Adaptive sports


The Department of Veterans Affairs has given out $16 million in grant money to organizations that provide adaptive sports opportunities to disabled veterans all over the country, thus relieving 13,000 veterans of the need to provide their own financing for their participation in the program. In the past eight years alone, that comes to $100 million that’s been granted.

If you’re in physical therapy (and enrolled in VA health care), take a look at the Sports4Vets Throwdown at www.blogs.va.gov/nvspse/throwdown. It’s a competition for veterans of all ages and abilities to improve their fitness. Go to the “Click here to access the 2022 workouts” link for videos of weeks of adaptive exercises, broken down by wheelchair, modified mobility, visually impaired and upper extremity. Ask your physician or therapist if any of those workouts would be appropriate for you to increase your fitness.

The program focuses on archery, rock climbing, skiing, hunting, sky diving and Paralympic sports, with a bonus this year: CrossFit, sailing and scuba.

And there’s more ... the National Veterans Wheelchair Games will be held in Portland, Oregon, next July, and registration for it will be open from Feb. 1 to April 5, 2023. There will be more than 500 veterans competing in 22 sports. Get information at wheelchairgames.org. If you’re new to adaptive sports, scroll down and click on “Learn More” to see the list of benefits to becoming involved. Among other reasons, they list maintaining body weight, sleeping better and reducing anxiety and depression. Those alone might be worth the effort of joining an adaptive sport, but they also list controlling Type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

If you’re age 55 or older, the National Veterans Golden Age Games might be for you, with over a dozen different sports, such as air rifle, basketball, golf, cycling and bowling.

If you do an online search for “@Sports4Vets, you’ll find the VA’s adaptive sports and arts Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter. Pay special attention to Facebook, as they’ve listed a number of programs and events that are coming up.

(c) 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.

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