Born out of the 1996 Paralympic Games that took place in Atlanta, Georgia, BlazeSports America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that aims to positively change the lives of children and adults with physical disabilities through sport. Headquartered in Decatur, GA, the local chapter of BlazeSports serves approximately 5,000 youth, adults and veterans with and without a physical disability in Georgia each year. Nationwide, over 13,000 youth and adults with a disability have been served by BlazeSports programs.
As part of their overall mission, BlazeSports provides adaptive sports programs as “a vehicle to improved health and quality of life, increased self-esteem, greater independence, improved school performance and employment readiness, and ultimately a more inclusive society.”
BlazeSports Programs for Disabled Athletes
From skiing to basketball and everything in between, BlazeSports America has a sport that’s perfect for you. They provide wheelchair athletes with training, support and the opportunity to increase independence and improve health. Whether you’re a competitive athlete or just want to learn a new sport, see what BlazeSports has to offer. Athletic programs include:
If you are interested in participating in an adaptive sport, email email@example.com.
History of BlazeSports
Seeking to develop a national program of community-based adaptive sports for children and adults with physical disabilities, the Atlanta Paralympic Organizing Committee established the United States Disabled Athletes Fund in 1993. In partnership with the Georgia Recreation and Park Association and its member agencies, the USDAF rolled out a model program called BlazeSports Georgia in 1998.
The program, named BlazeSports Georgia after the wildly popular Atlanta Paralympic Games’ mascot Blaze, quickly evolved into a comprehensive plan providing year-round local programs delivered by the community recreation provider; state-level sport camps, clinics, junior teams and competitions delivered by BlazeSports Georgia; and state and regional competitions sponsored by USDAF and other partnering organizations.
In 2002, USDAF launched a national program, BlazeSports America, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association. Today BlazeSports America provides direct service in Georgia and nationally and internationally in developing countries. BlazeSports is also affiliated with local BlazeSports teams/programs in more than 60 communities and 29 states and the District of Columbia.
BlazeSports America is recognized by the United States Olympic Committee serving on its Multi-Sport Organizational Council and serves as the National Coordinating Body for competitive sports for individuals with cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and survivors of stroke. BlazeSports is also is the national member organization of the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association. CPISRA is a founding member of the International Paralympic Committee.
BlazeSports is led by a multi and interdisciplinary staff and board representing the fields of disability sport, therapeutic recreation, physical education, sport psychology, sports science, nutrition, health promotion, and public health.
BlazeSports America and its programs are guided by the following goals:
- To provide sport, recreation and physical activity opportunities for people with physical disability in sport comparable to those provided non-disabled, nationally and internationally.
- To foster character development, productive lives, healthy lifestyles and self-sufficiency for people with physical disability through sport.
- To use cutting-edge training, distance learning opportunities, and fresh ideas as a vehicle to build the capacity of local service providers.
- To build positive perceptions of people with physical disability.
- To promote peace building, human rights and equity through sport.
Connect with BlazeSports
For more information on BlazeSports programs in your community, please visit www.blazesports.org or contact Mara Galic or Jeff Jones at 404.270.2000 or email at MGalic@blazesports.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
BlazeSports is able to offer adaptive athletic programs nationwide due to the generous support of sponsors like BPClipper Petroleum Foundation, Georgia Power, Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, Kyle Pease Foundation, Resurgens Orthopaedics, Uromed, US Agency for International Development, US Department of State, UN Office of Sport for Development and Peace, and the US Olympic Committee, Paralympic Division. See how you can contribute to BlazeSports programs at: http://blazesports.org/#sthash.N3eQOgvp.dpuf