The clinic and MBAA tournament included coaching sessions from goalball internationals John Kusku and Tyler Merren, who both won silver at the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016 representing Team USA.
Camp Tuhsmeheta Camp Consultant Jill Teegardin said goalball was a great way to engage students in physical activity and connect adults and students who are BVI.
Goalball was first played at the camp at the Family Nature Club: Back to Cool event in September, but the recent recreation clinic and tournament were the first events played with proper goals.
“With the goals we can now provide a genuine goalball experience at Camp Tuhsmeheta – they pump up easily and, despite their size, are easy to move with two people,” Ms Teegardin said.
The youth recreation clinic involved coaching in goalball as well as a variety of other sports including beep baseball and kickball. Goalball is a Paralympic sport played by people who are BVI, providing an opportunity to get them involved with sports, socialise and make friends.
Ms Teegardin said the idea for an interactive and hands-on goalball clinic for campers came up during discussions with the MBAA, which had been practicing in the camp’s recreation centre.
“This has been a wonderful partnership and allowed campers to learn a new sport and connect with mentors from the MBAA. It has been a win-win situation for everyone involved,” Ms Teegardin said.
Packaworld Chief Executive Peter Roberts said Camp Tuhsmeheta deserved to be congratulated on hosting an event where people of all abilities could hone their goalball skills and build relationships with mentors.
“This is an outstanding initiative, and one which many others could learn from,” he said. “There is immense potential for other camps and schools for people with visual impairments to harness goalball to bring the joy of sport to those who might not otherwise have so many opportunities to experience it.”
Camp Tuhsmeheta sits on the shores of Flannigan Lake and has been providing outdoor education opportunities for youth groups since 1974.
As well as goalball, campers enjoy various activities including canoeing, fishing, swimming, archery, hiking trails, a low ropes course and climbing tower across 301 acres of pristine forest. The camp aims to create outdoor education and recreation experiences for students in a safe and welcoming atmosphere.
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