Jul 27, 2017

U.S. Army Veterans to Compete in Powerlifting at 2017 Rocky Mountain State Games

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is sending three powerlifters to compete in the 16th Annual Rocky Mountain State Games; Charles King (Philadelphia, Penn.), local athlete, Thomas Monroe (Pueblo, Colo.) and Tony Taliani (Columbus, Ohio).

King, a post-Vietnam war veteran who was honorably discharged from the Army for health reasons has overcome depression, homelessness and cancer since losing his sight to hereditary acute glaucoma. King competed in his first powerlifting competition at 60 years old in 2010 and has competed in multiple international competitions since, including the 2015 International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) World Games in Seoul where he finished 4th overall in the Mall 100 kg division.

Monroe served in the Medical Service Corps with the U.S. Army, active duty, from 1972 to 1975 and on reserve from 1975 to 1981. He experienced vision loss as a result of detached retinas and cataracts, and has competed for USABA since 2009. This weekend, Monroe returns to Colorado Springs where he set several age-group records at last year’s State Games.

Newcomer, Taliani holds personal record lifts of 413 pounds in squat, 264 pounds in bench press and 507 pounds in deadlift.

“We’re very proud to partner with Colorado Springs Sports Corp on the Rocky Mountain State Games each year,” said USABA Executive Director, Mark Lucas. “The event gives our athletes an opportunity to compete against peers and challenge their level of skill.”

Powerlifting events will take place at the National Strength & Conditioning Association (1885 Bob Johnson Dr.) on Sunday, July 23, beginning at 9:00am.

Jul 18, 2017

USABA Searches for New Member of the Board of Directors

The United States Association of Blind Athletes is seeking qualified candidates to serve on its Board of Directors. USABA is seeking proactive, energetic, success-oriented individuals to assist in achieving our goal of 2020 2X; doubling the effectiveness of the organization by the 2020 Paralympics.

Successful candidates will have a proven track record of high achievement in fund-raising, the field of athletics, non-profit governance or service delivery to constituencies. Our mission statement is: “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.” We are seeking candidates who can assist our organization succeed with this mission. Term of office for the Board of Directors is 4 years. Please refer to job description below for a complete picture of expectations of USABA Board members.

Please submit a resume’ and letter of intent to Peter Paulding, USABA Governance Committee Chair, no later than August 15, 2017. Documents must be submitted via email, in PDF format and sent to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by the August 15, 2017 deadline to be considered.

United States Association of Blind Athletes - Member of the Board of Directors
Job Description and Expectations

MissionThe 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.

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

Respect: We respect and honor the inherent value and the contributions of people who are blind and visually impaired.
Integrity: We conduct our business transparently, honestly, and ethically.
Empowerment: We are deeply dedicated to the potential of each person who is blind or visually impaired involved with USABA to realize his or her aspirations.
Diversity: We are committed to welcoming individuals from various cultural backgrounds and life experiences, regardless of disability, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion and age.
Inclusion: We foster an environment of acceptance through education and seek ways to broaden the integration of athletes who are blind and visually impaired into community-based sports programs and competitions.

• Attend board meetings regularly
• Serve on at least one committee (each year) and participate in its meetings regularly
• Attend board retreat, in-service workshops and other board development activities
• Attend and participate in special events as needed
• Be well informed on issues and agenda items in advance of meetings
• Contribute skills, knowledge and experience when appropriate
• Listen respectfully to other points of view
• Participate in organizational decision-making
• Contribute financially to the organization, according to one’s ability
• Support and participate in fundraising activities
• Perform program and management oversight by being aware of all aspects of the organization
• Be a goodwill ambassador for the organization
• Assume leadership positions willingly
• Be a team player

Length of Term:   Four Years
Responsible to:   Entire Board; “reports to” President
Time Commitment:  5-10 Hours per month

Governing Style:
The Board of Directors of USABA will approach its governance task with a style that emphasizes the following:
• Outward vision
• Encouragement of diversity in viewpoints
• Strategic leadership more than administrative detail
• Clear distinction between board and staff roles
• Focus on the future
• Being proactive rather than reactive in its endeavors

Code of Ethics:

