Special Needs

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News for Event Planners Wanting to Serve Athletes with Disabilities

15 Dec, 2014


Sports event planners who have been looking to expand their offerings to athletes with handicaps and special needs should be aware of a special opportunity from the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA).

USABA is calling for partners nationwide to submit proposals to start new goalball teams in communities around the United States. Teams will be provided with resources and technical assistance to start new goalball teams. These teams will have the opportunity to compete in regional competition and receive the training and experience to take their game to the next level. 

Who: Community organizations and groups interested in establishing new goalball teams or enhancing their existing goalball programs by adding new teams in partnership with USABA. 

What: Programs interested in receiving assistance from USABA to start a goalball team or teams should fill out and submit the attached application to Matt Simpson by December 19, 2014

When: The Grassroots Goalball program will run from February 15 through May 15, 2015.

Each team in the 2015 Grassroots Goalball Program will receive more than a thousand dollars worth of financial and technical support and equipment, including:

  • Up to 6 sets of personal equipment per team to include:

    • Eye shades

    • Knee Pads

    • Elbow Pads

    • Hip pads

  • Two goalballs

  • One pre-made, reusable goalball court

  • Enough court tape to get started

  • Opportunity to apply to attend special USABA Goalball Coaching Clinics with National Team staff and athletes

  • Access to USABA expert coaches for training and coaching tips

  • Access to USABA goalball technical resources, including USABA’s new coaching videos

Teams will be asked to meet the following participation standards:

  • An average of one goalball activity per week, including practices and competitions, over the goalball season, running February 15 through May 15, 2015

  • A minimum of three regional competitions with the other Grassroots Goalball programs in your immediate area

  • A full roster of participants

  • Each athlete and coach in the program must become a member of USABA

  • Teams will be asked to submit one mid-season progress report and one final report on their program

  • Teams will also be asked to submit pictures for use on USABA’s publications and social media

Each coach in the program must also undergo a background check and take the USOC’s free Safe sport online certification course. Safe Sport seeks to educate coaches about the best ways to identify and prevent bullying and abuse. Each team must comply with the Safe Sport guidelines provided by the USOC and USABA. 

Please contact Matt Simpson, USABA Membership and Outreach Coordinator, with any questions or concerns at msimpson@usaba.org or by phone at (719) 866-3019. 

Submit your application to Matt no later than December 19, 2014. 

Click here to apply.

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