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Fort Wayne 2019 wins award

Date: December 20, 2019

Category: Goalball

The organisers of the 2019 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball and Judo International Qualifier in Fort Wayne, USA, have won an award for the competition held between 2-9 July.

Sports Destination Management, the leading publication with the largest circulation of sports event planners and tournament directors in the sports tourism market in the USA, has recognised Fort Wayne 2019 as one of its Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism.

This year’s winners are responsible for contributing a total of more than 1 billion USD to the national economy over the past year.

The competition was organised by Visit Fort Wayne, the Turnstone Center, United States Association of Blind Athletes and the International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA).

“We are honoured to be recognised 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 2019 IBSA Goalball and Judo International Qualifier 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 Organising Committee and community supporters,” said Mike Mushett, CEO of Turnstone. “This honour affirms the incredible collaborative efforts that made the International Qualifier a local and international success.” 

Lithuania and Turkey were the gold and silver medallists in the men’s goalball. Hosts the USA and China reached the top two in the women’s.

In the judo held at the Grand Wayne Center, 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 event, with Paralympic, world and regional medallists included in the team line-ups. Ukraine bested USA for the gold medal. Brazil and China took home 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 organising committee for Fort Wayne 2019, including Turnstone and our international federation; the International Blind Sports Federation, set a benchmark model for future local organising 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. 

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