock and align it to a constant 24-hour day in people with Non-24-Hour who are totally blind.

What is the Impact?

For some totally blind individuals the condition can have significant impact on their social and occupational lives. “You can be in the middle of a sentence and fall asleep for 30 seconds or so just because your body needs that time so badly because it’s not sleeping at night,” says Mindy Jacobsen of Brooklyn, New York,  who lost total light perception 15 years ago and began experiencing symptoms of Non-24-Hour almost immediately. The unpredictability of Mindy’s sleep pattern forced her out of full time employment, though she now maintains several part time jobs.

What can I do if I have these Symptoms?

If you are experiencing an irregular sleep pattern you can reach out to your primary care physician and ask whether the symptoms are an indication of Non-24-Hour. They may recommend a referral to a sleep specialist for further information. Maintaining a sleep diary to include timing, duration and quality of sleep, as well as a record of consumption of caffeine, alcohol and other medications may help guide your conversations with a physician.

Totally blind individuals experiencing symptoms of Non-24-Hour may also be a candidate to participate in the clinical trials led by Vanda Pharmaceuticals. The studies are evaluating an investigational treatment and do not require any overnight stay in a lab and participants are compensated for their time and travel expenses. For more information on the clinical trials and to complete a survey to better understand the condition and determine if you may be eligible to participate, call 1-888-389-7033, Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit www.non24registry.com


Apr 10, 2012

USABA is hiring an Outreach & Membership Coordinator

Job Announcement
Posting Window:  April 10-May 4, 2012

 

Organization:   The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)
Title:      Outreach & Membership Coordinator
Start Date:   June 1, 2012
Location:   Colorado Springs, CO
Position Type:    Full-time
Salary:   $25,000-$30,000 per year plus benefits

This position requires a proactive, detailed and customer service oriented self-starter with a strong sense of teamwork. This person must be capable of managing multiple tasks simultaneously and following through on issues in a timely manner. He/she must have the proven ability to demonstrate professionalism; establish and maintain effective professional relationships with all staff levels, volunteers, executives, board members, donors and USABA members.

Major duties and responsibilities include:
• Develops and implements specific, targeted initiatives to maintain and increase membership;
• Establish, communicate and maintain relationships with our members to keep them interested and satisfied with USABA’s benefits and  programs;
• Cultivate an outreach network by establishing good working relationships with the program director’s our key constituent groups including USABA Sports Clubs, agencies that serve the blind and visually impaired, National Governing Bodies, U.S. Paralympics, Paralympic Sports Clubs, Multi-Sport Organizations, teacher’s for the visually impaired, etc.;
• Maintain, manage and build existing and new USABA Sports Clubs with the goal of increasing membership through good partnership;
• Manage receipts, processing/data entry, fulfillment and acknowledgments for all membership and administrative functions;
• Perform key administrative functions to support all staff;
• Promote and sell merchandise;
• Maintain regular information on website, social media and database;
• Assist staff in the planning and implementation of training camps, sporting events and special events;
• Be a self-motivated member of the fundraising team;
• Prepare monthly program and fiscal reports;
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s degree is preferred;
• At least one year of proven professional experience;
• Demonstrated commitment to the use of sports as a method to enhance the lives of individuals who are blind and visually impaired;
• Displays good oral, written, and listening skills for individuals / groups;
• Demonstrated ability to develop detailed, executable complex programs, projects and activities;
• Inspires, motivates, and guides diverse individuals, groups and organizations toward the attainment of a common task or purpose;
• Proficient with Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel software programs;
• Reasonable travel and evening/weekend work involved;
• Ability to travel throughout the State of Colorado to implement USABA programs.

USABA Mission: The mission of the United States Association of Blind Athletes is to increase the number and quality of grassroots-through-competitive, world-class athletic opportunities for Americans who are blind or visually impaired.

USABA Vision: We envision a world in which all individuals who are blind or visually impaired have the same opportunities to discover their athletic potential and pursue their athletic dreams

History:  Since its founding in 1976, the USABA has reached more than 100,000 blind and visually impaired individuals. During that time, the organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes and has become a vocal champion of the abilities of America's legally blind residents.

To apply- Email a resume, three references and a cover letter summarizing your background, experience and salary requirement to Mark Lucas at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).   Please include what you can specifically contribute to the success of USABA. 

Questions: Contact Mark Lucas, USABA Executive Director at (719) 866-3220 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Apr 17, 2012

Operation Mission Vision / Summer Sports Festival / Rocky Mountain State Games

The U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Operation Mission Vision / Summer Sports Festival program provides Veterans and active duty Service members who are blind and visually impaired, from all over the United States, a unique opportunity to participate in the Rocky Mountain State Games.  Athletes will train, learn, refine their skills and compete alongside their sighted peers in various sports clinics instructed by USABA national coaches.  With the opportunity to hone your athletic skills, you will be empowered to elevate your sport to a higher level and take your improved game back into your own local community-based programs. 

Arrival of Trainers and Coaches:  23 July
Train the Trainer Session (Trainers and Coaches only):  23 – 24 July
Arrival of Athletes:  24 July
Sports Festival / Operation Mission Vision:  24 – 27 July
Rocky Mountain State Games:  27 – 29 July
Depart (Trainers, Coaches and Athletes):  29 July

The Rocky Mountain State Games is a multi-sport festival for athletes of all ages and athletic abilities.  Recognized by the national Congress of State Games, a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the 2012 Rocky Mountain State Games will be held in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Organized and managed by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, the 2012 Rocky Mountain State Games will offer competition in 31+ sports.

For additional information contact:

Rich Cardillo
719-866-3221
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

or

Lacey Markle
719-866-3222
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Operation Mission Vision/ Summer Sports Festival will only be open to Veterans and active duty Service members who are blind and visually impaired 

 


Jun 08, 2012

First of its Kind, Adaptive Rowing Camp… A Huge Success

First of its kind, Adaptive Rowing Camp…A Huge Success

By: Aerial Gilbert, Outreach Manager Guide Dogs for the Blind and Rowing Coach

A landmark rowing development camp for Veterans and civilians who are blind, visually impaired or have a physical disability took place in Oklahoma City, May 20-25. The camp was sponsored by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) in partnership with USRowing, Disabled Sports USA and U.S. Paralympics.  Grant funding for this program was awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by the Veterans Affairs and Disabled Sports USA.  The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.  Ten men and one woman, 80% of which have a direct connection with the military, traveled from around the country to the Devon Boathouse; home of the Oklahoma City National High Performance Center.  The experience of the participants ranged from very beginner to experienced rowers.  All of the athletes transformed their techniques dramatically over the five days starting with basic technique on the rowing machines to learn the stroke, advancing to the world’s first dynamic indoor rowing tank and then out on the river in rowing shells on the second day.  By the end of camp, participants were rowing by all eight and really moving the boat.  Griffin Lynch, who rows for his college team at the University of North Carolina, said “We weren’t rowing by all eight for three months in my novice year." 

Rich Cardillo, Military Sports Program Coordinator at USABA spent a couple of days observing the camp and explained the Paralympic Military Program where the VA provides a stipend for potential Paralympic Athletes that meet the standard for one of the Paralympic sports.  All of the participants worked very hard over the five days, but also had a lot of fun.  At the wrap-up at the end of camp, Sklar Lao, a wounded Veteran, told the group, “I have been doing four types of therapy this past year for balance, physical therapy and speech -- rowing has it all; I want to do it more!” 
The coaching staff for the event included: Garrett Klugh, World Champion and Olympic rower; Matt Muffelman, Adaptive Rowing Coach and former US National Team athlete; Marina Traub, collegiate rowing coach; and Aerial Gilbert, former National Adaptive Team athlete.  Garrett, the program coordinator for the event said, “This camp exceeded our expectations in every way.  We are extremely appreciative of the generosity of the Devon Boathouse to allow us to use this world class facility.  This was truly a remarkable group of people supported by great partners.  I could not be more pleased with the camp and how it evolved.  This group really set the standard high for the future.”


Jun 19, 2012

USABA Announces 2012 USA Women’s Paralympic Goalball Team

The United States Association of Blind Athletes is proud to announce Team USA’s 2012 Women’s Paralympic Goalball Team.  Team USA, the current Paralympic Games and Parapan American Games champions are an extremely versatile mix of new and veteran talent.  This mix makes them an absolute can’t-miss for a second consecutive Paralympic Gold medal for 2012!

Here is your 2012 USA Paralympic Women’s Goalball Team:

Jen Armbruster (Portland, Oregon) – Making her sixth Paralympic Games appearance, Jen is looking to add a second gold medal to her collection that also includes silver and bronze Paralympic medals.  The total package of strategic thinking on the court, rock-solid offense and defense and the consummate competitor, Jen is absolutely in it to win it.  

Lisa Czechowski (Tucson, Arizona) – On her fourth Paralympic Games appearance, Lisa is a game changer anytime and anywhere she is on the court.  Possessing superb defense skills as a center and a potent offense, Lisa has what it takes to help her team rise to the top of the medal stand in 2012.  In addition to previous gold and silver medals in Goalball, Lisa left her mark on the Paralympic Games as a Track and Field medalist. 

Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Georgia) – New to the Paralympic Team, Amanda is strong and determined to win.  She was a key contributor to her team’s Gold medal performance at the 2011 Parapan American Games, and will no doubt be a catalyst for wins at this year’s Paralympic Games!

Asya Miller (Portland, Oregon) – A veteran of three prior Paralympic Games and  no stranger to the top of the medal stand, Asya has a crushing offense and that will pay Team USA huge dividends as they march their way towards a second Paralympic Games championship.  A versatile athlete, Asya also achieved Paralympic success as a Track and Field athlete.  She also holds World records as a Powerlifter. 

Robin Theryoung (Colorado Springs, Colorado) – Also making her fourth Paralympic Games appearance, Robin brings a brings a blend of experience, offensive and defensive talent, plus the motivation to win that assures Team USA the ability to excel in the most challenging game situations.  Robin is determined to add a second Gold medal to her collection of Paralympic medals. 

Jordan Walters (Boulder, Colorado) – Although new to the Paralympic Team, Jordan played an instrumental role during the 2010 World Goalball Championships that helped this team earn one of  the earliest 2012 Paralympic Games qualification berths for Team USA.  Jordan is ready to go and eager to make her Paralympic Games mark!

Rounding out the team is a seasoned staff that includes returning Head Coach Ken Armbruster (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Assistant Coach Jake Czechowski (Tucson, Arizona), Team Leader Sharon Gunderman (Dubois, Pennsylvania) and Athletic Trainer Dawn Gulick (Pottstown, Pennsylvania).

We wish the 2012 Women’s Goalball Team success as they embark on their journey to a second Paralympic Gold Medal—go Team USA, we’re proud of you!


Jul 12, 2012

Team USABA Finishes Big at 2012 IBSA World Benchpress and Powerlifting Championships

Earlier this week, Team USABA returned home from the 2012 IBSA World Benchpress and Powerlifting Championships with a few extra souvenirs in their bags-- 5 Gold medals, 8 Silver medals and 8 Bronze medals for their accomplishments at the 2012 IBSA World Benchpress and Powerlifting Championships (and Pan-American Regional Championships) held July 4-7 in Orlando, Florida.  

This team, a mix of veteran lifters and young talent performed as a well-oiled machine, making their presence known in the IBSA international powerlifting community.  The women, all first-time competitors on international stage finished strong, earning women a 4th place overall finish in the World competition and a 2d place overall finish in the Pan-American regional competition.  The men also showed their might, garnering a 5th place overall finish in the World competition and finishing 3d in the Pan-American regional competition. 

