Northwest Association for Blind Athletes’ (NWABA) is proud to have cultivated a partnership with Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind (IESDB) located in Gooding, Idaho. NWABA’s Idaho program team will provide multiple adapted sports experiences throughout the 22-23 school year. This union is enhancing NWABA’s Idaho program expansion as service efforts extend eastward across the state.
The first event was led by Idaho team members Sam Picciano and Casey Prentice, earlier this month on October 6th. This initial event included a goalball clinic, blind soccer clinic, and cooperative games. Athletes learned fundamental goalball court orientation, participated in both shooting and blocking drills, and participated in multiple scrimmages. Additionally, blind soccer players ran dribble and passing drills before their scrimmage. Other athletes enjoyed parachute and relay games in the gymnasium, focused on orientation and sensory integration skills. All athletes were provided time to mold future programming by discussing which sports they would like to continue throughout the program.
Throughout the school year, NWABA will cover additional adapted sports to include broomball, beep baseball, beep kickball, cooperative games, etc. Each educational visit will consist of two, three-hour blocks where students will be grouped by age¾elementary and middle/high school athletes¾to ensure skill level and gameplay remain fair. Also, each team will be utilizing eye shades to occlude any remaining residual vision to further gametime equity.
Along with impacting 25 visually impaired and blind youth, NWABA’s Idaho team members will promote wrap-around, adapted physical education instruction by encouraging teacher and faculty involvement in gameplay. This involvement will help educators test out the variety of adapted sports equipment used, as well as talk through the different adaptions needed for each student’s unique needs relating to sports and physical activity.
At the end of the school year, all visually impaired and blind, student athletes will receive a sports passport, complete with tactile stamps of the sports they learned throughout the school year’s programming.
We’re excited about this partnership and look forward to providing programs and services in additional areas throughout the state of Idaho and beyond.