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January Brings DisAbility Fest, Blind Judo, to Coachella Valley

21 Jan, 2015


Event Intended to Raise Awareness of Opportunities for Physically, Developmentally Challenged Individuals

The sport of judo provided by the Blind Judo Foundation will make its debut as one of several sports for people with disabilities at the Coachella Valley DisAbility Sports Festival, Saturday, January 24, 2015 in Palm Desert, CA. Event organizers hope to raise awareness of the opportunities available for people with disabilities and to serve as a link to adaptive sports programs in the Coachella Valley communities.

The DisAbility Sports Festival in the Coachella Valley is in its third year but its first year of introducing the sport of Judo to all its attendees opening further awareness and more opportunities and sports for all  who attend. The event is free for people with any disability and of any age.

The DisAbility Sports Festival expanded to the Coachella Valley in 2012 spearheaded by the nonprofit INCIGHT and in collaboration with the Desert Recreation District along with the City of La Quinta. Judy May, the Regional Director of INCIGHT says “INCIGHT recognized the value of this event and what it could bring to the communities within Coachella Valley.” She continues by saying “its value was recognized by the community and consequently increased its attendance by more than 200% in its second year.”

Judy May says “what makes this event unique and of the highest caliber are the coaches who freely give of their time to support and engage community members who live with disabilities.” Judy continues by saying “this year two new sports are being added, one of which is Judo.” Supporting Judo is Sensei Walter Dean who, along with Sensei Gary Goltz, have fully supported the San Bernardino Festival and will once again represent the Blind Judo Foundation in Coachella Valley.

Sensei Dean is an International Blind Sports Association (IBSA) Delegate for the Pan Americas representing the Judo community of IBSA for North and South America and all islands within the area. Dean also served as the Assistant Judo Coach along with Head Judo Coach Willy Cahill, Co-Founder of the Blind Judo Foundation of at the 2000 US Paralympic Judo Team in Sydney.

Sensei Gary Goltz, President of the US Judo Association (USJA) and President of Goltz Judo will be supporting the Festival also along with interested Black Belts from his Club who are familiar with the DisAbility Sports Festival who will once again support Sensei Goltz in Coachella Valley bringing a new awareness of Judo for those attendees with disabilities.

The festival is now held in the Palm Desert Civic Center Park in Palm Desert and supported by various sponsors including gold sponsors Molina Healthcare and United Cerebral Palsy – Inland Empire. The DisAbility Sports Festivals are available to all people of all ages with any disability and serves as a way to introduce those who live with disabilities to a variety of sports including the sport of Judo. To register for Judo or other sports at the Coachella Valley DisAbility Sports Festival, please visit http://bit.ly/CoachellaDSF

The Blind Judo Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization that introduces and trains blind and visually impaired children, young adults and returning blind and visually impaired military men and women in the sport of Judo. Supporting our blind athletes to train, travel and compete relies upon tax-exempt donations.

All members of the Blind Judo Foundation are volunteers. A select few of our elite athletes go on to represent the USA as members of the US Paralympic (not to be confused with Special Olympics) Judo Team. Check out the foundation and our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/BlindJudoFoundation or by contacting Ron C. Peck at roncpeck@blindjudofoundation.org or 1-425-444-8256.

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