Additionally, 62 year old lifter Charles King (Philadelphia, PA) set three new age group world records for his weight category in the Benchpress (281 lbs), Deadlift (407 lbs), and Squat (264 lbs). 

 

 

Congratulations to the members of Team USABA:

TJ Breitenfeldt (Yakima, WA)
Justen Credle (Maple Valley, WA)
Chris Green (Spokane, WA)
Charles King (Philadelphia, PA)
Steve Pena (Morgan Hill, CA)
Nathan Purcell (Cle Ulum, WA)
Brian Saborboro (Renton, WA)
Kazia Sarpola (Renton, WA)
Amber Sherrard (Baton Rouge, LA)
Alexann Tureman (Walla Walla, WA)

Head Coach Mark Sampson (Woodland Park, CO)
Coach Judy Koch-Smith (Vancouver, WA)
Coach Steve Lowry (Portland, OR)
Coach Tony Pena (San Jose, CA)

For additional information concerning Team USABA Powerlifting, please contact Coach Mark Sampson, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  


Aug 24, 2012

Dates Announced for 2013 IBSA World Youth Championships and IBSA Parapan American Games

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) will host the 2013 International Blind Sports Federation World Youth Championships (for athletes ages 12-19) and the International Blind Sports Federation Parapan American Games (for athletes of all ages) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, July 9 -15, 2013.  

Sports to be offered will be Athletics, Goalball, Judo, Powerlifting and Swimming.

To be considered for Team USA you must meet all requirements outlined in the  athlete eligibility documentation provided below and you must submit your statement of intent by December 15, 2012.

Team USA World Youth Championships Athlete Eligibility Information
Team USA Parapan American Games Athlete Eligibility Information

 


Sep 17, 2012

USABA Now Seeking Nominations for 2013-2016 Athlete Representative

Attention Athletes,

The United States Association of Blind Athletes is now seeking nominations for an athlete representative.  The athlete representative, nominated and elected by USABA athlete members in good standing will serve athletes as a voice in sport management related matters.  The athlete representative will ensure effective communication between athletes, coaches and team staff members, the USABA Board of Directors and the USABA National Office.  The incumbent will also review and may provide recommendations relevant to any US Olympic Committee or US Paralympics directed selection criteria.  

Individuals eligible to nominate themselves or others to be considered for this position must be current USABA members in good standing.  Nominees must also be 18 years of age or older at the time of nomination, and, because of the requirement to provide input to the US Olympic Committee and/or US Paralympics on issues such as selection criteria documents, nominees must have been member of at least one Paralympic, IPC Parapan American  or World Championship team.

NOMINATION PROCEDURES AND TIMELINE:  Solicitation for athlete nominations is provided to membership via email and on the USABA website.  USABA will accept nominations either postmarked or with an email date-time marking of November 1, 2012 or earlier.  Nominations received with postmarks or date-time marks after 1 November will not be accepted.  Athlete members may only nominate one individual.

POST-NOMINATION SCREENING AND VOTING BALLOT PREPARATION:  All nominations will be screened for eligibility and a ballot listing all eligible candidates will be mailed or emailed to athlete members on/about November  15, 2012.

VOTING:  Only one ballot may be submitted per athlete member and only voters may only select one person from the list of candidates.  Mailed ballots must be post marked and emailed ballots must contain a date-time mark of December  15, 2012.

SCREENING/TABULATON OF VOTES:  At the conclusion of the voting period, the USABA National Office will validate and tabulate votes.  Results will be held in confidence until announced until announced to the USABA Board of Directors by the USABA Executive Director.

EMAIL ADDRESS FOR NOMINATIONS AND VOTING BALLOTS:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

MAIL-IN ADDRESS FOR NOMINATIONS AND VOTING BALLOTS:

United States Association of Blind Athletes
1 Olympic Plaza
Colorado Springs, CO 80909

TERM OF OFFICE:   Term of office will be for the period January 1, 2013 – 31 October 31, 2016.

For additional information, please contact John Potts, 719-534-3805.


Sep 20, 2012

USABA Now Accepting Nominations for 2012 Hall of Fame Class

The USABA Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to recognize members of our organization who clearly distinguished themselves through exceptional athletic accomplishment or lasting contributions to the advancement of sport for people who are blind or visually impaired.

We are requesting nominations for the 2012 USABA Hall of Fame class.  Eligibility and nomination procedures are available here:  HOF Eligibility/Nomination Procedures

Nomination submissions are due November 15, 2012.  

 


Nov 16, 2012

Utah Rage and VIP Sports Claim 2012 USABA National High School Championship Titles

Utah Rage and VIP Sports Claim 2012 USABA National High School Goalball Championship Titles

- James Crozier, Tournament Director

Twenty-Four teams from all regions of the United States converged at the campus of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind November 8th-10th, 2012, to compete for 2012 USABA National High School Goalball Championship titles.   The tournament proved to be action-packed, with a tournament field comprised of highly competitive teams.  There were many great contests boasting intense action, which contributed to an exciting event for the fans and the student-athletes involved had experiences they will never forget.

On the girls’ side, the Utah Rage captured the gold medal and 2012 National Championship.  Led by girls’ tournament MVP, Marybai Huking, the Utah Rage frustrated teams with their outstanding defense, allowing only 3 goals during the entire tournament.  In the gold medal game, they would rely on that defense as they were locked in a close battle with the Oregon Reign.  After several scoreless minutes, Utah was able to score on a penalty shot to take the lead 1-0.  Later in the second half, Utah added another score to go on to win the gold medal game, 2-0, while Oregon would claim the silver.

Also on the girls’ side, the bronze medal game would pit the home team, Florida, against a talented team from the opposite coast, California.  The Florida girls were able to get some timely scoring, play good defense and capitalize on California penalties to go on to win, 11-4, and claim the bronze. 

On the boys’ side, VIP Sports (Pennsylvania) captured back-to-back National Championship titles with their 2012 tournament effort.  Led by boys’ tournament MVP, Callahan Young, the boys from VIP battled a tough and spirited Arizona team in the gold-medal game.  The action was intense with neither team able to maintain a lead as the other would respond quickly with a goal to answer.  In the end, VIP had the last word, as they went on to defeat a very talented Arizona team, 10-9, to capture the 2012 title.

Also on the boys’ side, the bronze medal game would feature California facing off against Texas.  After a close opening several minutes, the California boys went on an offensive tear to cruise to a 14-4 win, claiming the bronze medal.

In addition to gold, silver, and bronze medals being awarded, first and second place teams also received trophies.  The tournament also awarded and recognized an All-Tournament Team, Tournament MVP awards, and team sportsmanship awards.  Below are the tournament results:

Results:
Girls                                      Boys
1st Place –  Utah Rage         1st Place – VIP Sports
2nd Place – Oregon Reign    2nd Place – Arizona (ASDB)
3rd Place –  Florida (FSDB)   3rd Place – California (Junior Blind)

All Tournament Team:
 

Girls                                             Boys
Marybai Huking – MVP (Utah)      Callahan Young - MVP (VIP)
Eliana Mason – (Oregon)             Jernigan Neztosie (Arizona)
Kayla Collins (Florida)                  Abel DelToro (California)
Maddy Stafford (Utah)                 Nathan Purcell (Washington)
Justine Montanez (California)      Jahron Black (New York)
Vanessa Coleman (Florida)         Armando Cruz (Arizona)
Tasha Everrett (Oregon)             Dustin Vargo – MVP (VIP)

Sportsmanship Award:
 

Girls                    Boys
Texas (TSBVI)     Washington (WSSB)
 


Dec 06, 2012

2012 USABA Marathon National Championships

The 4th Annual USABA Marathon National Championships sponsored by VSP Vision Care took place on December 2 in Sacramento, California at the California International Marathon. We had 16 marathoners, 15 relay runners and 39 guides. Included in these numbers were participants from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, 6 military Veterans, Paralympians and world/national championship holders! Even though it poured rain, we had a great thanks to our generous sponsors VSP Vision Care, Dr. Michael Schermer, Every Man Jack and Folsom Lake Lions Club...we cannot wait until next year! Below are the results for all the participants as well as links to various media coverage. 
B1
Male

  • Rob Matthews/guide Matt Bailey (New Zealand) - 3:01:18
  • Leung Sui Wai/guide Hoi To Ho (Hong Kong) - 3:29:41

Female

  • Tina Ament/ guides Peter Graf and Philip Deacon - 4:07:16
  • Ivonne Schmidt/guide Matt Brown – No time due to injury

B2
Male
Adrian Broca/guides Eric Clarkson and Kyle Lackner - 2:57:37

  • Matthew Rodjom/guides Ben Willers and Jordan Zander-Souza - 3:07:08
  • Richard Hunter/ guides Dan Ross and Nicole Holm - 3:17:51
  • Richard Marsolais/guides George Hajecek (Canada) - 4:22:15
  • David Kuhn/guides Sydney Stutz and Karen Roth - 4:59:43

Female

  • Stephanie Timmer/ guides Brian Lane and Ashley Kirk – No time due to injury

B3
Male

  • Robbie Burt (Canada)/guides David Swift and Michael O’Neil – No time due to injury
  • Aaron Scheidies/ guides Ritch Viola and Dan Mitchell - 2:53:34
  • Steven Wood/guide Monte Harvill - 3:46:51

Female

  • Diane Berberian/guide Carolyn Kiper - 4:55:58
  • Rachel Weeks/guides Kelly Griego and Becca Nickens - 5:28:34
  • Cassandra Dozier - 5:55:10

Overall Male

  1. Aaron Scheidies/ guides Ritch Viola and Dan Mitchell - 2:53:34
  2. Adrian Broca/guides Eric Clarkson and Kyle Lackner - 2:57:37
  3. Rob Matthews/guide Matt Bailey - 3:01:18

Overall Female

  1. Tina Ament/ guides Peter Graf and Philip Deacon - 4:07:16
  2. Diane Berberian/guide Carolyn Kiper - 4:55:58
  3. Rachel Weeks/guides Kelly Griego and Becca Nickens - 5:28:34

Relay Teams

  • 50/50, Kory Kennedy (guide - Mustafa Abbas) and Michael Kinoshita (guide - Mac Harvey) - 2:36:28, (overall rank) 3 of 897, (class rank) 3 of 93
  • Canada, Eh?!, Chris Zonruiter (guide-Emilee O’Neil), Rose Kamma Sarkany (guides-Chris Morrison and Andy Thielen) and Shelley Ann Morris (guide-Colleen Bird) - Lost Chip, No Time
  • CoEd, Mike Davis (guide-Scott Rogalski), Jeramy Kalbaugh, Matthew Oliver (guide-Keith Jamtaas) and Katie Davis (guide-Jessica Hein) - Lost Chip, No Time
  • Mission Vision I, Kenta Otawa (guide-Adam Andresen), David Bigoney (guide-Dan Tyree), Rocky Camp (guide-Elizabeth Stock) and Lonnie Bedwell (guide-Jeanette Whiteman) - 4:24:29, (overall rank) 411 of 897, (class rank) 3 of 5
  • Mission Vision II, Corvin Bazgan (guide-Tom Trauger) and Tom Monroe (guide-Eric Lindsey) - 4:38:38, (overall rank) 419 of 897, (class rank) 5 of 5 

Media Links


Dec 12, 2012

WellPoint Foundation Impacting Blind and Visually Impaired Teens Nationwide

Over 20 Agencies Participating in Fitness Challenge

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to announce a second year of the National Fitness Challenge thanks to a generous $150,000 grant from the WellPoint Foundation. This year we will partner with over 20 agencies from across the United States who will provide more than 700 teenagers who are blind and visually impaired with an opportunity to increase their physical fitness levels and live a healthier and more active lifestyle.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to partner with the WellPoint Foundation to host a second year of the National Fitness Challenge. With the renewal of this grant we will be able to reach more teens with the ultimate goal of helping each participating teen become more active and fit by using fun and challenging physical activities,” said Mark Lucas, executive director of the United States Association of Blind Athletes. In order to keep track of each participants success, every agency submits baseline data and monthly updates that are used to create achievable fitness and weight loss goals for the teens to help them decrease their body mass index.

Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, a lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, because of the many barriers and misconceptions about their abilities, approximately 70 percent of the nearly 56,000 children and youth who are blind and visually impaired in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical education curriculum.

“The WellPoint Foundation helps us continue meeting the company’s commitment to helping children and adults live active lives and avoid the health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles and obesity,” said Bill Smith, president and general manager of WellPoint’s Disability and Life business. “We believe no one should be denied the right to enjoy the physical and emotional benefits associated with exercise; therefore, we are very proud to once again partner with the USABA to ensure that vision impairments do not limit the recreational opportunities afforded to teenagers across the country.”

The funds from the WellPoint Foundation grant will provide each agency with sports equipment as well as fitness and nutrition coaches for teens particpating in the program.

The participating agencies in the USABA-WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge include:
Braille Institute - Orange County Regional Center:  California
Braille Institute - San Diego:  California                                                                         
California School for the Blind:  California                                                                    
Lions Center for the Blind:  California                                                                           
Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind:  Colorado                                     
State of Connecticut Board of Education Services for the Blind:  Connecticut                            
Center for the Visually Impaired:  Georgia                                                         
Georgia Blind Athletic Association:  Georgia                                                     
Carmel Clay School District:  Indiana                                                                            
Indiana School for the Blind and the Visually Impaired:  Indiana                                     
Kentucky Association of Blind Athletes:  Kentucky                                                                   
Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments:  Missouri                  
Missouri School for the Blind:  Missouri                                               
Association for Vision Rehabilitation and Employment, Inc.:  New York                         
Lighthouse International:  New York                                                                              
The New York Institute for Special Education:  New York                                   
VISONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired:  New York                                               
Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Clovernook Center for the Blind:  Ohio              
Cleveland Sight Center:  Ohio                                                                          
Ohio School for the Blind:  Ohio
Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped:  Wisconsin

USABA logoAbout United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)
Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA's mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity. For more information go to http://www.usaba.org


WellPoint LogoAbout WellPoint Foundation
The WellPoint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of WellPoint, Inc. and through charitable contributions and programs, the Foundation promotes the inherent commitment of WellPoint, Inc. to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that WellPoint, Inc. and its affiliated health plans serve. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These disease states and medical conditions include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. To learn more about the WellPoint Foundation, please visit http://www.wellpointfoundation.org 


Dec 13, 2012

Adaptive Sports Iowa to Host 2014 USABA Goalball National Championships

The United States Association of Blind Athletes is excited to announce Adaptive Sports Iowa and Ames, Iowa will host the 2014 USABA Goalball National Championships.

“Although they’re a relatively young organization, Adaptive Sports Iowa has become a national leader in adaptive sports,” says John Potts, USABA’s sports director.  “This past year, Adaptive Sports Iowa in conjunction with the Ames Iowa Visitors and Convention Bureau hosted the 2012 National Beep Baseball Association World Series, acclaimed as one of the best-ever events of its kind ever held.  USABA is absolutely excited about the ability to partner with an organizing committee and a community with the passion and ability to host a world-class championship competition and share our passion for Goalball with crown jewel of our 2014 national Goalball season.” 

Adaptive Sports Iowa officially kicked off operation March 8, 2011 with the Adaptive Sports Iowa Summit and Press Conference. As a program of the Iowa Sports Foundation, Adaptive Sports Iowa's goal is to support and grow sport and recreation programs for Iowa's physically disabled population.

Additional information on the June 19-21, 2014 tournament will be posted to the USABA website (http://www.usaba.org) as it becomes available. 


Feb 05, 2013

Biggest Loser to Biggest Winner

cooper before weight loss

On December 25, 2011 I weighed myself and saw the red arrow point towards 240 pounds. I knew that this was an unhealthy weight for a 15 year old and realized I had to do something about it. I could no longer blame my low vision on the fact that I was not physically active (I am considered a B3 - visual acuity above 20/600 and up to visual acuity of 20/200 and/or a visual field of less than 20 degrees and more than 5 degrees in the best eye with the best practical eye correction). I was supposed to be participating in the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) and WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge but I had not even done anything with that yet, which said a lot about me at the time. After weighing nearly 240 pounds I was highly motivated to finally do something about my overweight body and make a change in my life for good. I knew if I set my mind to it, I could win and beat the competition by losing the most weight. 

On December 27, 2011 I took action. I went outside in 20 degree weather for a run, a simple 3.2 mile loop, which became my daily activity. I got to the point that without my daily run I felt lost and anxious. I ran every day for two months before ending the streak due to poor weather, but the next day I was back in my routine. I began to feel good about running and started to pick up my mileage to five miles; a long run for me. By this point I was about 200 pounds and I added dieting to my daily exercise. People were starting to notice my weight loss and for the first time in my life I started to feel like an athlete. I continued to run for a few more weeks and eventually made one of the best decisions of my life by signing up for a local club rowing team. The week before crew started, I ran 11.6 miles and the feeling of being able to run that far was new to me, it felt remarkable. Once rowing started I took some time off from running and began training and conditioning for the rowing team. The conditioning started off very hard because I had been burning fat and muscle throughout my running career, and I did not have much muscle to begin with. Circuit training and rowing machine workouts eventually become easier and by the time we got to the boat I was eager to start learning how to row. Rowing changed my body even more than running, I started to see muscles accumulating and I actually got my weight down to 180 pounds - my lowest yet and it is an awesome feeling!

Cooper in Judo Gi

I had a fire inside me that motivated me to become the best rower I could and although I was a novice, we had a pretty decent crew team. I rowed through the spring and into the summer with the Blood Street Sculls, learning skills from specialized trainers and coaches. As I got more into rowing I bought an Erg Rowing Machine and used it at home for many of my workouts. By September 2012, I was ready to go back to the Blood Street Sculls and be a better athlete. After running and rowing I finally saw myself as a real athlete because I was fit enough to row 5,000 meters and I was moving up in the boat lineups. This was one of the best feelings ever; I was actually accomplishing what I set out to do. As the rowing season came to an end, I made a promise to myself that winter was no longer an “off” season for me. Although, I shifted my interests to the school musical, I continued to be in training mode by lifting weights and doing cardio. I set a goal of returning back to the Blood Street Sculls in the spring and to make my school's varsity rowing team.

I learned that setting goals was the best way for me to live my life. After watching myself accomplish what I set out to do, I am more open to trying new things.If people tell me to try something, I immediately go for it. I know that even if I do not get it right away with practice I will one day succeed. Even though I was participant in the USABA and WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge and I wanted to win, I also wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Losing weight was mainly for me, but because I lost weight I received the benefits of an awesome trip to Colorado Springs, Colorado in June 2012 to attend the National Sports Education Camp, which was a reward for the top boy and girl who lost the most weight and decreased their body mass index. It was really neat to show myself off as an athlete and meet other people who had been applying themselves in various ways throughout the National Fitness Challenge program. I know that without the start of the USABA and WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge I would not have found the motivation to get active and lose weight. 

Cooper before school dance

Being a part of this program was the best thing that has ever happened to me and truly changed my life for the better. Now, I see a lot of potential in myself and I am truly proud of how far I have come with changing my life.

- written by: Cooper Kendall

About the USABA and WellPoint Foundation National Fitness Challenge

The objective of the National Fitness Challenge is to provide teenagers who are blind and visually impaired opportunites to achieve a higher level of fitness and to maintain or reduce their body mass index. Last year 16 agencies participated in the National Fitness Challenge and this year’s program has grown extensivly with more than 20 participating agencies from across the United States who will provide more than 700 teenagers who are blind and visually impaired with an opportunity to increase their physical fitness levels and live a healthier and more active lifestyle.

In order to keep track of each participants success, every agency submits baseline data and monthly updates that are used to create achievable fitness and weight loss goals for each teen. Mark Lucas, executive director of the United States Association of Blind Athletes, said, “Last year the number of students participating in the program was 603, and of these 603 students 393, or 65%, maintained or reduced their body mass index. With number like that we predict a great success rate for a second year of the National Fitness Challenge.” With the renewal of this grant from the WellPoint Foundation, through the partnering agencies, USABA will provide each agency with sports equipment as well as fitness and nutrition coaches for teens particpating in the program.

“The WellPoint Foundation helps us continue meeting the company’s commitment to helping children and adults live active lives and avoid the health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles and obesity,” said Bill Smith, president and general manager of WellPoint’s Disability and Life business. “We believe no one should be denied the right to enjoy the physical and emotional benefits associated with exercise; therefore, we are very proud to once again partner with the USABA to ensure that vision impairments do not limit the recreational opportunities afforded to teenagers across the country."

Research has consistently shown that individuals who participate in regular physical activity to improve their health have higher energy levels, a lower risk of health-related diseases, improved psychological health, and lower rates of depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, because of the many barriers and misconceptions about their abilities, approximately 70 percent of the nearly 56,000 children and youth who are blind and visually impaired in the United States do not participate in even a limited physical education curriculum. The implimentation of the National Fitness Challenge is one program USABA and the WellPoint Foundation are using to break down these barriers.


Mar 05, 2013

Blind and Visually Impaired Skiers Learn to Ski in Breckenridge, CO

Anthem Life Insurance Company Sponsors USABA/BOEC Winter Ski Camp

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to announce they will be hosting the 7th annual Winter Ski Camp in Breckenridge, Colorado, from Thursday, March 7 through Monday, March 11, thanks to generous support from the Anthem Life Insurance Company. For this event, USABA partners with the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) for lodging and trained ski guides, a key element for athletes who are blind and visually impaired. This year USABA and BOEC will provide two days of alpine skiing and one day of nordic skiing in the Rocky Mountains for up to 17 people, including Veterans and Active Duty Service Members who are blind and visually impaired.
 

“The goal of this program is to provide skiers who are blind and visually impaired with a chance to get out on the mountain and experience the thrill of alpine and Nordic skiing. It is our hope that by providing additional resources and skills, our participants will continue to ski at their nearest ski resorts, and that this sparks the desire to compete for some skiers,” said Mark Lucas, USABA’s executive director.

Speaking at this year’s event is Navy Lieutenant and Paralympic Gold Medalist, Brad Snyder. Brad was blinded on September 7, 2011, by an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in Afghanistan. Less than a year later, he competed at the 2012 London Paralympic games in the S11 (totally blind) category for swimming, where he set a Paralympic record and won two Gold Medals and one Silver Medal.

“When one hears about all of the accomplishments Brad has realized after losing his sight, it’s incredibly motivating,” said Bill Smith, president and general manager of Anthem Life. “If someone is born with a disability or becomes disabled, including visually impaired, a lot of things change in their life. However, this should not stop a person from getting outdoors and enjoying a healthy and active lifestyle that includes sports and physical activities. This is one of the reasons why I’m proud that we are once again sponsoring this ski event. It’s a very unique educational event for brokers, and it’s incredibly inspiring to be around these athletes.”    

Trained guides and instructors are provided by BOEC, a Colorado non-profit organization that is committed to expanding the potential of people with disabilities and special needs through meaningful, educational and inspiring outdoor experiences.

“This event has so many positive outcomes,” said Smith. “People with visually impairments learn new skills so they can maintain an active lifestyle, and attendees can interact with Brad, who is a great role model for everyone.”

For more information, or for a schedule of events, contact Lacey Markle, public relations and event coordinator at (719) 229-9084.

