One of the very cool things I have witnessed in the blind/VI community
over the past 18 months or so is the community appears to be seeking out
recreation in different ways. I strongly feel that the only way to
increase the participation of folks who are blind in sports is to have a
funding source that is dedicated to this purpose. There needs to be an
organization in California dedicated to increase opportunities for blind
folks to participate in competitive sport.
The existence of an organically formed group called Tandems Across the Bay highlights an unmet need for a
cycling program that is more tailored to tandem riders. The weekend
goalball practices that began outside of BORP's purview highlight an
unmet need for technical skill development. We have an increase in the
number of young, competitive judo athletes living in the Bay Area
without financial support to travel to Judo tournaments.
I live in a community with a 70% unemployment rate. Participants
in sports and recreation programs defy these statistics- 75% of Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program (BORP)
blind participants are employed. I believe there is a direct correlation
between sport and success in the work place.
BORP will continue to be an important part of the blind community, and
at the same time, an organization that is exclusively dedicated to
athletes who are blind is very much needed in California.
All of that said, I'd love some feedback.
As a result of bringing home gold I will soon receive a check for $5000
from the USOC.
I would like to put this money back into the community. Specifically, I would like to put it into an organization that can support
Blind Athletes living in California. I am putting feelers out there
because what I'd really like to do is to leverage that $5000 and start
the organization with a budget two or three times that size.
I am not looking for a job or to create an organization that requires
staff; rather I want to create a mechanism for funding blind athletes
and to support programs that increase the participation of blind
athletes in competitive sport.
I have been thinking about this for quite some time and am in the
process of vetting it with my personal board of directors. This blog
gives me an unique opportunity to obtain feedback.
So, what do you think about Blind Athletes of California? Do you
think there is a need? What would an organization dedicated to sporting
opportunities for the blind look like to you? Any thoughts on leveraging
All the best,