Motivating disabled Veterans to participate in adaptive sports supports their rehabilitation and recovery and contributes to their health and wellness. As the number of Veterans who become injured continues to grow, there is a need to reach out to them and provide the tools and resources they need to get started and stay fit. So, we launched the VA Paralympic Program website. We designed the site primarily for three groups – disabled Veterans and their families, VA clinical staff, and community-based sport programs.

Veterans will get an idea of some of the adaptive sports that might be a good fit for their injury, resources to help them get started and information on how they can qualify for training allowances to compete on the paralympic level.

VA clinicians will find information about VA’s program as well as contact information for obtaining our new outreach toolkit that has materials they can use in promoting adaptive sports at their facilities.

Local sports programs that provide adaptive sports activities to Veterans can also learn how they can become eligible for grants.

Two things everyone might find interesting are the Success Stories page and the Sports Club Finder page. On the Success Stories page you can read about disabled Veterans and how participating and competing in sports has changed their lives. We’re looking for more, so please send us your stories; we just might share them on the site.

The other cool feature of the site is the Sports Club Finder. It was developed by our partner, the U.S. Paralympics. The Sports Club Finder can help you find local adaptive sports programs in your community so, if you want to find an adaptive sports program in your hometown, check it out.

As a disabled Veteran and avid hockey player, I know firsthand how sports activity positively impacts your body and mind. Participating in adaptive sports means more independence, less stress and more fun. To put it simply, disabled Veterans who play sports tend to be healthier and happier.

So, check out the website and let me know what you think. Thank you for your support to our nation’s Veterans.

Christopher J. Nowak is the National Director, VA Paralympic Program Office.

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Published on Aug. 15, 2011

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6 Comments

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  2. Jake Corrie August 19, 2011 at 3:07 am

    I am so happy I have found this site/there is a lot of useful information here I have found this other site about the same topic you might find interesting as well
    wellness

  3. Dan Le Blanc August 17, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I am as proud of you as I could be. Not onlyas a Marine former coworker and friend. Motivation I believe is the key to overcoming any disability. We.ve worked and played together and I know you can motivate from your experience. All the very best and stay focused on the goal. American’s First.
    Semper Fi my Friend
    Dan

  4. Trish August 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Hi Chris!
    We’ll definitely promote the site to our Vets/families, VA clinicians, community and local bases…great idea separately targeting and addressing the groups and their respective objectives. I’ve received inquiries from Vets and clinicians on behalf of their pts, en route to Hawaii and some returning to the mainland, about this topic and I was surprised how challenging it has been to [easily] get information for local programs/resources. So, this will be helpful-thanks.
    Semper Fit!
    Trish :)

  5. Tim August 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Hey, Chris! You might want to add the USA Warriors (Washington, DC area) and Minnesota Warriors (MN) hockey teams to the list contained on the sports club finder website.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  6. David Chandonnet August 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Chris, well said. I am a firm believer that involvement in sports and recreation is a key factor in the physical and emotional rehabilitation of any individual with a disability.
    The opportunities are endless. Congratulations on the launch of this web site.

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