Your courage, your determination and your drive all led you to serve America proudly. Those same characteristics will also lead to satisfaction and success in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans of all ages and abilities report better health, new friendships and a better quality of life when participating in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans who are physically active simply have more fun! To get started, take some time to review the many sports opportunities available to you by reaching out to your VA clinical team and checking out this website.
Get started by learning how disabled Veterans can benefit from adaptive sports. Check out th e website and if you still have questions, contact us at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.
Veterans from across the country competed in the National Veterans Golden Age Games in Detroit July 10-14. The Games are the largest multi-sport competitive event for senior Veterans in the world. More than 600 Veterans participated in sports including swimming, cycling, boccia, track and field, horseshoes, shuffleboard, table tennis and air rifle. The annual event is co-hosted by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Canteen Service.
When Army Veteran Homer Hudnall, Jr lost his right leg, he thought it was over. But then, Homer discovered the therapeutic value of adaptive sports, and he hasn't looked back. Homer credits the National Veterans TEE Tournament with saving his life. Learn more about the TEE Tournament at www.tee.va.gov!
Nearly 600 Veterans from across the country participated in the 36th National Veterans Wheelchair Games June 27 - July 2 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Veterans competed in a variety of adaptive sports, including wheelchair basketball, quad rugby, archery, triathlon, track and field, swimming, softball, slalom, nine ball and boccia.
Eric Fife acknowledges he was angry and resentful when an accidental fall from a balcony left him paralyzed, and ended his career as an Army infantryman.
“I don’t know that I dealt with it really well until years later. For a long time I kind of tried to suppress it through a lot of different ways.”
After years battling addiction, Fife sought treatment at the Milwaukee VA and soon connected with the recreational therapy program where his therapists introduced him to adaptive sports. Today, Fife competes in triathlons, plays lacrosse and wheelchair tennis. He says adaptive sports have helped him redefine his service and rehabilitate his mind and body. He encourages Veterans to take a positive role in their health care and be their own advocate.
“You can live after a disability.”
VA's Under Secretary For Health Dr. David Shulkin and DAV Commander Moses A. McIntosh, Jr. have an important message for you from the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic
Ever wanted to know what it’s like to ski at the Winter Sports Clinic? We’ll let Chris Devlin-Young show you. Chris is a four time Paralympic medalist, World Cup Champion and 10 time US National Champion. In fact, his resume boasts over 160 career wins. While serving in Alaska with the Coast Guard in 1982, a plane crash paralyzed him below his waist. Never one to give up, he was introduced to skiing and racing at the first National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, and hasn’t slowed down since.
The National Veterans Creative Arts Festival (NVCAF) is the celebration and grand finale stage and art show, which are the culmination of talent competitions in art, creative writing, dance, drama and music for Veterans treated in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national health care system.
The Summer Sports Clinic offers adventure sports and recreational activities such as sailing, surfing, track and field events, kayaking and cycling (hand and tandem), to those who were recently injured. Complimenting the therapy provided in daily rehabilitation programs, the Clinic shares a glimpse of the many exciting recreational opportunities awaiting those Veterans who accept the challenge.
Approximately 10,000 Veterans and Servicemembers Expected to Benefit
Adaptive Sport Study
Results identified significant pre and posttest differences in psychological health, overall quality of life, mood states including tension, depression, anger, and vigor, and sports related competence. The results highlight the impact that therapeutic adaptive sports and recreation programs potentially have for combat veterans in areas of quality of life, reduction of mood disturbances, and sports related competence.
The Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs for disabled Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces (ASG Program) provides grant funding to organizations to increase and expand the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities disabled Veterans and members of the Armed Forces have to participate in physical activity within their home communities, as well as more advanced Paralympic and adaptive sport programs at the regional and national levels.
Interested in becoming a Paralympic athlete?
The VA National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events Office provides a monthly assistance allowance for disabled Veterans as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 322(d) and Section 703 of the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 for qualifying athletes training in Paralympic sports.
Through the program, VA will pay a monthly allowance to a Veteran with either a service-connected or non-service-connected disability if the Veteran meets the minimum military standards or higher (e.g., Emerging, Talent Pool, National Team) in his or her respective sport at a recognized competition. Besides making the military standard, an athlete must also be nationally or internationally classified by his or her respective sport federation as eligible for Paralympic competition within six or 12 months of a qualifying performance.
Athletes must also have established training and competition plans and are responsible for turning in monthly and quarterly reports in order to continue receiving the monthly assistance allowance. The allowance rate for an athlete approved for monetary assistance is the same as the 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) rate, which in FY 2013 ranged from $585.11 up to $1,104.64 per month, depending on the number of dependents.
VA Forms for the Paralympic Training Allowance:
VA Form 0918a, Certification of Paralympic Training Status
VA Form 0918b, Application for Paralympic Allowance
VA Form 10091, FMS Vendor File Request Form
Instructions for VA Form 10091, Vendor File Update Form
To learn more about the specific sport standards or the monthly assistance allowance, email us at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.
Want to learn more about programs and services related to healthcare, employment, education and other topics? Visit the National Resource Directory (www.NRD.gov).