Hundreds of people across the U.S. celebrated the inaugural National Blind Sports Day October 1-7. Though the actual day was Saturday, October 6, celebrations happened in cities across the country throughout the week.
Nearly 900 people across the U.S. participated in a locally hosted event or engaged in a sport or fitness activity on their own. More than 45 agencies, organizations, teams or schools hosted events in numerous sports including golf, rowing, tandem cycling, goalball, basketball, archery and soccer- just to name (more than) a few!
In Columbus, Ohio, participants played soccer with the Ohio Blind Soccer program. Katie Atkinson, who is running the program in Columbus spoke highly of the impact the initiative had in the Columbus community. “I truly though this National Blind Sports Day was a great outlet for individuals with visual impairments to learn about adaptive sports opportunities available. Now more participants are popping out of the wood work to play blind soccer.”
Lighthouse Central Florida and Lighthouse Works partnered to host a family-friendly, multi-sport event in Winter Park, Florida. “Our parents, students and adults were all enthusiastic about the sports day and it was the catalyst for year-round activities,” said one of the event organizers.
Beyond impacting individual participants and event hosts, the initiative saw more than 1 million impressions across digital and traditional channels. NBSD was highlighted by four news outlets in Spokane, Duluth, Louisville and Great Falls. On social media, the hashtag #BlindSportsDay was mentioned in more than more than 40 posts on Facebook and more than 240 tweets. U.S. Men’s Goalball resident athlete Cody Carmicle took fans behind the scenes on a NBSD Instagram Takeover on U.S. Paralympics’ account,engaging U.S. Paralympics and USA Goalball fans.
U.S. Association of Blind Athletes established the initiative to provide Americans who are blind and visually impaired opportunities to participate in a variety of sports and physical activities, and to raise awareness of blind sports in our society. We selected October 6 to coincide with Blindness Awareness Month which also includes World Sight Day (October 11) and White Can Day (October 15).
Mark your calendars – we’ll be celebrating again on October 5, 2019! Click here to learn more about National Blind Sports Day.