About Anthem Life
Life and Disability products underwritten by Anthem Life Insurance Company. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. 
  


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USABA Flag Logo

Anthem Life Logo


May 14, 2013

New Partnership with Bosma Enterprises

Bosma Enterprises Employs People Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired One Job at a Time

Colorado Springs, Colo. (May 14, 2013) – The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to partner with Bosma Enterprises to promote job opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired. Bosma Enterprises is a dynamic organization that employs qualified and motivated candidates with career opportunities for people of all experience levels and professional backgrounds.

“Despite continued gains in employment, people who are blind and visually impaired remain one of America’s greatest untapped labor resources and Bosma Enterprises is honored to partner with USABA to implement marketing strategies to promote job opportunities to athletes who are blind and visually impaired including our military Service Men and Women with visual impairments,” said Lou Moneymaker, President & CEO of Bosma.

Each week, USABA will post a Bosma Enterprises job of the week on the United States Association of Blind Athletes Facebook page as well as in the USABA Weekly News and Notes email blast.

Careers at Bosma Enterprises can be found at: http://www.bosma.org/careers.

For more information on Bosma Enterprises contact Joice Wade, Vice-President of Human Resources, at 317-704-8202 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For more information on USABA contact Mark Lucas, Executive Director, at 719-866-3200 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

About Bosma Enterprises
In the United States, seven out of 10 people who are blind are not employed. Since 1915, Bosma Enterprises has been navigating blindness by providing job training, employment services, rehabilitation and outreach programs for people, from adolescents to seniors. Bosma is the only Indianapolis-area nonprofit provider of programs and services solely focused on people who are blind or visually impaired. For more information, go to: http://www.bosma.org/

About United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)
Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind and visually impaired individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. USABA’s Mission: to enhance the lives of blind and visually impaired people by providing the opportunity for participation in sports and physical activity.  For more information, visit our Web site: http://www.usaba.org



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Jun 28, 2013

A Second Chance at Sports

By: Lindsay Simpson, Masters student at University of Maryland

For the first time in her life, 17-year-old Ali Lawson can proudly say that she is an athlete, and last weekend she competed in the Goalball National Championship Tournament in Vancouver, Wash.  

Lawson was born with a rare mutation of the degenerative eye disease, Leber's Congenital Amaurosis (LCA).  LCA is a hereditary disorder that often results in vision loss or blindness.  While Lawson still has enough vision to send text messages to all of her friends, using adaptive screen features, she is unable to do many of the things her friends do, like playing sports. 

Lawson comes from a very athletic family and sports were a part of her childhood.  By middle school, her vision had deteriorated so much that she could no longer compete without risking injury to herself or to the other children on the field.  This was a devastating blow to Lawson, who wanted nothing more to have her name on the back of a jersey.

Just over two years ago, Lawson was introduced to the world of goalball, a sport created in the 1940s for blinded World War II Veterans.

Goalball is played on a volleyball size court and each of the boundaries are marked by taped string so the athletes can feel where they are.  The ball is just larger than a basketball with a bell inside of it.  As the ball is rolled down the court, the players on the other team listen for the bells and try to stop the ball before it rolls into the goal behind them.

“Goalball is [a lot] like other sports.  There are three people defending the goal and the object of the game is to get the ball in the goal behind the line.  You have to block the ball, you can only use your ears and your body because you’re blindfolded so everyone has the same disability,” Lawson said.

“It was hard [at first], but it was pretty awesome…to lay on the ground and get hit with the ball,” Lawson said of her first time playing goalball at a summer camp for visually impaired kids in 2011.

Later that year, Lawson was invited to travel to a tournament in Birmingham with the Atlanta Force girl’s goalball team.  The team lost all of their games in that tournament, but Lawson could not have been more ecstatic. 

“Everyone kept telling me what a good athlete I was.  It was always a secret dream of mine to be a good athlete.  I didn’t feel empty anymore,” Lawson said.  She finally found her sport.

Goalball has given Lawson something to work for, and like other high school aged athletes hoping to play a sport at the next level, she has made training a part of her daily routine. 

Lawson entered a national fitness competition the WellPoint Foundation sponsored through their partnership with the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), a member of the U.S Olympic Committee.  The WellPoint fitness challenge encouraged blind youth to focus on their health and fitness.  

Lawson began working out on a regular basis, lifting weights, running and circuit training.  She was the female winner from Atlanta and will receive a trip to the Olympic Training Center in July to watch the International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) Pan Am Goalball games, which is a competition between American countries that serves as a qualifier for the IBSA World Championships next summer. 

As a result of the challenge and her drive to succeed in her goalball career, fitness became a part of Lawson’s regular routine that she has continued even though the challenge has ended.  Lawson feels stronger and better than ever now that she is fit.

Two years ago, if you had asked Lawson what her biggest dream in life was, she would tell you that it was to be an athlete, play sports, and hear someone cheer for her.  When you ask her today, she will tell you that it is to make the U.S. Goalball National Team and compete in the Paralympics. 

Lawson’s life has changed since she discovered goalball and she readily admits that being visually impaired has given her opportunities she might never have experienced otherwise.

Thanks to the world of blind sports, Lawson is only beginning her athletic career.

Ali blocking the ball


Jul 04, 2013

USA GOALBALL TEAMS HEAD TO IBSA CHAMPIONSHIP COMPETITIONS

Next week, Team USA Goalball Teams head to Colorado Springs, Colorado to compete in two major championship tournaments sanctioned by the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) and hosted by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) at Colorado College, July 9-15, 2013. 


Team USA Junior National teams will compete in the 2013 IBSA World Youth Championships, the premiere international Goalball competition for athletes ages 19 and under. USABA is proud to announce the following athletes will represent Team USA and USABA for the 2013 IBSA World Youth Championships Goalball competition:

Boys’ Team:

• Abel Del Toro (Fontana, CA)
• Austin Devine (North Miami Beach, FL)
• Nathan Purcell (Ellensburg, WA)
• Joshua Welborn (Pelham, AL)
• Alex Williams (Macomb, MI)
• Calahan Young (Irwin, PA)


Girls’ Team:

• Vanessa Coleman (Lakeland, FL)
• Marybai Huking (Plain City, UT)
• Eliana Mason (Beaverton, OR)
• Cortlinn Pay (Jacksonville, FL)
• Maddy Stafford (Salt Lake City, UT)
• Alexia Steudle (Costa Mesa, CA)


The Team USA National teams will compete in the 2013 IBSA Parapan American Regional Goalball Championships.  The top men’s and women’s finishers are competing to qualify for the 2014 IBSA World Goalball Championships to be held in Espoo, Finland.   The 2014 IBSA World Goalball Championships will be the first of three qualification tournaments for the 2016 Paralympic Games. 

The following athletes will represent Team USA in the 2013 IBSA Parapan American Regional Goalball Championships:


Men’s Team:

• Joe Hamilton (Sacramento, CA)
• Andy Jenks (Wilmington, DE)
• John Kusku (Warren, MI)
• Donte’ Mickens (Delray Beach, FL)
• Matt Simpson (Colorado Springs, CO)
• Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, FL)


Women’s Team:

• Jen Armbruster (Portland, OR)
• Lisa Czechowski (Tucson, AZ)
• Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, GA)
• Jordan Gist (Fargo, ND)
• Asya Miller (Portland, OR)
• Cathy Morgan (Logan, UT)


Team USA Staff:

• Ken Armbruster (Colorado Springs, CO)
• Matt Boyle (Durham, CA)
• James Crozier (St. Augustine, FL)
• Jake Czechowski (Tucson, AZ)
• Dawn Gulick (Pottstown, PA)
• Mike Lege’ (Elkton, FL)
• Wendy Pinkston (St. Augustine, FL)
• John Potts (Shiloh, IL)


Opening ceremonies will be held at Armstrong Hall on the Colorado College Campus at 7:00pm on July 10.  Goalball competition begins on July 11 at the Colorado College El Pomar Sports Center and runs through July 14.  Admission is free and all games are open to the public.

 


Jul 22, 2013

USA Men’s and Women’s Goalball - Road to Rio

Written by: Ryan Lucas; Special Contributor

As a group, they earned at least one of every medal, and together, they took a few moments to celebrate and praise each other’s performances; but after the nets came down and the tape came up from the court the USA Goalball Teams redirected their attention from the podium and the sleek neckwear to the next task, The 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. Unlike the clock and the ball in the inimitable sport, time never stops turning in the goalball careers of these athletes.

At the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) 2013 Pan American Games held July 9-15 in Colorado Springs, Colo., the USA Women’s National Goalball Team led the American contingent by winning the Gold Medal and the USA Men’s National Goalball Team collected the Silver Medal in the event hosted by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA).  Included in The USA Women’s Team current blend of veterans and up-and-comers are Jen Armbruster (Portland, Ore.), Lisa Czechowski (Tucson, Ariz.), Jordan Gist (Fargo, N.D.), Asya Miller (Portland, Ore.), Amanda Dennis (Peachtree, Ga.) and Cathy Morgan (Logan, Utah). The USA Men’s Team features Joe Hamilton (Sacramento, Calif.), Andy Jenks (Wilmington, Del.), John Kusku (Warren, Mich.), Donte’ Mickens (Delray Beach, Fla.), Matt Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, Fla.). Both teams cemented spots in the IBSA 2014 World Goalball Championships in Finland by finishing in the top two. 

Not only did the Pan American teams place, but the USA Boys’ National Team members matched their elders by taking home the Silver Medal in the IBSA 2013 World Youth Championships, and the USA Girls’ National Team received the Bronze Medal.

Each of the USA teams watched their compatriots play throughout the tournament, ever ready to offer support or criticism when necessary. In the unique world of elite athletics, the structure of the program is designed to foster both camaraderie and healthy competition. After watching the USA Girls’ National Team compete all weekend, Women’s Team center Amanda Dennis spoke of the camaraderie, competition and the necessity of being pushed from behind by younger peers with medal-stand talent. “You can tell they have worked together before and have court chemistry,” Dennis, whose defense formed a barricade for her squad in their 2-0 championship victory over Brazil, said of the USA Girls’ Team. She continued to say, “They have a lot going for them in their goalball future, but we are not going to give up our spots.  They are going to have to come in and take them!” The USA Girls’ National Team consists of: Vanessa Coleman (Lakeland, Fla.), Marybai Huking (Plain City, Utah), Eliana Mason (Beaverton, Ore.), Cortlinn Pay (Jacksonville, Fla.), Maddy Stafford (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Alexia Steudle (Costa Mesa, Calif.). 

As all the American players strengthen their game, the programs can tinker with lineups and tactics, challenging opponents to adjust, but for both sides, continuing the smooth line of fluidity is essential. USA Boys’ National Goalball Team head coach, Matt Boyle (Durham, Calif.), said, “I think our program is getting deeper and deeper. We have a lot more options now than we did six months ago, and I am sure that six months from now we are going to have more options than we do now.” Boyle’s squad, which consists of Abel Del Toro (Fontana, Calif.), Austin Devine (North Miami Beach, Fla.), Nathan Purcell (Ellensburg, Wash.), Joshua Welborn (Pelham, Ala.), Alex Williams (Macomb, Mich.) and Calahan Young (Irwin, Pa.)—is competing on a steady pace of advancement, he said, “Every single one of the boys has been to a training camp with the USA Men’s Team, which prepared them to come into this tournament and play anyone.” He continued, “We saw that in the semifinal game against Brazil; the first time we played them we allowed 11 goals, and the second time we played them we allowed one.  That is a pretty big improvement.”

