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June 4, 2013

For more information:
Tallie Kuraspediani
360-750-1553 Ext. 19

Local area athletes participate for national title

VANCOUVER, Wash. - The 2013 United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Goalball National Championship will take place June 20-23 at McLoughlin Middle School. Goalball is a Paralympic sport for blind and visually impaired athletes, and played competitively around the world by both men and women. The very fast paced sport is physically challenging, strategic and exciting.

"It's a great pleasure to welcome the Goalball National Championships to Vancouver USA," said Ashley Shimer, sports sales manager at the Vancouver USA Regional Sports Commission. "As a national event, it gives us an opportunity to showcase our region as a premier sports destination. It also gives our local competitors a chance to compete at home for the first time."

Goalball is played in two teams of three players, facing each other in a 9x18 meter course. The object of the sport is to roll a basketball size ball with bells inside over the opponent's goal line. Listening for the oncoming ball, opponents block it with their bodies, stop the ball and take control of it. The sport was developed after WWII as a method to keep blinded veterans physically active. Goalball is the premier team game for blind athletes.

"It's an extraordinary opportunity to be able to have the national goalball tournament in Vancouver USA," said Billy Henry, executive director of the Northwest Association for Blind Athletes. "Twenty to twenty-five of the best adult men and women's teams will compete for the national title, with local teams from Vancouver and Portland also competing. It's important to provide these opportunities to the visually impaired and blind to help them build self-confidence, as they pursue their dreams in sports and in life."

For more information, please visit the USABA website. The event is open for the public.

About Vancouver USA Regional Sports Commission
The Vancouver USA Regional Sports Commission, a division of the Vancouver USA Regional Tourism Office, works to promote Vancouver USA and Clark County, Washington, as a sports event destination, while positively influencing the quality of life and economic vitality in Clark County. For more information call 360-750-1553, or visit