In 2012 a few employees at Inland Northwest Lighthouse (INL) dreamed about starting the first ever beep baseball team in the State of Washington. They quickly turned their dream into a reality and later that year the Spokane Lion Pride began playing beep baseball. In 2013 a board was formed to oversee the operation of the team. Troy Leeberg, a Machine Operator Senior at INL, had an even bigger vision for people who are blind to have opportunities to play sports in Spokane. He proposed that an organization be created that would give individuals who are blind and visually impaired the opportunity to participate in a variety of sports and recreational activities.

As a result, 2013 also saw the creation of Sports 4 The Blind, a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide a positive experience for those who are visually impaired near the Spokane area by promoting their independence and confidence while maintaining vigorous levels of activity to reduce any health problems due to the lack of mobility. Troy, who serves as Executive Director of Sports 4 The Blind, says that they offer individuals who are blind and visually impaired the chance to play beep baseball, goalball, recreational kickball, and soon archery. Troy is also exploring the opportunity to bring other sports to Spokane including blind ice hockey.

Ultimately we want to grow and have three to five employees in the next three to five years,” Troy says. “We want to expand and give people who are blind and visually impaired in other cities the chance to participate in sports.”

Sports 4 The Blind is not just focused on increasing physical activity among blind and visually impaired adults. On the weekend of August 21st, they will be holding a camp for youth who are blind and visually impaired, raging in ages from ten to 16. Campers will have the opportunity to play goalball, beep baseball, archery, and board games, as well as learn how to cook and gain experience using adaptive devices and techniques.

To learn more about Sports 4 The Blind or to get involved, please visit their website or follow them on twitter @sports4theblind.