Both the boys and the girls compete with the eagerness to learn and adapt, and the USA Men’s and Women’s coaching staff are always on the lookout for ways in which they can nurture and reward such progress. “Three of the young girls are in my pool, so they go to my camps, and I have actually taken a couple of them overseas with me,” USA Women’s National Team Head Coach Ken Armbruster (Colorado Springs, Colo.) said.  “We get them away from home for a week and show them the little things; it is not all on the court, so we have to see how they handle themselves off the court and away from their normal environment, too.” Such enthusiasm for the game develops even earlier than the National Boys’ and Girls’ teams. For example, at 19 years old, Dennis is the youngest athlete among the USA Women, but her experience reaches farther into the past than her age suggests. “I made the youth team when I was 15, and I have been playing goalball since I was 8,” she said.  “I started at a sports education camp, which is where most of the girls started. Programs like The USABA youth goalball team’s and sports camps significantly contribute to the future of the women’s and men’s team.”

John Potts, USABA Goalball High Performance Manager, stated that not only will the teams be successful with camaraderie, but the most important aspect is unity. Potts continued, “Unity is achieved through the requite ups and downs and countless practice sessions, team meetings, and tournaments. When everyone in the red, white and blue wins, the programs maintain the level needed for sustained success.” With collective eyes on longevity, the Men’s and Women’s Goalball Teams are striving for greatness come 2014 in Finland, 2016 in Rio, and beyond. As each USA team adds to the stockpile of experience with each tournament and practice, the objectives remain unchanged. “The goal, for both them Men and Women, is to get to Rio and get on the medal stand,” said USA Men’s National Team head coach Mike Lege’ (Elkton, Fla.), “So far, we are on our way.”


Sep 27, 2013

Call for Proposals

2014 Grassroots Goalball

Attention groups and organizations interested in starting new youth goalball teams in the United States. The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is calling for partners nationwide to submit proposals to start new youth goalball teams in communities around the United States. Teams will be provided with resources and technical assistance to start new goalball teams. These teams will have the opportunity to compete in regional competition and receive the training and experience to take their game to the next level.

Who: Community organizations and groups interested in establishing new goalball teams or enhancing their existing goalball programs by adding new teams in partnership with USABA.
What: Programs interested in receiving assistance from USABA to start a youth goalball team or teams should fill out and submit the attached application to Matt Simpson by November 1, 2013.
When: The Grassroots Goalball program will run from January 15th through May 15, 2014.

Each team in the 2013-2014 Grassroots goalball program will receive more than a thousand dollars’ worth of financial and technical support and equipment, including:
• Up to 6 sets of personal equipment per team, including: eye shades, knee pads, elbow pads and hip pads
• Three goalballs
• One pre-made, reusable goalball court
• Enough court tape to get started
• Access to USABA expert coaches for training and coaching tips
• Access to USABA goalball technical resources, including USABA’s new coaching videos

Teams will be asked to meet the following participation standards:
• An average of two goalball activities per week, including practices and competitions, over the goalball season, running 15 January through 15 May
• A minimum of three regional competitions with the other Grassroots Goalball programs in your immediate area
• A full roster of participants
• Each athlete and coach in the program must become a member of USABA
• Teams will be asked to submit one mid-season progress report and one final report on their program
• Teams will also be asked to submit pictures for use on USABA’s publications and social media

Each coach in the program must also undergo a background check and take the USOC’s free Safe sport online certification course. Safe Sport seeks to educate coaches about the best ways to identify and prevent bullying and abuse. Each team must comply with the Safe Sport guidelines provided by the USOC and USABA. Please contact Matt Simpson, USABA Membership and Outreach Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or by phone at (719)866-3019.

Click here for an application


Oct 22, 2013

USABA Partners with PR Nutrition to Fuel USABA Athletes

 

 

PR Nutrition is excited and honored to be a part of the USABA’s inspirational team and efforts to build upon the momentum towards health and wellness for people who are blind and visually impaired.  Like USABA, PR Nutrition is committed to empowering youth and adults to lead active and healthy lifestyles.

We would like to congratulate all outstanding USABA athletes and those who support them for your determination, strength to succeed and teamwork which proves what can be accomplished with the proper fuel, practice and support systems.

We at PR Nutrition are fitness fanatics, PR seekers and dream chasers and we are grateful for the opportunity to help USABA athletes chase their dreams. 

Personal Records with PR Nutrition

As the Official Performance Nutrition Bar of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Teams, PR Bars are fueling the USA National Goalball Teams.

Surging ahead on the Road to Rio and the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, USA Goalball Teams will be on an amazing journey and we are excited to cheer them on as they continue to seek the podium!  We look forward to providing PR Nutrition’s PR Bars so these athletes can remain strong and healthy as they break thru their individual and team PR’s (Personal Records).  We will post updates and photos across our social media platforms and create contests for all of our fans to participate with the team athletes as they journey toward the IBSA Goalball World Championships next summer in Finland.

Like Us on Facebook | Follow Us on Twitter

As a special promotion to you, the members and friends of USABA, we are offering an online discount promotion of 15% off your total order with us. Please enjoy our offer by going to www.prbar.com and typing in promo code USABA15 at checkout.  PR Bars are all-natural and gluten fee.

Thank you for continuing to create a platform full of opportunities for people who are blind and visually impaired.

Fueling Your Dreams,

Anne-Marie Berte
Vice President, Sports Marketing
PR Nutrition
www.prbar.com
Like Us on Facebook | Follow Us on Twitter
PR Bar is the Official Licensee of the U.S. Olympic Committee & Team USA. 


Nov 15, 2013

Florida (FSDB) and Lakeshore Foundation Claim 2013 USABA National High School Goalball Championships

Twenty teams from all regions of the USA converged at the 2013 USABA National High School Goalball Championships in St. Augustine, Florida, November 7th-9th, to compete for the National Championship title on the campus of the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB).  The tournament proved to be action-packed with teams competing at a high-level in a field filled with competitive teams.  With many close games and exciting final-round action, the student-athletes involved had experiences they will never forget.

On the girls’ side, the home team Florida Cobras faced off against the California Mayhem in the Gold Medal game.  In a nail-biting battle with high-quality play, the girls from Florida defeated the California Mayhem, 5-4, claiming the gold medal and championship title, while California would earn the silver medal.  Both teams came out of pool play in the top position in their respective pools.  During semi-final action, the California Mayhem defeated the Texas Wildcats, 11-1, while Florida defeated defending National Champions, the Utah Rage, 5-3, in the other semi-final.  Utah and Texas squared off in the Bronze Medal game, with Utah coming out on top to claim the bronze.

On the boys’ side, the Lakeshore Foundation would face the Florida Cobras in the Gold Medal game, a rematch of Pool D action, which Florida won 4-2.  The second battle would see the Lakeshore boys go on an offensive tear, defeating Florida, 14-4, capturing the gold medal and championship title.  During semi-final action, the Lakeshore boys defeated the Arizona Sentinels, while Florida defeated the Texas Wildcats.  Arizona and Texas faced-off in the Bronze Medal game, with Arizona cruising to win the bronze.

In addition to the on-court action, during the post-tournament awards’ ceremony, Mr. Tom Parrigin was inducted into the USABA Hall of Fame.  John Potts, representing USABA, was on hand to present the award and reflect on the myriad of contributions Coach Parrigin has made to blind athletes across many sports and decades.  It was a moving ceremony, which was made even more special since it was held at FSDB, where Coach Parrigin worked and coached for over 30 years.

Results:

Girls                                                           Boys
1st Place – Florida (FSDB) Cobras                 1st Place – Lakeshore Foundation
2nd Place – California Mayhem                      2nd Place – Florida (FSDB) Cobras
3rd Place – Utah Rage                                  3rd Place – Arizona (ASDB) Sentinels

All Tournament Team:

Girls                                                           Boys
Ashley Centimole (Florida)                            Armando Cruz (Arizona)
Vanessa Coleman (Florida)                           Emmitt Johnson (Florida)
Marybai Huking (Utah) – MVP                       Elliott Parkin (Utah)
Justine Montanez (California)                        Alex Richmond (Lakeshore)
Cortlinn Pay (Florida)                                   Josh Welborn (Lakeshore) – MVP
Results:  GBrittany Richardson (California)     DeAngelo Willis (Georgia)
Alexia Steudle (California) 

Sportsmanship Award:

Girls                                                            Boys
Texas Twisters                                             Washington

 

John Potts presents USABA Hall of Fame plaque to Coach Tom Parrigin

 

2013 Girls Champions Florida

2013 Boys Champions Lakeshore

 


Dec 18, 2013

Job Opening

Closing Date:  January 18, 2014
Salary:   Competitive salary and benefits package
Job Title:  Public Relations & Event Coordinator 

The United States Association of Blind Athletes, a member organization of the United States Olympic Committee is currently seeking a candidate with strong writing, organizational and new media skills to work in our National Office based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.   

The candidate should be hardworking, energetic, detail-oriented and personable who demonstrates a working knowledge of adaptive sports.  This position will require limited domestic travel.  The candidate will work under the supervision of the Executive Director.  

Duties Include
• Writes, edits and places press releases and stories related to all sports and/or programs of USABA
• Proactively pitches stories to local, regional and national media outlets
• Writes and maintains athlete biographies
• Actively contributes to USABA social media efforts
• Content management of USABA’s website
• Assist in the planning and execution of special events and sport programs
• Assist in the fulfillment of USABA sponsor obligations
• Assist in fundraising for USABA
• Perform organizational administration duties as assigned

Minimum Requirements
• At least one year proven experience in communications/PR field
• BA in English, Journalism, Public Relations or related degree is preferred
• Excellent writing and speaking skills
• Demonstrated knowledge of social media platforms
• Working knowledge of adaptive sports for the blind is preferred
• Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office software
• Demonstrated ability to successfully multitask, strong work ethic and organizational skills
• Must work out of USABA’s National Office in Colorado Springs, Colorado

USABA Mission: The mission of the United States Association of Blind Athletes is to enhance of the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired through sport, recreation and physical activity.

USABA Vision: We envision a world in which all individuals who are blind or visually impaired have the same opportunities to discover their athletic potential and pursue their athletic dreams.

To apply:  Please send your cover letter, resume, and three references summarizing background experience and salary requirements to Mark Lucas, Executive Director at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Please include how you can contribute to the success of USABA and any writing samples you wish to provide.
 


Jan 02, 2014

Just In:  2014-2017 IBSA Goalball Rules and Regulations

Following ratification by the IBSA Executive Board, we now have the 2014 IBSA Goalball Rules & Regulations.  They are effective immediatly and can be found here and under Goalball in the Sports section of this website. 


Jan 30, 2014

Just Released:  Revision to IBSA 2014-2017 IBSA Rules and Regulations

This past week, Goalball referee certification courses and tournaments were conducted in Canada and Finland using the 2014-2017 IBSA Goalball Rules and Regulations.  Based on feedback from those events, some modifications were made and just released as version 1.0.4.  This change is effective immediately and will be the version in use for USABA Goalball competitions until superseded.  This document can be found here or in the Sports section of the USABA website.


Feb 27, 2014

History of the 8th Annual John Bakos Memorial Goalball Tournament

This weekend’s tournament in Michigan is known by two names? When did the USABA Midwest Regional Tournament change its name to the John Bakos Memorial Goalball Tournament?
Thirty years ago, Dr. Paul and Dr. Sue Ponchillia, both professors of Blind Rehabilitation at Western Michigan University, started the Midwest Regional Tournament. In fact, it is the oldest of all regional tournaments in the United States. What started out as a small competition in Kalamazoo, Michigan quickly grew into a major event in the goalball community. During this time, Paul met John Bakos, a successful basketball coach who was working on a graduate degree in Blind Rehabilitation, and introduced him to the sport of goalball. Bakos eventually became the head coach of the Western Michigan Wrecking Crew and the U.S. Men’s National and Paralympic Goalball teams from 2003-2005. He led his team to bronze in the 2004 Summer Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece. In 2005, Bakos passed away and the tournament changed its name to the John Bakos Memorial Goalball Tournament shortly thereafter. The tournament relocated to Warren, Michigan for the 2012 tournament season and continues to attract a large number of teams from the United States and Canada. In fact, the tournament has grown so much that three gyms will be used this year to accommodate all competing teams. March 1-2, eighteen men’s and eight women’s teams will compete at Warren Mott High School, including five new teams and the home crowd favorites, MI Omega and MI Livewire.
 


