Turnstone promotes qualifier
Representatives from Fort Wayne’s Turnstone approached the City Council on Tuesday to ask for support in spreading the word about next summer’s International Blind Sports Federation goalball and judo international qualifier.
The event will be a qualifier for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games, Tom Trent, Turnstone’s board chairman, told the council.
“There will be three competition sites and a headquarters,” Trent said. “I think of similar importance is the fact that there will be 600 athletes from all over the world in Fort Wayne next summer.”
The goalball competition will take place June 28 to July 10. The judo qualifier will run June 30 to July 6.
It’s going to be the largest international event the city has ever hosted, Trent said.
About 230 athletes from nearly 40 countries will participate in the Judo competition, Mike Mushett, Turnstone’s CEO told the council. There will also be 16 men’s and 16 women’s goalball teams, Mushett said. The event will last 12 days, said Dan O’Connell, president and CEO of Visit Fort Wayne.
Goalball, Mushett said, is a Paralympic sport designed for people who are blind or have visual impairments. It was developed in the years following World War II for wounded soldiers, Mushett said. It is now played in more than 100 countries.
“This is going to be a great event for our city. It showcases the opportunities for us in what Turnstone has been doing for several years now, and that is putting on premier adaptive sporting events,” O’Connell said.
That’s an estimated economic impact of between 1.5 million, O’Connell added.
“That’s due to the length, that’s due to the distance these people are coming and it’s due to the use of three different venues for competitions,” O’Connell said. “This event will add to our reputation of being a great city, a great hospitality place and add to our resume for being the center for adaptive sports.”