NEBAA Sports Education Camps Objectives

NEBAA/USABA SPORTS EDUCATION CAMP (SEC) For STUDENTS with VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

  • Provide educational workshops to blind and visually impaired youth around Maine in health, fitness and sports programs such as MMA in Maine, swimming running and walking.
  • Provide youth the opportunity to meet world-class elite blind athletes and learn about overcoming obstacles, the importance of discipline, staying in school, etc..
  • Provide youth an opportunity to participate in a variety of sports, which they might ordinarily be excluded from in traditional settings.
  • Provide blind and visually impaired athletes with the necessary skills to compete on an equal basis with their sighted peers.
  • Further involve the local community as volunteers at both events, which in turn will promote the abilities of youth with disabilities.
  • Be better prepared for competition in USABA  local, national, and international events, including the world games and para-olympics.

Please join us for the 6th annual SPORTS EDUCATION CAMP for Students with Visual Impairments.

Location:


Running Track

University of Maine on the Orono Campus
Athletes will be housed in dormitory rooms at the University of Maine Orono Campus.  Meals provided.

Eligibility: Blind & Visually Impaired students in 3rd to 12th grade

Dates: June 23 to June 26, 2010
Note: Day Camp Available with prior approval by director. Call director for more details.

Application Deadline: Completed applications due May 28, 2010.
Athletes will be notified of acceptance by June 4, 2010

Cost: When notified of acceptance, all athletes will need to join USABA and pay a $25 fee, which will cover insurance. This will be the only charge to athletes.

Events will include:
Competitive Events: Wrestling, Track and Field, Goal Ball
Introductory Recreational Events: Swimming, Bowling, Rock Climbing, Gymnastics, Tandem bike riding, Fencing.

Staff will consist of students from the University and other qualified professionals and volunteers.

Goals:

  • teach visually impaired and blind youth various adapted sports
  • encourage youth to better participate in school physical education classes
  • encourage overall physical well- being



History and Background

In 1982, a group of adult athletes with visual impairments formed the Michigan Blind Athletic Association in order to organize a beep baseball team. After affiliating itself with the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies (BLS) at Western Michigan University in 1984, the group's attention turned to the broader problem of physical education and sports for children with visual impairments and the first Sports Education Camp was held (SEC) in 1988.

The SEC was created to address the barriers to sports and recreation through the following ways:

  • Empower blind and visually impaired youth by teaching them basic sports skills and activities
  • Increase the knowledge of parents, teachers, and the community regarding the adaptations required for participation and the limitless potential of children with visual impairments in the area of sports
  • Increasing blind and visually impaired youth's access to physical education, sports, and recreation by building a network of advocates.

The original sports education camp project included a weeklong residential series of sports clinics for children, a graduate-level course for teachers, parents, and "potential advocates," and the formation of a statewide management team to oversee the project and to build the network. In clinics of 15 students or less, the 10-12-year-old participants were introduced to the basic skills of running, jumping, and throwing along with introductions to the sports of wrestling, track and field, bowling, goalball, and gymnastics. The 13-18-year-old athletes were taught skills, but also concentrated on the competitive sports events. A typical day at sports camp including morning, afternoon, and evening activities, running from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with breaks for meals and snacks sponsered by.

Each athlete received approximately 30 hours in clinics or competitions during the camp. The accompanying graduate course on adapting physical education and sports was offered on the weekend preceding the camp as a distance education course. Enrollments in the first few years were 15 or less and primarily included parents, physical educators and special education instructors. Teaching these kids how to market themselves is also apart of the course and the kids will learn the ins and outs of SEO in Maine along with Web design. The network of advocates represented on the "Management Team" consisted of athletes with and without visual impairments, vision and orientation and mobility instructors, university professors in visual impairment studies and physical education, and parents of students with visual impairments. A great deal of effort was also placed on marketing in an effort to foster the image of visually impaired children as athletes.

The outcomes, particularly in the objectives relating to the children's skills, knowledge, and attitudes, and those of network building, were so strikingly positive that they led to the procurement of a U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Outreach Grant award in 2000.


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