Severely disabled veterans benefiting from winter sports rehabilitation programs through $500,000 Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Grant.
Five-hundred severely disabled veterans will benefit from rehabilitation programs in winter sports and recreation through a $500,000 grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA). Activities will be conducted as part of Disabled Sports USA's Warfighter Sports program.
The Department Of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Grant program provides funding to organizations to increase and expand the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities for disabled Veterans and members of the Armed Forces in their home communities. The grant program also supports more advanced Paralympic and adaptive sport programs at the regional and national levels. More than 16,000 Veterans are supported through this program annually.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert A. McDonald said of the grants "disabled veterans who participate in adaptive sports improve their health and quality of life, make new friendships, and discover that physical rehabilitation healing comes in many forms and can also be great fun."
Specifically, this VA grant to DSUSA will provide free adaptive sports opportunities to severely disabled veterans in alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowboarding, sled hockey, biathlon and wheelchair curling through 25 DSUSA chapters in the following 17 states around the country: California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
Last year alone, Warfighter Sports programs offered free adaptive sports to more than 1,500 disabled veterans in more than 30 different sports.
"This generous grant from the Department Of Veterans Affairs will make it possible for disabled veterans to reap the benefits of adaptive sports participation," said Kirk Bauer, Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran. "Research has proven that disabled veterans who participate in adaptive sports and recreation programs are more likely to lead healthier, more productive and happier lives."
A Harris Interactive research study of more than 1,000 adults with disabilities showed that disabled veterans participating in Disabled Sports USA adaptive sports programs were significantly happier, healthier and more likely to be employed than those not participating in adaptive sports.
Founded in 1967 by disabled World War II and Vietnam veterans, today DSUSA serves over 60,000 people with disabilities through more than 100 chapters operating in 40 states. DSUSA's vision is to ensure that every person, regardless of ability, has an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation in their communities. The mission of DSUSA is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence, and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs. Disabled Sports USA's motto reflects this mission: "If I Can Do This, I Can Do Anything!"
About Disabled Sports USA -Founded in 1967, Disabled Sports USA is a national, charitable organization that provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence and fitness through participation in sports. What began as a program to serve Vietnam veterans has since grown into one of the nation's largest multi-sport, multi-disability organizations, annually serving more than 60,000 wounded warriors, youth and adults with disabilities. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, Disabled Sports USA offers programs in more than 40 summer and winter sports through its nationwide network of more than 100 community-based chapters. For more information, visit www.disabledsportsusa.org
About Warfighter Sports - Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for wounded warriors with permanent physical disabilities in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. in partnership with a nationwide network of over 10 community-based chapters. Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, offering over 30 winter and summer sports at more than 100 events each year. Warfighter Sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared healthy activities.
Contributions cover all expenses for participation of the warrior and a family member, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, transportation, lodging and meals. Since 2003, more than 8,200 of the most severely wounded and their families have been served, including those with amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and significant nerve and muscle damage. For more information, visit www.warfightersports.org