Mar 15, 2014

Registration Now Open for 2014 USABA Goalball National Championships

Registration is now open for the 2014 USABA Goalball National Championships, hosted by Iowa Adaptive Sports and being held in Ames Iowa, June 19-21. 

Information and Online Registration

As a reminder, all players must qualify to compete in this tournament through participation at a 2014 USABA regional goalball tournament either as a member of a team or as a pool player at one of these tournaments.  For additional information, please contact John Potts, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Mar 19, 2014

Tandem Cycling Development Camp

In partnership with U.S. Paralympics, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to host a Tandem Cycling Development Camp for riders who are blind and visually impaired at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, 7-14 May 2014. The focus will be on active duty and veterans who have experienced some vision loss, but all B/VI athletes may apply. 

Military veterans and active duty service members are strongly encouraged to attend as either pilots or stokers. Approved military athletes are fully funded to the camp.  Riders must possess the fitness and equipment necessary to make it through the week-long cycling camp.  Only road tandems are approved equipment for this camp.
If you do not have a bike or a pilot (partner) to ride with you at camp, USABA may be able to provide them, so please notify USABA when you apply.

Cyclists will learn bike handling skills, safe riding techniques and road racing strategies.  Riders are on their bikes twice per day and will ride 100 miles for the week. Athletes will practice skills, engage in race simulations and have classroom discussions nightly.

Click here to apply online for the camp.

Applications must be submitted no later than 5 April:

For more information contact:

Pam Fernandes, Camp Coordinator
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
781-449-9563

For more information about USABA cycling and an event calendar,
please visit our website at www.usaba.org


Mar 19, 2014

USABA Launches New Mobile Coach Goalball Resource Site

USABA Launches New Goalball Resource: In collaboration with the United States Olympic Committee and the USA Men’s and Women’s National Goalball Teams, USABA is proud to announce the implementation of the Team USA Mobile Coach site. Team USA Mobile Coach provides access to drills and resources from USABA and the United States Olympic Committee, complete with diagrams and videos you can use on your desktop computer, iPhone, iPad or Android device. Coaches and athletes of all levels will benefit from the Team USA Mobile Coach, and it is free with your USABA membership. Be sure to keep your membership active to continue using this great membership benefit at home, at practice and on the go. Additional information on how to register to access Team USA Mobile Coach for Goalball registration can be found here.  When registering for a Team USA Moblie Coach account, you will encounter a drop down list of agencies.  Please ensure you select USABA. You will then be asked to provide additional information to be used to create your individual account.   You will encounter a membership number area; please leave that area blank.  For additional information contact John Potts, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 


Mar 20, 2014

Adaptive Rowing Camp

May 21-27, 2014

In partnership with USRowing and the Oklahoma City Boathouse Foundation, the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), is pleased to host an adaptive rowing camp for rowers with physical disabilities and identify potential candidates for participation in the Paralympic Games.  The camp will be held at the Oklahoma City National High Performance Training Center. 

The camp is open to male and female participants but is limited to those eligible for the LTA (Legs, Trunks & Arms) Paralympic boat class. Generally speaking, rowers who can use a sliding seat, such as someone with a visual impairment or with single-leg or single-arm involvement, are in the LTA class.

Athletes with disabilities who are currently rowing or have previous rowing experience or who have a high level of fitness and a competitive athletic background are strongly encouraged to apply.

Veterans and Active Duty Service Members with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.  Grant funding for this program is awarded by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, through funding provided by Veterans Affairs.  The grants are provided to facilitate the growth of Paralympic-sport programming for disabled Veterans and disabled members of the Armed Forces.

Program fees for non-military athletes will be no more than $250 and include all components of the camp (accommodations, ground transportation, meals, equipment, training, etc.).  We endeavor to subsidize these fees for the benefit of qualified candidates.  Travel will be the responsibility of the participant.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY FOR THE CAMP

Applications must be submitted no later than April 15.
For more information contact:
Ryan Ortiz
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
(719) 866-3025
 


Apr 10, 2014

ABANJ/USABA Northeast Regional Goalball Tournament

April 12-13 features the USABA Northeast Regional Goalball Tournament hosted by the Association of Blind Athletes of New Jersey (ABANJ). It will be the tournament's 32nd year running. New Jersey has long held the tradition of hosting this tournament with participants from the United States, Canada and Sweden with competition for both men's and women's teams. It was originally named after Doug Helmacy, Karen Helmacy's (USA Women's Goalball National Team Member for several years) father who died suddenly around the tournament's inception. He was instrumental in getting the Lions Clubs of New Jersey to sponsor ABANJ's goalball competitions. Eventually, the name changed to ABANJ/USABA Northeast Regional Goalball Tournament. Through the years, the competition's locations has moved and athletes have come and gone, which adds to its rich history. This year, 12 men's and 7 women's teams will be competing. Be sure to stay up-to-date through the United States Association of Blind Athlete's social media (Facebook and Twitter).


May 01, 2014

Atlanta, GA Selected as 2015 USABA Goalball National Championships Site

The United States Association of Blind Athletes is pleased to announce that Georgia Blind Sports Association (GBSA) and the City of Atlanta, Georgia will partner to host the 2015 USABA Goalball National Championships.

“We are truly excited about the partnership between Georgia Association of Blind Athletes and the City of Atlanta,” said John Potts, USABA Goalball Program Manager. “GBSA is a young organization already doing great things for athletes. Their partnership with the City of Atlanta, an experienced host city and great destination, is a win-win situation for this tournament.”

Founded in 2011, Georgia Blind Sports Association serves as an advocate for youth and adult athletes who are blind and visually impaired. On top of physical fitness activities offered, GBSA currently participates in three competitive sports.

“We are thrilled about the opportunity to host the 2015 USABA Goalball National Championships,” said Hal Simpson, Executive Director of Georgia Association of Blind Athletes. “Hosting this event in a community with the passion and ability to hold world-class competitions will be the crown jewel of the 2015 National Goalball Season.”

The City of Atlanta, Georgia is famous for hosting the 1996 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games as well as many other sporting events. It is an exceptional metropolis area to host the National Goalball Championships.

The tournament is planned for June 2015.  Additional tournament information will be posted through the USABA website (http://www.usaba.org) and provided to USABA members via email. 


May 01, 2014

2014 IBSA World Goalball Championships U.S. Team Named

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to announce the following individuals were selected to attend the 2014 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) World Goalball Championships to be held in Espoo, Finland, June 25 – July 6, 2014. This competition is a qualification tournament for the 2016 Paralympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 7-18, 2016.

Goalball World Championships is held every four years. There will be 16 men’s and 12 women’s teams participating in this year’s competition.

Women’s Team:
Jen Armbruster (Portland, OR)
Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, GA)
Jordan Gist (Fargo, ND)
Marybai Huking (Salt Lake City, UT)
Eliana Mason (Beaverton, OR)
Asya Miller (Portland, OR)

Men’s Team:
Joe Hamilton (Sacramento, CA)
Andrew Jenks (Wilmington, DE)
John Kusku (Warren, MI)
Tyler Merren (Coral Springs, FL)
Matt Simpson (Colorado Springs, CO)
Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, FL)

Staff:
Ken Armbruster (Colorado Springs, CO)
Matt Boyle (Sacramento, CA)
Dawn Gulick (Pottstown, PA)
Mike Lege (Elkton, FL)
 


May 29, 2014

U.S. Women’s Goalball Team Set to Compete at Malmo Intercup

The U.S. Women’s National Goalball Team is ready to compete in international play at the Malmo Lady Intercup, May 29 through June 1, in Malmo, Sweden. This tournament is their final preparation for the 2014 IBSA World Goalball Championships—the first of three qualification opportunities for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—located in Espoo, Finland from June 16 to July 6, 2014.
Since the Malmo Lady Intercup’s inception in 2000, the U.S. women’s team placed first seven times, more than any other team in the tournament’s history, and will start the competition with 11 countries as the tournament’s defending champion.
Click here for a full tournament schedule and check full results from competition on the Malmo Intercup's Facebook. You can also follow the Women’s Goalball team on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Team Roster:
• Jen Armbruster (Portland, Oregon)
• Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, Georgia)
• Asya Miller (Portland, Oregon)
• Eliana Mason (Portland, Oregon)
• Jordan Gist (Fargo, North Dakota)
• Ken Armbruster (Colorado Springs, Colorado) – Head coach
• Jake Czaechowski (Tucson, Arizona) – Assistant Coach
• Dawn Gulick (Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia) – Escort
 


Jun 16, 2014

2014 USABA National Goalball Championships A Few Days Away

Goalball Fans--just a few more days until the 2014 USABA National Goalball Championships begins.  The competition, hosted by Adaptive Sports Iowa, will bring top Goalball teams from around the country together with hopes of capturing this year's championship crowns.

All games will be held at Ames Middle School, 2913 Mortensen, Road, Ames, Iowa.  The games are free of charge and open to the public.  We hope to see you there!

Tournament Schedule

 


Jun 20, 2014

Goalball Nationals Day 1 Results

Thunderstorms and flight delays couldn’t stop USABA Goalball Nationals. Teams came out ready to compete bringing their best game to the first night of the three day tournament. Below are final scores from Day 1 of competition (June 19).
Women:
CA Aftershock 13—MI Livewire 7
Men:
CA Cyclones 9—NY Knights 8
CA Earthquake 8—MI Omega 5
NJ Thunder 15—USABA Veterans 11
S FL Crossfire 13—NY Empire 7
AZ Sting 11—Columbus Chill 5

 


Jun 20, 2014

USABA Goalball Nationals Day 2 Results

Day 2 of competition (June 20) showed abundant talent in pool play setting up rankings for the elimination rounds. High scoring led to close games on the men’s and women’s sides. California Cyclones finished first in Pool A (Men) with a record of 5-0-0, California Earthquake captured top seed for Pool B (Men) with a record of 5-0-0, and Pool Team Central took the one seed for Pool C (Women) with a 2-0-1 record. All results are shown below. Tomorrow’s competition will determine men’s and women’s National Champions.
Women:
Pool Team Central 11 vs. Pool Team East 1
MI Livewire 6 vs. Pool Team East 2
CA Aftershock 7 vs. Pool Team Central 7 (Tie)
CA Aftershock 10 vs. Pool Team East 3
Pool Team Central 14 vs. MI Livewire 8
Men:
Atlanta Force 7 vs. NWABA Avalanche 1
MI Omega 5 vs. Columbus Chill 5 (Tie)
CA Cyclones 10 vs. NJ Thunder 0
CA Earthquake 11 vs. S FL Crossfire 9
NY Knights 10 vs. NWABA Avalanche 6
AZ Sting 9 vs. NY Empire 8
Atlanta Force 15 vs. USABA Veterans 6
NWABA Avalanche 11 vs. NJ Thunder 2
S FL Crossfire 12 vs. Columbus Chill 2
Atlanta Force 16 vs. NY Knights 9
CA Earthquake 10 vs. NY Empire 7
MI Omega 8 vs. AZ Sting 2
CA Cyclones 14 vs. USABA Veterans 4
CA Aftershock 7 vs. Pool Team Central 7 (Tie)
CA Earthquake 13 vs. Columbus Chill 3
NY Knights 10 vs. NJ Thunder 3
S FL Crossfire 9 vs. AZ Sting 4
NWABA Avalanche 16 vs. USABA Veterans 8
NY Empire 9 vs. MI Omega 8
CA Cyclones 12 vs. Atlanta Force 2
CA Earthquake 13 vs. AZ Sting 5
NY Knights 16 vs. USABA Veterans 7
 


Jun 21, 2014

Final Day of Competition at Goalball Nationals

Last day of competition at the 2014 USABA Goalball Nationals in Ames, Iowa, sponsored by non-24, witnessed close games on the journey to becoming National Champions. Every team gave their all throughout the day. A huge congratulations to Pool Team Central for capturing gold (in overtime) in the women’s bracket and California Cyclones for taking the gold in the men’s bracket. Full results will be posted in the near future.
Women’s Medal Winners:  
Gold – Pool Team Central  
Silver – California Aftershock                             
Bronze – Pool Team East
Men’s Medal Winners:
Gold – California Cyclones
Silver – Atlanta Force
Bronze – South Florida Crossfire
 


Jun 25, 2014

IBSA Goalball World Championships in Espoo, Finland

The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Goalball Teams are traveling to Finland to compete in the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships, June 26 – July 6. There are a number of ways to stay up-to-date on all the action. Follow USABA on Facebook and Twitter for real-time results. You can also follow the Men’s National Team and Women’s National Team on Twitter. USABA will have game re-caps after each day on our Website.

