USABA and PlayLA Adaptive Sports Blind Soccer Experience Slated for June 6

May 31, 2024

Event for LAUSD students held in collaboration with Anthem, Dignity Health and LA Galaxy

May 31, 2024/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – LA City Recreation and Parks PlayLA Youth Adaptive Sports Program and the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) are holding a blind soccer clinic experience for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) blind and visually impaired students on Thursday, June 6. The students will learn about the Paralympic sport of blind soccer and meet USA Blind Soccer National Team members. The event is being held in collaboration with Anthem, Dignity Health and the LA Galaxy.

In 2028, Los Angeles will host the Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games for the third time in history – 1932, 1984 and 2028. It will be the first time in a generation that the games will take place in the City of Angels, inspiring fans across the world and touching young Angelenos starting today.

Through the PlayLA Program, youth of all abilities have the opportunity to access quality sports available from their local neighborhood recreation center and join the Olympic and Paralympic movement. Made possible by an investment from the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), PlayLA is the single largest commitment to youth sports development in California and serves as a legacy before, during and after the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“This is a very exciting year for the PlayLA Adaptive Youth Sports Program as we prepare to witness the amazing stories of athletes of all abilities on the world’s biggest stage during the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said PlayLA Chief Operations Officer Austin Dumas. “This serves as a pathbreaking opportunity for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks to increase awareness of the benefits adaptive sports can have for youth with disabilities and continue to increase access to our inclusive sports programming citywide.”

Though it has been part of the 22-sport Paralympic Games program since 2004, blind soccer is the only sport in which a U.S. team has never competed. The USA Blind Soccer team will be making its Paralympic debut in Los Angeles at the 2028 Paralympic Games, and this exciting day will show that soccer is for all and, regardless of ability, anyone can thrive while playing this global sport.

“Introducing a new sport in the United States is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” added USABA CEO Molly Quinn. “With the FIFA World Cup happening in 2026 and the USA Blind Soccer Team making its historic debut at the LA28 Paralympic Games two years later, the energy level is high with soccer in the U.S. Partnering with the PlayLA Adaptive Sports Program is vital to spreading awareness of blind soccer as we build our roadmap to 2028.”

Despite their lack of vision, blind soccer players exemplify speed, strength, stamina, agility and excellent spatial awareness. Blind soccer is a fast-paced and exciting game, played in more than 60 countries, and is the world’s fastest-growing Paralympic sport. With grassroots efforts to introduce the sport to children, teens and adults across the U.S., PlayLA and USABA are committed to bringing play equity and accessibility to the largest global sport in the world.

Date: Thursday, June 6, 2024

Time: 10:00 am-1:00 pm

RSVP by June 1 at Event Experience Registration Link

Venue: LA Galaxy Park at Dignity Health Sports Park 18400 Avalon Blvd., Carson, CA, 90746
(LA Galaxy Park soccer pitches are directly off the main entrance)


About PlayLA Youth and Adaptive Youth Sports

The City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks PlayLA Youth & Adaptive Youth Sports Program is a city-wide initiative that provides access to quality sports programming for youth of all abilities between the ages of 5 and 17. Made possible by an investment from the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), PlayLA is the single largest commitment to youth sports development in California and serves as a legacy before, during, and after the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

About U.S. Association of Blind Athletes

Founded in 1976, the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) is a dual-mission organization proud to serve as the National Governing Body for the Paralympic team sports of goalball and blind soccer and providing sport and recreational opportunities for the blind and visually impaired community. USABA is a member organization of the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA), the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC), and US Soccer. In addition to community outreach and grassroots work with athletes, coaches, and referees, USABA is committed to developing a comprehensive support system, fostering a culture of excellence, and ensuring athletes have the resources to compete in all levels of sport. Our commitment is to provide quality programming and enriching experiences for the blind and visually impaired. Learn more at www.usaba.org.

About Anthem Blue Cross

As a long-time trusted health partner, Anthem Blue Cross has been providing high-quality, affordable health care for Californians for more than 85 years. Anthem Blue Cross, together with its branded affiliates, provides health care services to more than 8.2 members in California. Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. To learn more, visit www.anthem.com/ca or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Dignity Health Southern California

Dignity Health Southern California’s six hospitals have one common goal: to provide compassionate, high-quality health care in a safe and healing environment. Our acute care, nonprofit hospitals provide services in Los Angeles, Glendale, Northridge, Long Beach, and San Bernardino and share a legacy of human kindness with Dignity Health. All of the Dignity Health Southern California facilities have been recognized for quality care, safety, premier surgical services, technologically-advanced imaging centers, outpatient services, comprehensive home health services, and a wide variety of community benefit programs. Visit dignityhealth.org/SoCal for more information.

About The LA Galaxy

The LA Galaxy are Major League Soccer’s most successful club. Based in Carson, Calif. at Dignity Health Sports Park, the Galaxy have won the MLS Cup a record five times (2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014), the MLS Supporters’ Shield four times (1998, 2002, 2010, 2011) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice (2001, 2005), and one Concacaf Champions Cup (2000) since their inception in 1996. Under the direction of LA Galaxy President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer Tom Braun on the business operations side, and LA Galaxy General Manager Will Kuntz on the soccer operations side, the Galaxy are the premier club in MLS, with stars like Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Riqui Puig, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Javier Hernandez and Cobi Jones representing LA over the team’s 29 years in MLS. For more information on the LA Galaxy, visit www.lagalaxy.com.

About Dignity Health Sports Park

Dignity Health Sports Park is southern California’s home of world-class competition and training facilities for amateur, Olympic, collegiate and professional athletes. Managed by AEG, the $150 million, privately financed facility was developed by AEG on a 125-acre site on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in Carson, California. Dignity Health Sports Park features an 8,000-seat tennis stadium, a 25,174-seat stadium for soccer, football and other athletic competitions and outdoor concerts; a 2,000-seat facility for track & field and a 2,450-seat indoor Velodrome – the VELO Sports Center – for track cycling. Dignity Health Sports Park is home to Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy, the five-time MLS Cup Champions. Dignity Health Sports Park is also home of the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) High Performance Training Center and the national team training headquarters for the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Additionally, Dignity Health Sports Park is home to Galaxy Park, a newly imagined complex on the campus of the facility that features five 5v5 soccer fields, three futsal courts, eight Pickleball courts, four Padel courts, and is home to a number of other recreational activities. For additional information, please visit http://www.dignityhealthsportspark.com.