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Adaptive Sports Iowa to Host 2014 Goalball National Championships

3 Apr, 2013


Paralympians, Nationally-Known Blind, Sight-Impaired Athletes Expected to Attend

The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is excited to announce Adaptive Sports Iowa and Ames, Iowa will host the 2014 USABA Goalball National Championships. Goalball is one of the premier sports for blind and sight-impaired individuals.

“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  its work in 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.

About USABA:
The United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is a Colorado-based 501(c) (3) organization that provides life-enriching sports opportunities for every individual with a visual impairment.  A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USABA provides athletic opportunities in various sports including, but not limited to track and field, nordic and alpine skiing, biathlon, judo, wrestling, swimming, tandem cycling, powerlifting and goalball (a team sport for the blind and visually impaired).

Sports opportunities allow people who are blind and visually impaired to develop independence through competition, without unnecessary restrictions. Like sighted people, the blind can share in the thrill of victory and the reality of defeat.

In addition to providing people who are blind and visually impaired with athletic opportunities, the second part of USABA's mission is to change society's negative stereotypes concerning the abilities of blind people as well as other disabled individuals.  Combating stereotypes is achieved by both educating the public through various media avenues as well as by training athletes to enter schools and community organizations to directly address disability issues.

USABA was founded by Dr. Charles Buell in 1976 with the purpose of improving the lives of people who are blind and visually impaired. That year, 27 young men and women were selected to represent the United States in the first Olympiad for the Disabled in Toronto, Canada. As a result of this Olympic involvement, a group of national leaders, educators and coaches of the visually impaired met to discuss the need for an organization to structure, promote and sponsor competitions for people who are blind and visually impaired throughout the United States.

Today, USABA has evolved into a national organization that provides sports opportunities to thousands of children, youth, adults and veterans who are blind and visually impaired.  USABA programs serve athletes of all ages and abilities from local grassroots programs to the elite Paralympic level.

To learn more about USABA and the sports it offers, go to the website, http://usaba.org/

About Adaptive Sports Iowa:
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.

The concept of Adaptive Sports Iowa was established by Mike Boone, the Adaptive Sports Iowa Director, and his wife, Joni. Mike, a native of Colorado, saw firsthand the hardships that those with physical disabilities face as he watched his father navigate life blind. In college, Mike was introduced to adaptive sports programming and jumped right in as a ski instructor. After moving to Iowa, he hoped to continue working in adaptive sports, but discovered that Iowa did not have an organized solely dedicated to sports programming for the physically disabled. 

Recognizing that there was a need to be met, Mike and Joni began working on Adaptive Sports Iowa. With the help of very supportive individuals in the business community, the idea quickly caught on. Since its inception, Adaptive Sports Iowa has organizing groundbreaking opportunities for Iowans with physical disabilities. Adaptive Sports Iowa is proud to have led the first ever RAGBRAI team supporting these athletes with physical disabilities, hosted the first adaptive ski clinic and begun to incorporate competitive adaptive sports into the Iowa Games.

Information about Adaptive Sports Iowa is available at http://www.adaptivesportsiowa.org/Home.aspx

About Ames, Iowa:
Ames, Iowa, has four wards and 20 precincts. Based on the 2010 census, the population for Ames, Iowa, is 58,965.  This number includes students attending Iowa State University who reside in Ames during the school year or longer. Information on Ames is available at the city’s website, http://www.cityofames.org/index.aspx

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