This May, NWABA hosted the Oregon track meet and supported the Washington track meet for youth as young as 5 and as old as 22! These two full days of track and field events consisted of running distances between 50 meters and 1 mile, javelin, discus, softball throw, shot put, and a long jump.
In Vancouver, WA, the Washington State School for the Blind (WSSB) had over 100 students come out to the campus to challenge themselves and compete with their peers. First Lady of Washington, Trudi Inslee, joined to cheer everyone on as they competed in each event. “The student athletes from today are such an inspiration to all of us as they overcome challenges, enjoy competition, build teamwork and — most of all — have fun,” Inslee said in this article on the Medium. As a cherry on top, we had Smokey the Llama join for the fun and snap photos with athletes throughout the day. This event was led by WSSB’s talented staff and the Fort Vancouver Lions Club. Northwest Association for Blind Athletes was honored to play a small role in helping make it a successful day.
In Oregon, we partnered with the Blind and Visually Impaired Student Fund to host a similar event in Canby. We are grateful for the generous support from the students at Baker Prairie Middle School who came out to volunteer. These students helped in every way, from setting up the field to guiding athletes as they crossed the finish line. This year we were honored with speeches from Adrian Broca and Asya Miller who inspired and encouraged our athletes to feel confident that they can achieve their goals and dreams. Adrian is an Ultramarathon Runner and Ironman Triathlete, and one of the fastest visually impaired marathon runners in the United States at 2h:50m:37s. Asya is a five-time Paralympian and four-time Paralympic Medalist for goalball, along with World Championship Experience in powerlifting.
Additional shout outs to Main Event and Johnsonville Brats for the delicious lunches, and Kellen Ainley who took photos in Oregon for everyone to remember this annual event. We are already looking forward to next year.
Thank you to all of the individuals, organizations, and especially our incredible athletes who made both track meets a success! We could not provide these life-changing opportunities without the support and collaboration within our community.