Image-Women’s Medalists: During the IBSA 2019 Goalball & Judo International Qualifier event held in Fort Wayne this summer, the USA Women’s Goalball Team earned a second place finish earning them qualification to the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Image-USA Women 2: USA Women’s Goalball athlete and 5-time Paralympian Lisa Czechowski pitches the ball down the court during the Women’s Goalball Finals Game against China in the IBSA 2019 Goalball & Judo International Qualifier event held in Fort Wayne this summer.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (November 20, 2019) – Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market, has announced the 2019 Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. This year’s winners are responsible for contributing a total of more than $1 billion to the national economy over the past year.
Among the Innovations in Sports Tourism category winners was the 2019 IBSA Goalball & Judo International Qualifier, produced in cooperation with Visit Fort Wayne, Turnstone, United States Association of Blind Athletes and International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA).
“We are honored to be recognized by Sports Destination Management’s Champions of Sports Tourism. The recognition really goes to our entire community because they helped us host not one, but two Paralympic qualifiers simultaneously, and both were tremendous successes on many levels.” said Dan O’Connell, President/CEO, Visit Fort Wayne.
All winners of awards have been recognized in a special feature published in the November/December 2019 issue of Sports Destination Management. The entire article with full details on the winners listed below can also be found online.
The 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier was hosted in Fort Wayne, IN from June 28-July 9, 2019 and featured some of the world’s best athletes with visual impairments as they sought qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Events were held at Turnstone Center, Indiana Tech and the Grand Wayne Center. Over 40 countries were represented by nearly 600 athletes, coaches and delegation staff in addition to the international delegates who participated in IBSA’s General Assembly also held in Fort Wayne in conjunction with the competition.
“The summer of 2019 will forever be marked in our community's history by the collective efforts and leadership demonstrated by the Local Organizing Committee and community supporters,” said Mike Mushett, CEO of Turnstone. “This honor affirms the incredible collaborative efforts that made the International Qualifier a local and international success.”
The gold and silver medalists from the men’s and women’s goalball competitions punched their tickets to Tokyo 2020. At the close of the Fort Wayne competition, the men’s Lithuania and Turkey teams, and the women’s USA and People’s Republic of China teams departed for home with their sights set on the Paralympic Games scheduled for August 2020.
In the men’s and women’s individual judo competition held at the Grand Wayne Center July 3-4, 180 international judoka fought for individual world ranking points towards qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Team USA also claimed the first-ever judo mixed team silver medal where teams from eight countries competed in the historic debut of the mixed-team event, with Paralympic, world and regional medalists included in the team line-ups. Ukraine bested USA for the gold medal. Brazil claimed Bronze 1 and China took home the second Bronze.
"The IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifiers held this summer in Fort Wayne not only inspired all who were a part of the event but all who followed along with the impressive international Livestream broadcast,” said Mark Lucas, Executive Director of the United States Association of Blind Athletes. “The partners on our organizing committee for Fort Wayne 2019, including Turnstone and our international federation; the International Blind Sports Federation, set a benchmark model for future local organizing committees to follow."
The 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier was made possible thanks to generous sponsors including: the Plassman Family, United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee, AWS Foundation, Fuji Mats, Visit Indiana, Sport Indiana, Ash Brokerage, BOSMA, Visit Fort Wayne and the City of Fort Wayne.
ABOUT TURNSTONE: Founded in 1943, Turnstone’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential by providing one of the most comprehensive offerings of services and programs to people with disabilities and their families under one roof in the United States. Thanks to generous support and compassionate staff, Turnstone’s legacy of advocacy and innovation continues to contribute to a world that accepts and values people based on their abilities. Turnstone's scope of impact has evolved to include being a member of United States Olympic family as one of the United States Olympic Committee's designated Training Sites and home to USA Goalball through a partnership with the United States Association of Blind Athletes. www.turnstone.org | Twitter: @TurnstoneCenter | Facebook: Turnstone Center for Children and Adults with Disabilities | Instagram: @TurnstoneCenter
ABOUT VISIT FORT WAYNE: Visit Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to expand Fort Wayne's economy by attracting convention and leisure visitors. Each year, millions of dollars from visitor spending generate increased commerce, sustained jobs and enhancement of Fort Wayne's image.
ABOUT U.S. ASSOCIATION OF BLIND ATHLETES: Since its founding in 1976, USABA, a community-based organization of the United States Olympic Committee, has reached more than 100,000 blind individuals. The organization has emerged as more than just a world-class trainer of blind athletes, it has become a champion of the abilities of Americans who are legally blind. In addition to providing grassroots and development opportunities in multiple sports, USABA serves as the high-performance management organization for the Paralympic sport of goalball in the U.S. Through a partnership with Turnstone Center, USABA established the first-ever long-term goalball resident program in the country where members of U.S. Men’s and Women’s Goalball National Teams train full-time. USABA’s mission: to empower Americans who are blind and visually impaired to experience life-changing opportunities in sports, recreation, and physical activity, thereby educating and inspiring the nation. www.usaba.org | Twitter: @USABA | Facebook: United States Association of Blind Athletes
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL BLIND SPORTS FEDERATION (IBSA): As the International Federation for goalball and judo, IBSA organizes and oversees the competition calendar and development of the sports around the world. Outside of the Paralympic Games, a regular program of world and regional Championships are held as well as other tournaments. For more information about IBSA, goalball or judo click here, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT SPORTS DESTINATION MANAGEMENT: Sports Destination Management is written for the largest audience of sports event managers and tournament directors in the sports tourism market and maintains a focus on the important issues surrounding event location decisions and event management. With content from experts and thought leaders, SDM provides in-depth coverage of sports event planning and execution through incisive and relevant articles as well as insightful, real-world case studies showcasing best practices and successful event production. In addition to the publication, SDM offers extensive digital resources through www.sportsdestinations.com and the e-newsletter SDM Blitz, both providing decision support tools for organizers to ensure successful events at all levels of play.
ABOUT DUE NORTH MEDIA: Due North Media, a division of Due North Consulting, Inc., is a niche business-to-business publisher providing media services to executives within specialized vertical markets impacting economic development including corporate site selection, business development, market-to-market events and sports tourism via publications, digital media, qualified list marketing and custom publishing. Founded in 2001, Due North Consulting, Inc. has helped niche marketers obtain their goals for a decade and a half. The principals of the company have over 40 years of business-to-business advertising and marketing experience. It has been their mission to serve readers, clients and employees with integrity, humility and a continuing quest for the achievement of excellence.
Visit Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne/Allen County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to expand Fort Wayne's economy by attracting convention and leisure visitors. Each year, millions of dollars from visitor spending generate increased commerce, sustained jobs and enhancement of Fort Wayne's Image.
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Visit Fort Wayne