Earlier today, the United States Association of Blind Athletes had selected Fort Wayne, Indiana as the new home for the United States men’s national goalball team, and be based out of the Turnstone facility. The team will make their full time move to the city in September. The move should allow the team to have longer and more consistently planned national team training camps.
The Turnstone facility is one of three in the United States that has Gold Medal designation from US Paralympics. Because the national team is moving in, it will become a designated U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site.
USABA Executive Director Mark Lucas said in a press release, “This ground-breaking partnership with Turnstone will allow blind and visually impaired athletes the opportunity to pursue excellence both on the goalball court and in the outstanding community of Fort Wayne.”
The News-Sentinel quotes Turnstone spokesperson Kenna Davis as saying, “Currently, they have players from all over the country who come together for all-day practices for three days and they go home for six, eight weeks and come back together for three days. […] They are really hoping that being able to have them as a resident team, they’ll be able to practice every day to get to know each other more and have more of that team aspect.”
The United States men are currently ranked sixth in the world. They have already qualified for the 2016 Summer Paralympics after winning bronze at the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships. The team’s next major competition is the 2015 Para Panamerican Games in Toronto, Canada in August, where they will meet Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.