As a member of the board, I will:
• Listen carefully to my board colleagues;
• Respect the opinion of fellow board members;
• Respect and support majority decisions of the board;
• Recognize that all authority is vested in the full board only when it meets in legal sessions;
• Keep well-informed about developments relevant to issues that may come before the board;
• Participate in board meetings and actions;
• Bring to the attention of the board any issues I believe will have an adverse effect on the organization or those we serve;
• Attempt to interpret the needs of those we serve to the nonprofit, and interpret the actions of the nonprofit to those we serve;
• Refer complaint to the proper level on the chain of command;
• Recognize that my job is to ensure that the nonprofit is well-managed, not to management the nonprofit;
• Represent all those whom this nonprofit serves, not just a particular geographic area or interest group;
• Consider myself a “trustee” of the nonprofit and do my best to ensure that it is well-maintained, financially secure, growing and always operating in the best interests of those we serve;
• Always work in learn how to do my job better;
• Declare conflicts of interest between my personal life and my position on the board, and abstain from voting or discussion when appropriate.

As a member of the board, I will not:
• Criticize fellow board members or their opinions, in or out of the board room;
• Use the nonprofit organization for my personal advantage or that of my friends or relatives;
• Discuss the confidential proceedings of the board outside the boardroom;
• Promise before the meeting how I will vote on any issue;
• Interfere with the duties of the administrator or undermine the administrator’s authority with staff members.

Jul 06, 2017

USABA Competitive and Recreational Community Sports Integration Project for Veterans

A key component of military service, regardless of the era, is challenging one’s physical abilities. Remember all of those long ruck marches, unit fun runs, and PT tests? Yes, like many of you I try not to as well, but one cannot argue against the amount of research and information about the benefits of exercise to combat adverse health and mental health conditions. More importantly, organizations like USABA, Team Red, White, and Blue, Achilles, and your local sporting groups built tremendous communities with a vested interest in the well-being of those who elect to participate.

USABA just rolled out a new program aiming to encourage visually impaired Veterans’ participation in local adaptive sporting and athletic events. The Community Sports Integration Project funds visually impaired Veterans registration and travel, so that they have the opportunity to participate in competitive and recreational sports in their local and regional community. Through a VA adaptive sporting grant, USABA will provide Veterans reimbursements for entry fees for the following events:
• 5k to marathons
• Cycling events
• Triathlons, (Sprint and Olympic distance only)
• Powerlifting meets
• Rowing regattas
• Challenge events like Tuff Mudders and Warrior Dashes
• Swim meets
• Other competitions and tournaments for golfing, bowling, sailing, and other sporting and athletic events.

* Please note, multi-day events, camps, and ‘tours’ will not be considered. Likewise, events utilizing funds from the VA Adaptive Sports Grant will not be covered due to VA policies. Veterans will be provided t-shirts and other apparel to wear while competing when sport applicable. 

Any visually impaired Veteran may apply, regardless of your age, whether you are recreationally participating or fighting to win, or location. Funding is available on a first come, first serve basis for any event starting July 1st until September 30th, 2017. If this interests you, here are the project’s guidelines:
1. Contact the project coordinator with information about the event you wish to participate. The coordinator will provide initial approval, along with a packet containing USABA apparel to wear during the event.
2. Participate in the event wearing the USABA apparel and share a photo of you on social media with the tags, USABA and VA Adaptive Sports. If you do not have any social media accounts, send the project coordinator a photo of you so they might perform this step.
3.  Submit your official result to the project coordinator. This can be submitted as a link to race results or a printed result.
4. Mileage stipends will be considered for events more than 50 miles away one way. Stipends will be capped at $75. Please seek approval before regional events from the project coordinator.
5. Reimbursements must be submitted to the project coordinator by the 10th of each month to receive
 the same month. Reimbursements may cover the registration costs for both the Veteran and their sighted guide (if the activity requires one) and travel up to $75 (waivers are available).
A current USABA membership is required to participate in the program.  Click here for the membership sign up page.  

If you have questions, please contact the project coordinator before your event. The project coordinators are:

Timothy Hornik
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
(785) 330-3503

Ryan Ortiz
Assistant Executive Director, USABA
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
(719) 866-3025

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