Over 1,500 Disabled Veterans, Therapists, and Adaptive Sports Providers to Benefit From 2019 Department of Veterans Affairs Grant to Disabled Sports USA

Tuesday, April 2, 2019 General News
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Severely disabled veterans and members of the Armed Services from around the country will receive sports rehabilitation programs in 36 sports at adaptive sports organizations in 21 states. Military and VA therapists as well as hundreds of instructors, coaches, and adaptive sports providers will receive adaptive sports training at 25 programs in 14 states.

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 1, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Over 1,500 severely disabled Veterans, therapists and volunteers

will benefit from two grants totaling $825,826 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA). Programs will be conducted as part of DSUSA's Warfighter Sports program and Adapt2Achieve training and education program.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs provides funding to organizations to increase and enhance the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities for disabled Veterans and members of the Armed Forces in their home communities. This VA program supports national sports governing bodies, Veterans service organizations, city and regional municipalities, and other community groups to provide a wide range of adaptive sports opportunities for eligible Veterans and service members.

Specifically, the first of these grants will provide free adaptive sports opportunities to severely disabled Veterans in thirty-six adaptive sports taking place in twenty-one states, including alpine skiing, archery, snowboarding, tennis, sled hockey, cycling, golf, paddle sports, climbing, sailing, curling, triathlon, martial arts, and more.

The second VA grant to DSUSA will elevate the quality and availability of adaptive sports programs across the U.S. through training for VA and Military therapists as well as instructors, coaches and volunteers. Programs include hands-on adaptive sports specific training, teaching employable skills to disabled Veterans and working with sports governing bodies to educate club coaches around the country. The impact of these programs will vastly improve access to adaptive sports for thousands of disabled Veterans and others with disabilities.

Last year alone, Warfighter Sports programs offered free adaptive sports to more than 1,900 disabled Veterans in more than 50 different sports. "As a veteran who was a limb salvage for 4+ years and unable to ski or participate in any sport activity, it had detrimental effects both emotionally and physically on me. After undergoing my amputation, you have questions as to what is my new normal, what can I do and what can't I do," said retired U.S. Marine Corps Master Sergeant Todd Smalenberg. "Thanks to DSUSA and Warfighter Sports you learn that you can do what you always have done, in just different ways, you just have to adapt to some things. It teaches and shows you these important aspects, which impacts your everyday life. You get to see and do the normal things that you always did, which impacts you physically and emotionally in positive ways. It gives you back your life, and that is priceless."

"Thanks to the Department Of Veterans Affairs, thousands of disabled Veterans have experienced the power of adaptive sports," said Glenn Merry, Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA. "This grant has helped disabled Veterans rebuild their lives through sports." 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 annually through more than 125 chapters operating in over 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!"


SOURCE Disabled Sports USA

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