By Daniel Etchells

Sensei Walter Dean led the judo introduction and coaching at the DisAbility Sports Festival ©PRWebThe Blind Judo Foundation has provided a demonstration of the sport at the annual DisAbility Sports Festival in San Bernardino, California.

More than 700 disabled athletes of all ages, including the blind and visually impaired, had their first opportunity to experience judo at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB).

Sensei Walter Dean, known for his advocacy of judo for the disabled and especially for the blind and visually impaired, led the "on-mat" introduction and coaching for a second year in a row.

The DisAbility Sports Festival was held in San Bernardino, California ©Getty ImagesThe DisAbility Sports Festival was held in San Bernardino, California ©Getty Images

He was joined by well-known judo coach and President of the United States Judo Association Sensei Gary Goltz, who brought members of Goltz Judo Club to the event to provide hands-on attention and personal instruction.

The supporting judoka included Mckenzi LaMott, Marvin Varela, Jovany Varela, Kevin Herr and Spencer LaMott.

"The sports offered at the DisAbility Sports Festival emphasises awareness of what a disabled person can do to reach their potential, from training in a sport like judo and being able to set new heights in their lives," said Dr Aaron Moffett, founder of the Festival and professor of kinesiology at CSUSB.

The inclusion of judo at the Festival is owed to the efforts of Howard Brodwin, an associate of the Blind Judo Foundation.

Brodwin is also the principal of Sports and Social Change, which provides marketing and sponsorship for the Festival.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
September 2014: 
IJF and IBSA strengthen ties with signing of Memorandum of Understanding in Budapest
June 2014: 
Boost for visually impaired judo after new deal signed with IJF