USA Judo Partners with Miami Lighthouse for the Blind to Bring Judo to Youth with Visual Impairments

April 13, 2009, 11:29 a.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.--USA Judo recently conducted a judo demonstration for students with blindness and visual impairments at  the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, a non-profit organization that serves more than 1,500 Miami-Dade County residents who are blind or visually impaired.

Scott Moore (Englewood, Colo.), the first U.S. judo player to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games, conducted a clinic for 22 Lighthouse students with the help of 2009 Pan Am Team member Angelica Delgado and top-ranked junior Andrew Porras, both of Miami.

A 2008 Paralympic Team coach, Moore showed the students a few basic judo techniques and talked to the group about the positive impact the sport has had on his life, both on and off the mat.

The visit was just the beginning of a new program in which USA Judo will partner with agencies such as the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind to host a summer judo program for youth with blindness and visual impairments. This exhibition came on the heels of a similar presentation made in Miami at Tropical Elementary School two weeks ago.

"This innovative presentation really enabled the students to become more knowledgeable and involved in judo and it is a pleasure to work with the Miami Lighthouse to help these young people meet their potential," said USA Judo CEO Jose H. Rodriguez (Colorado Springs, Colo.)  "We want to thank the management and leadership for taking part in our vision to expand awareness of the sport of judo to this community."

USA Judo's goal is to create judo programs throughout Miami-Dade County within the structure of the Miami Metro Dade School System, Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and the Miami Metro Dade Parks and Recreation system for youth with and without sight. 

Those interested in having a judo exhibition in their school, agency or organization are encouraged to contact Michelle A. Rankine, USA Judo Paralympic High Performance Coordinator, at 719.866.3682.