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Hal Simpson Named 2023 Ronald W. Plassman Gold Standard Award Honoree

Posted October 31, 2023  Goalball | Plassman Award

The U.S. Association for Blind Athletes (USABA) and Turnstone Center are pleased to announce Hal Simpson has been named the recipient of the 2023 Ronald W. Plassman Gold Standard Award.

Established in 2021, this prestigious award is presented annually to deserving athletes, coaches and program supporters who demonstrate the gold standard values lived out by the actions and support of Ron Plassman (1940-2022). These include excellence on the field of play, sportsmanship, leadership, and championing the sport of goalball.

Simpson, of Smyrna, Ga., formed Georgia Blind Sports in 2011 and his leadership has enabled hundreds of people who are blind and visually impaired to learn, play and compete at the national level in the Paralympic sport of goalball. His players are quick to point out that Simpson is a coach who leads by example and upholds high moral and ethical standards. He emphasizes the importance of honesty, fairness and sportsmanlike conduct to his teams, while encouraging his players to always compete with integrity. Simpson is the father of two-time Paralympian Matt Simpson.

“To receive an award named in memory Ronald Plassman is a great honor,” said Simpson. “He invested and believed in the future of blind sport, giving blind athletes a sense of leadership, independence and sportsmanship. I’ve been coaching blind athletes for the past 23 years, since my then 10-year-old son began to play goalball, and have had the privilege of coaching hundreds of young athletes who have benefitted from the opportunities that sports provide.”

Ron Plassman was a passionate champion of goalball, adaptive sports, and the Paralympic movement. Ron’s passionate support, specifically for goalball athletes, led to the creation of the Goalball Center of Excellence, the first training site of its kind in the United States and now the home of the USA Men’s and Women’s Goalball resident training program.