May 25, 2017

Job Announcement: Part-Time Grant Writer

Posting Window:  May 22-July 1, 2017

Organization:   The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA)
Title:      Grant Writer
Location:   Colorado Springs, CO
Position Type:    Part-time
Salary:   Negotiable

This position requires a proactive, detailed individual who possesses exceptional writing skills. She/he must have the proven ability to demonstrate professionalism; establish and maintain effective professional relationships with all constituents.

Major duties and responsibilities include:
• Write grant proposals that display meticulous grammar, spelling and content
• Research grantors and foundations
• Adhere to guidelines given
• Analyze the feasibility of a project’s budget
• Interview people in the organization and perform comprehensive research to complete the project given
• Understand the proposed program/project
• Monitor progress of accepted proposals and submit required reports/evaluations

• At least two years of proven professional experience
• Bachelor or Master in Communications or English
• Certification or attendance in grant writing workshop or training
• Display good oral and written communication and listening skills for individuals/groups
• Strong computer skills; proficient in Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel

Other requirements:
• Outstanding administrative skills
• Detail oriented
• Outstanding communication skills
• Ability to work in team environment
• Ability to persuade or influence others
• Understanding of the operations of the foundations, organizations and businesses
• Ability to meet deadlines for grant writing projects
• Ability to work out of the USABA office in the Colorado Springs

Our Mission

The United States Association of Blind Athletes empowers Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation and physical activities, thereby educating and inspiring the nation.

Our Vision

Every American who is blind or visually impaired will lead a healthy lifestyle by actively participating in sports, recreation and physical activity.

Our 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 - No later than July 1, email your resume, cover letter summarizing background, experience and salary requirements, and 2-3 writing samples to Mark Lucas at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). For more information on USABA, visit

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


May 13, 2017

A Mother’s Love for Running, Passed On

By: Courtney Patterson, USABA Staff

Barcelona 1992 Paralympic gold medalist and USABA Hall of Fame recipient Pam McGonigle is passing on her love of running to her son, JT. The two train together on a regular basis and McGonigle guided JT to a 1:51:20 finish at his first half marathon in March. Completing the half was a stretch goal JT set for himself when McGonigle set a stretch goal of running a 50-mile trail run on Mother’s Day.

It all started when McGoingle and another parent started a cross country team at the school JT was attending.

“Someone from the school knew my running history and asked if I would coach a team. I thought it was a great idea.”

McGonigle agreed to coach the team but didn’t pressure her son to join. Though the two had followed USABA Nationals, Olympics and Paralympics since JT was old enough to understand his mother’s passion for the sport, she wanted him to make the decision to start running.

“JT just sort of jumped on board and followed the sport with me. [When he joined the cross-country team], I taught him how to mesh in the middle of the pack and let others guide him.”
Their bond is strengthened not only by their love for running but by the fact that McGonigle and her son were both born with albinism.

“When he started running on the cross-country team, he wasn’t real serious about it but has become more serious about it now. He was captain of the team last year and again this year. Last summer, he wanted to start running more to train for races.”

Training for races has given the duo more time together and strengthened their relationship.

“It’s a good time for us to grow. We’re both very comfortable to talk about pretty much anything and everything. We both find peace while running. It’s a time we don’t feel pressure.”

And speaking of pressure, the four-time Paralympian is enjoying her son’s new found love for racing but not setting any expectations.

“I don’t compare him to me. There’s no pressure to compete at the Paralympic level. We just enjoy the time we run with each other. I’m big on not driving his running despite my background.”

“He obviously knows my history and the things I’ve accomplished. But I don’t put any such expectations on him. If anything, I overcompensate by being very laid back. He’ll have a great fitness base if he decides to go the Paralympic path. If he does, my husband and I will be by his side the whole way. That’s something he can decide later though. We’re not putting any pressure on him or setting any expectations.”

JT is enjoying some downtime after completing his first half marathon but is helping his mother train for the Northface Endurance Run at Bear Mountain. JT will be at the finish line and a couple of the check-points to support his mom as she runs the 50-mile course.

McGoingle encourages other parents to train with their children to enhance their relationship and set their children up for success with a healthy appreciation for fitness and sports.

“It’s especially beneficial for a child with vision loss to develop strength and perseverance through sports. These attributes directly transfer to one’s ability to navigate the world without typical vision.”

“Working out with your child is an awesome opportunity to spend time together, share goals, and experiences both as a team and as individuals.  It's something you can do for a lifetime.  it's something both you and your child will hold near and dear to your heart forever.”  

May 09, 2017

U.S. Men’s Goalball Head Coach, Michael Legé, Retires

Rio 2016 Paralympic Silver Medal-Winning Men’s Goalball Team Head Coach Retires after 12 years of service.

Colorado Springs, Colo. (May 9, 2017) - After 8 years as Head Coach of the USA Men’s Goalball team, Coach Michael Legé has retired. Legé joined the U.S. Men’s Goalball Team coaching staff in 2005 as an assistant after the death of Head Coach John Bakos. As a retired physical education teacher at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, he also served as the boy’s goalball team coach.

Before becoming Head Coach in 2009, Legé served as Assistant Coach during the 2006 IBSA World Goalball Championships, where the team won bronze, and the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, where the team finished 4th. As Head Coach, Legé led the team to a bronze medal at the 2014 IBSA World Goalball Championships and a silver medal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

“Under Coach Legé’s tenure, the men’s goalball program was able to return to the Paralympic medal stand,” said John Potts, Goalball High Performance Director at U.S. Association of Blind Athletes which serves as the sport’s national governing body. “We will see the impact of his leadership for many years to come.”

With the development of the Goalball Center of Excellence resident program in Fort Wayne, Coach Legé recognized the need to align overall team leadership with the daily operations and training. Resident Coach, Matthew Boyle, will replace Legé as Head Coach. Boyle has been Assistant Coach for the U.S. Men’s Goalball Team since 2012 and the resident coach in Fort Wayne since 2015. Boyle, with Legé, led the team to the Paralympic podium last September.

“Coach Legé and Coach Boyle were an outstanding team during the last few years,” said Potts. “Coach Boyle’s knowledge of the sport and his unique ability to innovate have contributed immensely to where the program stands today. There is absolutely no one more qualified than Coach Boyle to take the head coach reins and I’m confident the men’s team will continue their success.”

Although he will no longer serve as Head Coach, Legé plans to remain active in the sport and pursue the passion through serving as a USABA goalball referee and eventually, an IBSA goalball official.

In retirement, when he’s not officiating goalball tournaments, Legé is looking forward to spending more time on his small farm and spending time with his wife and their family in Tennessee.

“It’s been an honor working with U.S. Association of Blind Athletes and the men’s goalball program,” said Legé. “The program is in very good hands under Coach Boyle’s and John Potts’ leadership. I’m confident that this team will continue to represent Team USA with success in future tournaments and the next Paralympic Games.”

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