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Local Three-Time Paralympic Goalball Athlete, Tyler Merren, Receives Holman Prize For Blind Ambition

Fort Wayne-based USA Men’s Goalball Resident Athlete, Tyler Merren will continue to pursue his dream of creating a digital workout app for individuals with visual impairments thanks to support received from being named a 2020 Holman Prize winner.

The LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, in San Francisco, Cal., launched the Holman Prize in 2017, annually awarding three blind individuals up to $25,000 to achieve goals and turn dreams into reality.

Merren was named one of only three award recipients this year out of over 100 international applicants. Originally from Michigan, Merren and his family recently relocated to Fort Wayne to support his goalball training through the United States Association of Blind Athletes’ resident goalball program that operates in the Goalball Center of Excellence at Turnstone.

With his $25,000 award, Merren will further develop his brand ReVision Training with the introduction of an audio-based fitness mobile application. The app will include descriptions of equipment, nutrition, heart rate monitoring, and journal capabilities all in an accessible format.

“The idea is that if you can do it as a sighted person in another fitness app, I want a blind person to have that in my app and the Holman Prize will make that possible,” said Merren.

Merren is a three-time Paralympian and two-time team medalist. Merren is currently training with the USA Men’s Goalball Team as they prepare for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo, Japan that was rescheduled for August 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic precautions. When he isn’t training, Merren is an advocate for disability rights, motivational speaker, personal trainer, husband, father, and most recently served as an independent contractor with the Northeast Indiana Disability Advocacy Coalition.

Turnstone’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to achieve their highest potential by providing one of the most comprehensive offerings of service and programs to people with disabilities and their families under one roof in the United States. Thanks to generous support and compassionate staff, Turnstone’s legacy of advocacy and innovation continues to contribute to a world that accepts and values people based on their abilities. This legacy now includes the privilege of functioning as the home training facility for the U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Goalball Teams and the goalball resident program through a partnership with the United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA).