U.S. Paralympics joins to provide major support for Winter Sports Rehabilitation program, to teach lifelong sports skills and elite racing opportunities, free-of-cost, to severely wounded service members
ROCKVILLE, Md. (Jan. 27, 2010) Severely wounded service members who have fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, will participate in the winter sports rehabilitation programs offered by Disabled Sports USA (DS/USA) in partnership with its local chapters and Wounded Warrior Project. The activities for the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project will include a series of learn-to and advanced level training clinics in snow skiing, snowboarding and Nordic skiing.
This year U.S. Paralympics has joined as a national partner of the program to provide not only introductory adaptive sports, but also opportunities for wounded warriors to participate in advanced level training and competitions, leading to qualification for the Paralympic Winter Games. Wounded warriors, Andrew Soule and Heath Calhoun, both double leg amputees, are contenders for the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver. They are pioneering the way for other wounded warriors to compete.
The Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project provides all sports programs free of cost for severely wounded service members and their families. This includes transportation, special adaptive sports equipment, training from qualified adaptive sports instructors, lodging and meals.
For many warriors, these types of rehabilitative activities are the first step to living an active and productive life in the civilian world said Ronda Jarvis, Executive Vice President of Physical Health and Rehabilitation for Wounded Warrior Project. The healing of the mind, body and spirit are so important to the successful reintegration of this generation of veterans and these adaptive sporting opportunities play a significant role.
Partnering with DS/USA in this initiative to provide daily physical activity as part of the rehabilitation process, expands the opportunities to provide important rehabilitation programs for injured servicemen and women at the community level, said Charlie Huebner, Chief of Paralympics, USOC. The program not only provides countless opportunities for injured service members to reintegrate back into their community, but also to connect them to Paralympic mentors and role models to assist in a successful rehabilitation process.
Winter activities will be conducted throughout the USA including ski areas in Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, California, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Virginia, Maryland, Oregon, Arizona and Pennsylvania.
Activities will be held for severely wounded service members rehabilitating at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC; Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas; Naval Medical Center San Diego in California; and Veterans Hospitals and other medical centers across the nation. Wounded warriors discharged from the military will also have the opportunity to continue to participate at Disabled Sports USA national and chapter programs throughout the USA, so they can maintain an active lifestyle.
Our wounded warriors are succeeding and excelling, not only in sports, but in work, college and life, thanks to this sports rehabilitation program said Kirk Bauer, JD, Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran. We are honored and proud to be able to continue the program in 2010 as our wounded warriors return from the battlefield, in need of help from all Americans.
In addition to national partners Wounded Warrior Project and U.S. Paralympics, major sponsors include: Anthem Life, Ariel Corporation, Battelle, The Chart Group, Darby Foundation, Franklin Templeton Investments, Fournier Family Foundation, Genatt Associates, Heisman Trophy Trust, HUB Financial Charities, Kellogg, Brown & Root, Moore Capital Management, No Bats Baseball Club, Non Commissioned Officers Association, PING, Robert Trent Jones Golf Club Charitable Foundation, Tee It Up For The Troops, Trijicon, Phoenix Beverages and others.
About Disabled Sports USA
Founded in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans, Disabled Sports USA provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to rebuild their lives through sports, recreation and educational programs. DS/USA is a national multi-sport, multi-disability organization serving more than 60,000 youth and adults annually. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, DS/USA offers programs through its nationwide network of 100 community-based chapters operating in 38 states. For schedules and additional information, visit www.dsusa.org/woundedwarrior.html or call (301) 217-9840.
About Wounded Warrior Project
The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the publics aid for the needs of severely injured service members, to help severely injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, apolitical organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.
About U.S. Paralympics
U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, is dedicated to becoming the world leader in the Paralympic sports movement and promoting excellence in the lives of people with physical disabilities.
Since its formation in 2001, U.S. Paralympics has been inspiring Americans to achieve their dreams. Through education, sports programs and partnerships with community organizations, medical facilities and government agencies, U.S. Paralympics is making a difference in the lives of thousands of physically disabled people every day. Visit www.usparalympics.org.
Local Wounded Warrior Project, Sponsored by BPOE Lodge 2092