In partnership with Georgia Blind Sports Association (GBSA), the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is pleased to host its annual National Goalball Championships at Whitefield Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, June 18-20, 2015. More than 20 teams will travel from across the country to compete for the National title. This is also the last tournament before National Team players travel to Toronto to compete in the International Paralympic Committee Parapan American Games in August.
Competition begins today, June 18, at 5:30 p.m. Matches will be played from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Medal matches will take place on Saturday; Women’s Bronze at 3:30 p.m., Men’s Bronze at 4:20 p.m., Women’s Gold at 6:20 p.m. and Men’s Gold at 7:30 p.m. Competition will take place at Whitefield Academy Gyms 1 & 2.
USABA Goalball National Championships are held annually in different cities across the U.S. This is the first time Atlanta will host the championship tournament.
“Georgia Blind Sports Association has been working to bring the national championship tournament to Georgia for years, and we’re honored to be selected,” said Hal Simpson, executive director of GBSA. “It’s going to bring much needed exposure to blind sports in the state.”
Of the 15 Men’s teams and 7 Women’s teams participating in this year’s National Championship tournament, one Men’s team will be made up of 4 Military Veterans; Army Veteran Casimir Werda (Warren, Mich.), Navy Veteran Dave Bigoney (Tallahassee, Fla.), Navy Veteran Calvin Poole (Memphis, Tenn.) and Air Force Veteran Chris Annis (Spokane, Wash.). The team is led by Coach Cory Wade, who serves as an Adaptive Recreation Coordinator at Independence Place in Lexington, Ky.
The event will also be part of the international celebration of Olympic Day, which is commemorated annually on June 23. Olympian Jennifer Demby-Horton (Team Handball ’96) will be in attendance at Whitefield Academy on Saturday, June 20 to support the athletes and celebrate Olympic Day with fans. Thirteen Paralympians will also be in attendance, playing or coaching their respective club teams in the tournament over the weekend. The USABA National Goalball Championships event is one of more than 700 events taking place nationwide in the month of June. Olympic Day events range from small gatherings to large, city-wide events.
Follow the action on USABA and GBS social media pages listed below, Goalball Scoreboard, and The Disability Sports Network. The Disability Sports Network (DSN) will broadcast live with coverage starting today, June 18 at 12:00 p.m. EST and will continue with coverage of the first game at 4:30 p.m. DSN will broadcast throughout the weekend with live play-by-play of games starting at 7:30 a.m. EST on Friday and Saturday mornings, continuing to the end of the tournament Saturday evening. Fans can follow along via audio and video broadcasts on the DSN app available on the Apple and Android App Store or on their website.
About USABA: 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. www.usaba.org | Twitter: @USABA1 | Facebook: United States Association of Blind Athletes
About Georgia Blind Sports Association
Founded in 2011, Georgia Blind Sports Association is a 501c3 nonprofit corporation that serves as an advocate for youth and adult visually impaired persons in Georgia through sports and recreation. www.gablindsports.com | Twitter: @gablindsports | Facebook: Georgia Blind Sports