In 2015, USABA partnered with Turnstone Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, to create the first-ever long-term resident program for goalball athletes in the United States. The program was established when USABA recognized a rapidly growing trend in the development of top goalball teams around the world – the top teams were building year-round resident programs. So, USABA followed suit, establishing a resident program that would keep U.S. Goalball Teams at the top of the Paralympic podium but also provide an opportunity for athletes who are blind and visually impaired to pursue athletic and educational/employment excellence in a no-cost environment.
The comprehensive program provides the opportunity to enhance playing skills through participation in a training program geared to individual athlete needs, with the objective of developing athletes for future world championship and Paralympic teams.
Training will be conducted in 7-10 week training cycles throughout the year and will include 5 days of court time per week and a rigorous in-and-out of season individual strength and conditioning training plan.
Athletes who apply must be prepared to commit to the full training cycle (there are multiple cycles throughout the year). Natural break periods will be built into the training cycles, however, athletes who apply for a training cycle must be prepared to commit to living and training in Fort Wayne for the full duration of applied-for training cycle.
Residence in a housing facility which includes furnishings, appliances, internet, and utilities
Weekday lunch meal support
Goalball facility use
Access to strength and conditioning resources
Day-to-day training led by coaching staff
Athletic trainer support
Minimum Eligibility Requirements
Be a current U.S. Citizen who is eligible to obtain a U.S. passport
Have completed High School or earned an equivalent degree
Be at least 18 years of age
Must be able to classify as a B1, B2 or B3 athlete
Be willing to submit to a complete health profile coordinated by the United States Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine department, including a thorough medical history and comprehensive physical examination
Athletes will be expected to work in a paid or volunteer status a minimum of 8 hours per week or be actively taking a college, university or vocational training course while in the resident program
Athlete’s current “home” training environment and competition activity
Potential for the athlete to make 2018 World Goalball Championships and 2020 Paralympic teams
Impact of the goalball Resident Program on the athlete’s goalball potential
Athlete’s desire and willingness to commit fully to training with the Resident Program
All interested candidates must submit a sports resume and one-page cover letter to respective coach (listed below) by the deadline specified. Acceptance to the Resident Program will be at the sole discretion of USABA staff and national coaches. Prior to entry to the program, selected athletes will be expected to sign a contract that covers their enrollment period in the resident program and they will be expected to make a $100 refundable damage deposit. All positions in the Men’s and Women Resident Programs may not necessarily be filled.
Current Training Cycles
Applications for the following cycles are currently open for men’s and women’s resident program, respectively.
Men’s Resident Program: July 30 – October 5, 2018. All spots are currently filled.
Women’s Resident Program: August 5-October 31 and October 28-December 22. Interested applicants for this training cycle should email U.S. Women’s Goalball Head Coach, Jake Czechowski (firstname.lastname@example.org), a sports resume and one-page cover letter by July 23 for the session beginning August 5 and September 28 for the session beginning October 28.
Support the Goalball Center of Excellence
With the creation of a resident program, USABA, through the support of our funders, will play a large role in the achievement of goals and dreams of young athletes who are blind and visually impaired for many years to come. Dreams of attending college while playing a sport they love and being provided services that are on par or better than that of NCAA student-athletes. Dreams of training for the ultimate athletic experience in the Paralympic Games will be realized. Dreams of having the same athletic opportunities as their sighted peers will come true. To learn more about supporting the Goalball Center of Excellence Resident Program, email email@example.com.