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

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:

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

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:


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

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.

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