The women's team will take on Russia first on June 30 at 8:00am EST; the men’s first game will be against Spain on June 30 at 2:00am EST. Both games will be broadcasted live. Click here to watch the tournament streamed live. Click here for a full schedule of the tournament. Remember, Finland is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Go USA!
Women’s Team:
• Jen Armbruster (Portland, OR)
• Amanda Dennis (Peachtree City, GA)
• Jordan Gist (Fargo, ND)
• Marybai Huking (Salt Lake City, UT)
• Eliana Mason (Beaverton, OR)
• Asya Miller (Portland, OR)
Men’s Team:
• Joe Hamilton (Sacramento, CA)
• Andrew Jenks (Wilmington, DE)
• John Kusku (Warren, MI)
• Tyler Merren (Coral Springs, FL)
• Matt Simpson (Colorado Springs, CO)
• Daryl Walker (Jacksonville, FL)
Staff:
• Ken Armbruster (Colorado Springs, CO)
• Matt Boyle (Sacramento, CA)
• Dawn Gulick (Pottstown, PA)
• Mike Lege (Elkton, FL)
• Jeremy Marra (Ann Arbor, MI)
• John Potts (Shiloh, IL)


Jul 01, 2014

IBSA Goalball World Championships Team USA Wrap-up, Day 2

ESPOO, FINLAND – The U.S. Men’s National Goalball Team (2-1-1) finished day two of the International Blind Sports Federation’s Goalball World Championship games with a win against Ukraine and a tie against the Czech Republic while the U.S. Women’s National Team (1-1) beat Finland in their only match of the day.

The U.S. men’s team fell in the first game of the tournament Monday to Spain 0-1 but rebounded in the second game of the day to defeat Iran 6-5.  Tyler Merren scored five of the goals and John Kusku netted one.

Team USA adapted their strategy during their first game Tuesday to exploit Ukraine’s weakness on the court, a strategy that proved successful, and was aided by the fact that they managed to play a penalty-free game. 

“We were looking to watch to see where the holes are.  [Ukraine] has a tendency to get scored in the gaps so we were trying to score in the gaps,” coach Mike Lege said.

“The goal was to create separation between the defenders on motion shots,” Jenks said.

Daryl Walker found those gaps and put four goals away for the U.S. while Andy Jenks scored two and Tyler Merren, who entered the game from the bench in the second half, scored one.

The U.S. returned to the court for a second game Tuesday against the Czech Republic and walked away with a 6-6 draw. 

Merren found the back of the net in the very first play of the game, but the Czech Republic was able to answer quickly with a goal and then scored an own goal to give the U.S. the advantage early in the game.

Merren scored twice more and Walker and Jenks also picked up a goal apiece.  However the U.S. gave up two goals on penalties.

The U.S. Men take on Germany tomorrow at 4:00 am ET. 

The U.S. Women, coming off of a 0-3 loss against Russia on Monday, beat Finland in their only game of the day in front of a large Finnish crowd, 7-2.

Though the U.S. Women won decisively, they were unable to find the back of the net but once and remained tied 1-1 with Finland until the final six minutes of the game.  

“Part of it is keeping a calm demeanor on the court and not getting all worked up about stuff and just trying to keep it all level,” Asya Miller said about how she rallied her team in the second half.

“Our strategy at the beginning was to keep the ball outside and mostly to the right wing and she was covering everything good…and then [in the second half] we said we need to go inside and both Asya and Amanda responded with where we wanted to go…right in the middle of the court and then the gates kinds of opened,” coach Ken Armbruster said.

Asya Miller scored three goals of the goals for the U.S. and Amanda Dennis scored four.

The U.S. Women take on Turkey tomorrow at 7:00 am ET and Japan at 10:00 am ET.
 


Jul 02, 2014

Day 3 Team USA Wrap-up from IBSA Goalball World Championships

ESPOO, FINLAND -- Round robin play continued Wednesday with mixed results for Team USA on day three of the Goalball World Championship tournament. The Men's National Team won their only match of the day against Germany 8-5.  The Women's National Team played two games, losing to Turkey 2-8 and 3-4 against Japan, the defending Paralympic Gold Medalists.

The US Men were in 3rd place in Group A entering the game against Germany, who was in 7th place in the pool, and took them by storm in the first half, scoring five points while Germany was only able to answer with one.

However Germany was not ready to concede defeat and came out of the second half scoring two quick unanswered goals.

"We knew they were going to come guns ablazing and they were coming ready to play their heart out," Daryl Walker said about Germany's performance against the USA.

Walker entered the game at the end of the first half and added three goals for Team USA.

The U.S. Men face Algeria tomorrow at 2:00 am ET who are ranked no. 5 in Group A.

"We know they are going to come out fired up...it's going to be a hard hitting game but we're going to be ready," Walker said about facing Algeria Thursday morning.

The Women's National Team was also in 3rd place in Group X heading into their first match against no. 1 ranked Turkey. 

Turkey was called for a long ball in the first few seconds of play, however Asya Miller was unable to convert it.  Turkey managed to put just two points on the board in the first half while the U.S. notched one.

Each team scored quick goals in the beginning of the second half before Turkey took clear control of the game, scoring five unanswered goals against Team USA.

Team USA had a short break before taking the court again against Japan who beat them 3-4.

It was a well matched game as both teams swapped the lead throughout the game, neither ever ahead by more than a goal. 

"Japan is a tough team that is not going to give up goals" Dennis said, heading into the match, "and we're going to try to break their defense."

But ultimately the U.S. could not find an answer to Japan's fourth and final goal with 2 minutes and 30 seconds to play, which secured the win for the defending Paralympic champions.

The Women's National Team is back tomorrow for their final Pool X game against last place Germany at 9:00 am ET. 

Both teams must finish in the top four of their brackets to advance to the quarterfinal round on Friday.

The Men are currently ranked in 3rd place and the Women are seated in 4th place.


Jul 03, 2014

Men’s and Women’s Goalball National Teams Advance to Quarterfinals of World Championships

ESPOO, FINLAND -- Thursday wrapped up the final day of round robin play for the Goalball World Championship Games. Team USA is well positioned as both the Men's and Women's teams are moving into the quarterfinal rounds that begin Friday morning.

The Women's National Team (2-3) rebounded from a couple of tough losses yesterday to knock off Germany (0-5) 4-3, in their final round robin match, and only game of the day.

Asya Miller led the team in scoring on the day, netting three of the team's goals, while Jen Armbruster scored the fourth goal for the Women.

The Women's National Team secured fourth place in Pool X with the win and advances into the quarterfinal round tomorrow.  They face Brazil (4-1) at 5:15 am ET, who finished first in Pool Y.  Brazil's only loss this tournament came against China, who finished in second place of Pool Y.

The Men's National Team (4-2-1) finished pool play with mixed results. They handily put away Algeria (2-3-2) in their first match of the day, 6-2, before losing 3-8 to Finland (5-1-1).

Tyler Merren had another big game for the US, scoring all six of the team's goals against Algeria.

The US Men faced Finland in their second match of the day, in front of a packed gym of Finnish supporters.  Finland received a special visit from their President, Sauli Niinistö, who made the trip to Espoo to see the teams play.

Merren also scored two goals against Finland while Andy Jenks scored the third.

Finland finished in first place of Pool A while the US Men secured third place in the pool and will face Turkey (5-0-2), who finished in second place of Pool Y, at 6:30 am ET.

Official stats and results can be found on the tournament webpage.

Neither the Men's nor the Women's games will be streamed tomorrow so be sure to follow @usaba1 on Twitter for real time scores and updates!  Go Team USA!

 


Jul 04, 2014

Men’s and Women’s Goalball Advance to the Semifinals

Both the Women's National Goalball Team and the Men's National Teams have advanced to the semifinal rounds after stellar performances in Friday's quarterfinal games.

The Women's National Team (3-3) defeated Brazil (4-2) 5-3. Team USA entered the game in the fourth seed of Pool X, pitted against top ranked Brazil from Pool Y.

Brazil took an early 2-0 lead, but gave up a penalty with 3:27 left in the first half that proved to be the game changer for Team USA. Amanda Dennis converted the penalty shot and the USA quickly scored two more to end the half with the lead, 3-2. Asya Miller scored the second goal and Dennis scored the third goal that put the US in the lead.

The second half was a battle of defense, neither team were able to find the net until Miller split Brazil's defense with four minutes left to play followed shortly by another point from Dennis.

Dennis, who has been battling a knee injury since the first game of the tournament, started for the first time since her injury and was a key part of this game, both on offense and defense.

"If you're gonna play and gonna be here you better just play through the pain and win," Dennis said about her injury.

Brazil scored a late point but ran out of time before they were able to mount a final offensive attack.

"We played defense today. We played our game," coach Ken Armbruster said.

The Women face Japan (5-1), who are the defending Paralympic champions, in the semifinal round at 9:30 am ET. This is the second time these teams will face, the US lost to Japan 3-4 on Wednesday.

"We're happy to be playing Japan actually. I hope we score three points because if we do we're going to win this game. It's all going to be about our defense," Armbruster said.

The third seeded Men's National Team (5-2-1) took an early lead against second seeded Turkey (5-0-2), when John Kusku scored in the first 20 seconds of play.

Turkey responded four minutes later with a goal but the U.S. fought back and Tyler Merren scored two quick goals. Turkey split the defense one final time in the half and at the end of the first half, the U.S. lead Turkey 3-2.

"Stay confident, stay relaxed, don't rush the ball too much at all, play together, play great defense and the goals will come," Daryl Walker said of the U.S.' strategy coming into the second half.

Turkey came out strong in the second half and finished two, taking the lead 3-4. The U.S. was unable to answer until Walker converted a penalty shot with 1:45 left to play that tied the score with four goals apiece.

Walker scored the game wining goal 30 seconds later that moved Team USA into the semifinal round against Finland (6-1-1), who they lost to 3-8 on Thursday.

"The energy we're feeling after this win...to keep that same energy going into Finland," Walker said, feeling confident that the U.S. can turn a successful result against the defending Paralympic Gold Medalists.

"We've beat Finland a number of times so I think our confidence level is good, so it's a matter of penalties. If we commit no penalties against them, I think we'll come out on top," coach Mike Lege said.

