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Free Paralympics training for blind athletes in Raleigh this week

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Free training is available this week for blind athletes who want to try Paralympic sports and for the coaches and trainers who work with them.

Bridge II Sports, a Triangle-based nonprofit organization that provides sports opportunities for people with disabilities, is conducting the Paralympics Sports Academy for the blind on Friday and Saturday at the Governor Morehead School at 301 Ashe Ave. in Raleigh.

The academy, held in conjunction with the U.S. Paralympics, will train people ages 8 to adult in track and field, judo, tandem cycling and goal ball.

Goal ball was created in 1947 to help World War II soldiers rehabilitate, according to a Bridge II Sports news release. Teams of three try to throw a ball into the opponent’s goal. A bell in the ball helps athletes judge the position and movement of the ball.

Friday's training session will be for coaches and trainers; anyone interesting in learning about coaching people with vision loss is invited to attend the session, which will include instruction from U.S. Paralympics representatives.

Athletes, grouped according to age, will be trained in the four sports on Saturday.

All the activities are free, but registration is required. To register or to learn more, call Bridge II Sports executive director Ashley Thomas at 866-880-2742. 

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- Teri Boggess


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