by Sierra Romero
(October 22, 2019) — Hundreds of people across the United States celebrated the Second Annual National Blind Sports Day presented by Healthy Vision Association on October 5th, 2019.
More than 460 individuals across the U.S. participated in locally-hosted events or fitness activities on their own. At least 23 agencies, organizations, teams, and schools hosted events where the sports of goalball, judo, track and field, swimming, hockey, 5 a-side soccer, tennis, weightlifting, rowing, and more were on display.
The Lighthouse of Broward County hosted a day-long event at Broward College for an estimated 100 people. The event included the sports of adaptive soccer, goalball, and yoga. Two-time goalball Paralympian Donté Mickens was present as well, offering various tips and strategies for participants throughout the day. Children Service Coordinator Elizabeth Stevens spoke highly of the event, saying, “Every kid is different with varying visual difficulties, and some have additional disabilities and some don’t. This is fun because everyone comes together and they get along and find things they have in common and they are open to meeting new friends, which is really great.”
The first Blind Hockey Northeast Regional Tournament was held in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to celebrate National Blind Sports Day. Participants had a fantastic time getting to practice shooting pucks into the goals and other techniques.
The New York Institute for Special Education hosted adaptive tennis matches and tandem cycling activities, allowing students to try out some new sports while at school. Michael Malcom, a 12th-grade participant, said, “People with visual impairment and blindness abilities can do everything as equivalent to people with 20/20 vision and perfect vision. We have accommodations.”
Other events included Towson University, Maryland hosting a three-hour goalball event, Court 16’s Sound of Tennis program hosted an event in New York City, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival had an entry for adaptive sports, and the National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation participated in the Anthem Virtual 5k.
Alongside these different events, the Second Annual National Blind Sports Day reached 10 million people across digital platforms, while being featured on at least four television news stations across the United States.
The United States Association of Blind Athletes established National Blind Sports Day in order to provide people who are blind or visually impaired to learn about and participate in a variety of competitive and recreational sports. NBSD also serves as a way to raise awareness about the capabilities of all people, regardless of sight.
We selected the early October date to coincide with Blindness Awareness Month, which also includes World Sight Day (October 10) and White Cane Day (October 15).
Get ready to mark your calendars again, we will be celebrating next year’s National Blind Sports Day on Saturday, October 3.
More photos from this year’s NBSD events:
Description: Students participating in a tennis activity hosted by The New York Institute for Special Education
Photo Description: A group of people outside holding soccer balls at Broward College, Florida.