The World Championship tournament is a Paralympic qualifying tournament. The top three finishing teams from both the men and women in this tournament secure a spot in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

"I just thought about Rio because we really need to qualify here and we've been working hard all year long," Dennis said acknowledging that both of the Goalball National Teams are only one win away from a Rio bid.

"I just love that we're in Finland, playing against Finland in the semifinals and quite possibly have the opportunity not only to beat Finland but to also qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games," Walker said.

Follow @usaba1 on Twitter for updates on the Women's game. The men's game will be streaming live: http://areena.yle.fi/tv/2316275

Jul 04, 2014

Women’s Goalball Heads to the Gold Medal Game, Men’s to the Bronze Game

The U.S. Women’s National Team (4-3) is booking their tickets to the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016 after winning 1-0 against Japan (5-2) and advancing to the gold medal match tomorrow.  The Men’s National Team (5-3-1) is just one win away from securing their spot in Rio as well after they lost 3-6 to Finland (7-1-1) and will play in the bronze medal game.

Before the Women’s game, coach Ken Armbruster said his team's key to success against Japan was going to come down to defense and not giving up any penalties.  Both proved true as Team USA did not commit a penalty against Japan.  Their defense was flawless as well, earning the team's first shutout of the tournament.

“Our philosophy has never changed. It’s always defense first and then capitalize on the mistakes,” Jen Armbruster said.

The US took the lead 90 seconds into the game and held on to a 1-0 lead until Japan gave up a high ball penalty with 3:47 to play in the game.  Team USA converted the penalty and punched their ticket to Rio with a final score of 2-0 over the reigning Paralympic champs.

The USA Women take on Russia (5-1-1) tomorrow 5:20 am ET.  Russia defeated Team USA on Monday during the first match of the tournament 0-3.  

“We’re evenly matched, we’ve played them a lot this year. We know it's going to be another tough game tomorrow,” Armbruster said.

The U.S. Men’s National Team lost in their semifinal game in a rematch against Finland, 3-6. 

Finland scored first within the first 40 seconds of the game but the U.S. was able to quickly even the score.  Finland scored again with four minutes left to play in the half and the U.S. again tied the score 2-2 heading into halftime.

Finland scored three more in the second half before the U.S. was able to answer with four minutes left to play, bringing the score to 3-5.  The U.S. could not sustain the offensive momentum and gave up another goal off a penalty to finish the game.

“It’s a good team we just played.  The general skill level they brought...they had the home crowd and the momentum going for them,” Tyler Merren said.

But the Men’s National Team has another game to play and a chance to win a medal and secure their spot in Rio against Lithuania (6-2-1) tomorrow.

“Overall we like the situation that we’re in. There’s 12 teams that wish they could be in our situation right now. It’s disappointing that we’re not in the gold medal match but we’re still competing for a medal and we’re appreciative of that,” Merren said.

Lithuania lost 4-14 against Brazil in their semifinal match today.  Team USA takes them on at 3:50 am ET tomorrow.

Both games will be streamed live here. Go USA!


Jul 05, 2014

USA Women Win Gold, Men Win Bronze and Trip to Rio

There were smiles all around on the medal stands today as both the Men's and Women's National Teams won their respective games. The Men defeated Lithuania in the bronze medal game 4-2 and with their bronze medal also secured their spot in the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. The Women defeated Russia 3-0 to win the gold and locked in their spot in Rio during yesterday's win. The top three finishers from both the men's and women's side qualified for Rio this tournament.

 

 

"It is a tribute to the hard-work and commitment to excellence by our athletes and coaches that we have achieved outstanding success in these Championships," Mark Lucas, executive director of the US Association of Blind Athletes (USABA), said.

 

 

The U.S. Men took an early 1-0 lead when Joe Hamilton scored less than two minutes into the game. Lithuania controlled much of the rest of the half after scoring two unanswered goals and blocking a penalty shot.

 

 

Tyler Merren scored two and a half minutes into the second half to give the U.S. the equalizing goal and the momentum in the game. Merren found the net again with 5:57 left to play.

 

 

Lithuania was called for a high ball, but Tyler Merren was then penalized for a high ball on the penalty shot. Lithuania was then penalized for illegal coaching on their penalty shot and Tyler Merren was able to convert the third penalty shot and bring the score to 4-2 with just over 3 minutes to play.

 

 

Team USA stressed prior to the game that the key to their victory would be efficiency on defense and not giving up any penalties, which proved to be their downfall in yesterday's loss to Finland. They accomplished both objectives and only gave up two penalties during the game, both of which they blocked.

 

 

This win secures their spot in Rio in 2016, a goal that has eluded them for the past 6 years. And Lithuania has proven to be a tough opponent for Team USA in the past, handing them several losses over the past few years.

 

 

"We came here to accomplish that goal...to qualify...and we got it done. [And] to do it against the team that has given us so much trouble over the years makes it so much sweeter," Joe Hamilton said.

 

 

And now that their goal of qualifying has been accomplished it's time to look forward to their Paralympic performance.

 

 

"They'll get a little break to celebrate but then we'll be back to work because our ultimate goal is to win a medal in the paralympics. Hopefully a gold medal," coach Mike Lege said.

 

 

The U.S. Women won gold in a rematch game against Russia, who they lost to 0-3 during their first round robin game on Monday.

 

 

"We always know when we play Russia it's going to be a pretty tough game and we knew going into Worlds that it was going to be tough," Amanda Dennis said.

 

 

Asya Miller came out and scored in the first possession of the game, giving the U.S. an early 1-0 lead. It wasn't until there were less than 3 minutes to play in the game that another goal was scored when Dennis netted one to give the U.S. a 2-0 lead.

 

 

Russia gave up a delay of game penalty with just over five minutes to play in the game for an improper substitution. Dennis converted the shot to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead and secure the gold medal.

 

 

"We came here to qualify for Rio and we came out as World Champions and USA hasn't been World Champions since 2002, so it [feels] pretty good," Dennis said.

 

 

The women were cautious on offense, only allowing one penalty, and excellent on defense, not allowing any goals, including a blocked penalty shot.

 

 

"We still have a few things to work on," coach Ken Armbruster said, emphasizing the need to get more experience for the younger women in the program through upcoming international tournaments.

 

 

Now that both USA teams have qualified for the Paralympics they can now focus for the next two years on preparing for the Paralympics.

 

 

This is the beginning of the start of the road to Rio," John Potts, High Performance Manager for USABA, said.


Jul 10, 2014

2014 USA Cycling Para-cycling Road National Championships Results

The 2014 USA Cycling Para-cycling Road National Championships took place in Madison, Wisconsin on July 4-6. USABA had 14 tandem teams compete with nine men’s teams and five women’s teams. Congratulations to all who competed in the road race and time trial events, to include the 2014 National Champions and medal winners. Below are all results.

   
Time Trial – Men’s Division

1. Clark Rachfal & David Swanson (0:34:33.83)
2. Lance Footer & Shawn Olin (0:35:11.59)
3. Chester Triplett & Reuben Howden (0:36:01.59)
4. Kurt Page & Davian Robinson (0:36:20.54)
5. Timothy Jones & Gregory Miller (0:37:30.67)
6. Kevin Meyers & Robert Springer (0:37:44.75)
7. Bradford Gildon & Tim Willison (0:38:11.91)
8. Steven Walker & Matt Carnal (0:38:50.12)
9. Gregory Hoffman & Raymond Middleton (0:41:31.12)   

Time Trial – Women’s Division
1. Shawn Cheshire & Mackenzie Woodring (0:38:53.31)
2. Karissa Whitsell & Lisa Turnbull (0:40:09.37)
3. Catherine Dickson & Kara Vatthauer (0:41:59.64)
4. Amy Dixon & Lindsey Cook (0:44:15.16)
5. Kathy Champion & Chelsea Smith (0:50:03.79)


Road Race – Men’s Division
1. Lance Footer & Shawn Olin (1:48:42.67)
2. Clark Rachfal & David Swanson (1:48:42.85)
3. Kevin Meyers & Robert Springer (1:50:38.45)
4. Chester Triplett & Reuben Howden (1:50:38.57)
5. Kurt Page & Davian Robinson (1:50:41.38)
6. Timothy Jones & Gregory Miller (1:53:42.71)
7. Bradford Gildon & Tim Willison (1:53:52.36)
8. Steven Walker & Matt Carnal (1:56:36.09)
9. Gregory Hoffman & Raymond Middleton (2:06:29.92)

Road Race – Women’s Division
1. Shawn Cheshire & Mackenzie Woodring (1:48:54.95)
2. Karissa Whitsell & Lisa Turnbull (1:54:10.17)
3. Amy Dixon & Lindsey Cook (1:55:24.14)
4. Kathy Champion & Chelsea Smith (1:59:40.67)
5. Caherine Dickson & Kara Vatthauer (DNF)

 


Jul 22, 2014

Rocky Mountain State Games Results

With a successful day of competition on Saturday, July 19, the Rocky Mountain State Games—a Colorado-based, multi-sport event that spans two weekends—witnessed goalball for the first time since 1990. Veterans, athletes, staff, coaches and officials from across the country attended a 3-day clinic leading up to the tournament. Five teams in total competed in the day-long competition. Congratulations to all teams who participated and to the staff, coaches, officials and volunteers that made this tournament possible.

Check out our Facebook page to view pictures as well as news videos and articles from local media.

Below are the tournament results:


1st Place – The Peak
• Dave Bigoney
• George McDermith
• Steve Patten
• Antonio Rozier

2nd Place – The Redeemers
• Harvey Guary
• Chelsea Henrizi
• Kenta Otawa
• Elliot Parkin

3rd Place – MMMK
• Kyle Ivy
• Mark Ivy
• Mike Smith
• Maddie Stafford

4th Place – Fantastic Five
• Dave Corbett
• Karla Gilbride
• Larry Gunter
• Calvin Poole
• Cas Werda

5th Place – Mountaineers
• Chris Annis
• KC Krenzer
• Scott Land

Check out the articles and news videos from the clinic and tournament!
• KKTV 11
• KRDO 13
KOAA 5
The Gazette
 



 


Oct 03, 2014

USABA Seeks 2016 Goalball National Championship Tournament Host

USABA is now accepting bids from parties interested in hosting the June 2016  USABA Goalball National Championships. 

This tournament attracts the very best men’s and women’s Goalball teams from across the country.  A complete bid package providing specific information regarding the tournament as well as a bid application may be found here.

Bids will be accepted through January, 15, 2015.

Please direct any additional information to USABA Goalball Program Manager John Potts


 


Nov 11, 2014

Embassy Moscow U.S. Goalball Exchange Program in May 2015

USABA is very excited to partner with the U.S. Department of State’s division of Sports Diplomacy—SportsUnited on a Goalball Exchange Program with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia, May 10-20, 2015. Six (6) youth athletes and four (4) coaches from the U.S. will be selected to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity of promoting goalball while learning a different culture! Don't miss out on this amazing event! 

For more information on the program and how to apply, click here.
For interested youth athletes, click here for an application.
For interested coaches, click here for an application.


Nov 20, 2014

2015 IPC Athletics World Championships Announced

IPC Athletics announced the updated qualification criteria along with the preliminary event program and qualification procedures for the Athletics (Track & Field) World Championships to be held in Doha, Qatar, October 2015.

Note that IPC Athletics will host the 2015 IPC Athletics Marathon World Championships in association with the Virgin Money London Marathon, April 26, 2015, in London, Great Britain and NOT the World Championships in Doha, Qatar. More information on this event will be forthcoming.

Click here for the letter of announcement from IPC Athletics.

Click here for the qualification standards, selection procedures and event program.


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