Vancouver, Washington—July 6, 2023—Amerigroup to sponsor Northwest Association for Blind Athletes’ (NWABA) Camp Spark summer session for Washington youth who are blind and visually impaired. This session of Camp Spark will be held from July 9-14, 2023, at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. Amerigroup’s support of $20,000 will provide much needed funding for Camp Spark due to recent statewide funding reductions. The funds garnered through this partnership will provide food and housing for the campers, along with adaptive equipment and program supplies.
Camp Spark is a comprehensive overnight sports camp which uses sports, physical activity, and orientation and mobility as a catalyst to encourage leadership, independence, advocacy, and daily living skills that contribute to overall greater quality of life. Campers will participate in a variety of sports and recreational activities including goalball (a sport specifically developed for individuals with visual impairments), fitness, beep baseball, tandem cycling, yoga, judo, track & field, and numerous others. All campers vary in socioeconomic status, ethnic background, and level of skills and abilities and NWABA offers camp free of charge to youth and their families.
Research suggests that most of the nation’s blind or visually impaired school-age children have never participated in sports, physical activities, or a proper physical education program. Without programs like NWABA, immobile children and teens grow to become sedentary adults, lacking self-confidence, independence, muscular and cardiovascular health, and a true sense of community. Data suggests that stigmas associated to blindness or visual impairments tend to negatively impact full integration into the social mainstream, further contributing to high unemployment rates (70% nationwide), social exclusion and isolation.
For anyone, sports have a unique ability to change lives; once introduced to physical activity and sports through programs like those offered by NWABA, individuals with visual impairments open up to the idea that they can succeed. With successful inclusion, individuals who are blind build self-esteem, confidence, team camaraderie, muscular strength, and physical fitness. These individuals develop the tools to seek a richer, fuller life including improved social relationships, a positive self-image and, most of all, the confidence to pursue success in other areas of life such as education and employment.
Camp Spark is partially funded by the generosity of our individual donors, foundations, state grants and corporate partners; however, additional support is critically needed to deliver a successful camp. Donations to support Camp Spark can be made online at www.nwaba.org/donate or by mailing a check to PO BOX 61489, Vancouver, WA, 98666. For more information on Northwest Association for Blind Athletes, please contact Anne Coleman, Marketing & Communications Manager at 360-768-5647 or [email protected].
About Amerigroup :
Amerigroup is a nation-wide health plan provider offering integrated clinical care services to Medicaid-eligible residents within the state of Washington, including medical, behavioral health, substance abuse and dental treatments.
The mission of Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA) is to provide life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activity to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. A group of students who were visually impaired formed the association in 2007 to ensure that people who are blind were participating in sports and physical activity. Today, NWABA is a rapidly expanding 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides more than 3,000 children, youth, adults and military veterans with visual impairments tailored programming which improves self-confidence and self-esteem, promotes independence, creates an inclusive community of supporters, and builds the skills necessary to succeed in all areas of life including school and employment.
For information: http://www.nwaba.org or
Contact: [email protected]