The camp was hosted by the US Association of Blind Athletes and the Charlotte Independence Soccer Club

Coach Sheena Hager of the Chicago Skyhawks NWBA Basketball League, along with several other coaches and athletes from across the United States hosted the Blind Soccer ID Camp in Rock Hill, SC

The event took place from July 8th to 10th and was organized by the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) in cooperation with the Charlotte Independence Soccer Club.

“As the newly certified national governing body for blind soccer in the United States, we are accelerating our talent discovery with camps across the country,” said USABA program director Kevin Brousard. “This week’s Rock Hill camp gives us a good mix of experienced athletes from previous camps and some newcomers to the sport. We look forward to the three days of training and training to develop these athletes.”

According to USABA, blind soccer is an adaptation of soccer for athletes with visual impairments. The sport is played in 60 countries and has become the fastest growing Paralympic sport in the world. In January, USABA received the highest national governing body (NGB) certification for Paralympic blind football from the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. Known worldwide as blind football, the sport has been part of the Paralympic Games program since 2004.

It was the second in a series of Building Blind Soccer events funded by US Soccer‘s Innovate to Grow grant. The camp consisted of three full days of training with two daily sessions on the field at Manchester Meadows (337 E. Mt. Gallant Road, Rock Hill, SC).

In addition to three full days of practice, campers also attended Friday night’s game between Charlotte Independence and Richmond Kickers. The group honored blind soccer athlete and veteran Casimir Werda (Novi, Mich.) at halftime during their Military Appreciation Night event.

The U.S. will make its Paralympic debut as the host country of the Los Angeles 2028 games, and last week’s Rock Hill camp was an important step in the search for talented athletes for the first-ever U.S. national blind soccer team, which was named in October becomes.

The first international competition for the first USA Blind Soccer team will be held in Guatemala this December at the IBSA Central American Championships.

Among the 12 participating athletes will be three-time Paralympic athlete David Brown (Chula Vista, California). Brown was a 100-meter gold medalist at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and became the first totally blind athlete to run under 11 seconds when he ran 10.92 in 2014. Rock Hill will be one of three coaches leading the camp.

For more information on how blind soccer is played, visit https://www.usaba.org/sports/blind-soccer/paralympic-sport/.

Below are the stock list/trainers:

Stock list: Noah Beckman (Dublin, Ohio); David Brown (Chula Vista, California); Kevin Brown (Falls Church, Virginia); Ricardo Castaneda (Fort Worth, Texas); Meghan Grenda (Redlands, California); Cody Kirchner (New Brunswick, NJ); Jadyn Heilman (Oakland, California); Alvaro Mora (Phoenix, Arizona); Jasmine Murrell (Plainfield, NJ); Jefferson Palacios (Baltimore, Maryland); Ahmed Shareef (Staten Island, NY) Casimir Werda (Novi, Mich.).

Trainer: Sheena Hager (Chicago, Illinois); Katie Smith (Columbus, Ohio); Philip Wilkinson (Charlotte, NC).



Joseph Phillips is the sports editor of the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. A native of Chicago, he has been a sportswriter for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.


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