(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - USA Judo conducted a judo demonstration for blind and visually impaired students on Monday at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind, a non-profit organization that serves more than 1,500 blind and visually impaired residents in Miami-Dade County.
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 visually impaired 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 blind and visually impaired youth. 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 visually impaired and blind 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 both sighted and visually impaired youth.
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.