When paralympians from around the world face off to compete for two goalball gold medals at the 2012 Summer Paralympics a small but growing business from North Grenville will be at centre court.
The special bell-equipped balls used for the game played by the visually impaired are being provided by Kemptville-based Targe Innovations (www.targe.ca) run by husband and wife team Jeff and Dawna Christy.
Global sales of the Evolve Equipt Goalball have gone through the roof since it became known that the ball would be used at the Paralympics.
“We’ve moved to 24-hour around-the-clock production,” says Dawna Christy. “All of the competing countries want to train with the equipment used in the games.”
Launched in 2005, Targe Innovations was a natural extension for Jeff Christy, a five-time paralympian and elite goalball champion.
Targe’s mission is to improve lives through sport and wellness. It sells therapeutic, sport, and educational products and focuses on developing equipment for paralympic athletes.
The company also sells a goalball adaptive physical education kit to teach non-visually impaired people what it’s like to be blind. It includes a goalball, six pairs of eyeshades that simulate blindness, and high-contrast floor tape.
Targe is marketing the kit to school boards as a fun way to teach young people about blindness and in hopes of introducing an inclusive sport that can be played by the sighted (wearing eyeshades) and the visually impaired together.
To promote their business online, the Christys started an online marketing business called Excelwith Marketing (www.excelwith.com), which exists to serve Targe but also services other clients. The company primarily helps organizations improve their search engine listings.
Teri Devine, Economic Development Coordinator for the Municipality of North Grenville, says the Christys have huge support from the local community.
“The people of North Grenville are proud to have such innovative creative economy entrepreneurs in our community,” Devine says. “It’s great to have two such exciting companies in our midst, one of which has the potential to hugely impact people’s lives around the world.”