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Veterans Summer Sports Clinic Cycling Event

Photo of Cyclist
NF/SGVHS Veterans participating in the cycling event in Jacksonville during the National Veterans 2021 Summer Sports Clinic.

“The object of the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic is to get Veterans out and about participating in adaptive sports safely,” said Katie Blunk, Adaptive Sports Coordinator. “This year’s cycling event features a 30-mile round trip ride on adaptive cycles provided by the Wounded Warrior Project.”

Veterans from across the North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System (NF/SGVHS) participated in a cycling event as part of the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.

“The object of the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic is to get Veterans out and about participating in adaptive sports safely,” said Katie Blunk, Adaptive Sports Coordinator. “This year’s cycling event features a 30-mile round trip ride on adaptive cycles provided by the Wounded Warrior Project.”

The National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic has expanded to offer more Veterans across the nation an opportunity to participate virtually or with hands-on Adaptive Sports-rehabilitation in their neighborhood.

“We introduce them to leisure activities and sports like cycling, surfing, sailing, kayaking, and adaptive fitness,” said Stefan Wickli, Recreation Therapist. “Veterans can also benefit from participating in adaptive sports programing virtually. We offer things like yoga, meditation, nutrition, cooking, and therapeutic arts to accommodate almost anyone’s interests.”

Air Force Veteran Harry Carr says that participating in the NF/SGVHS adaptive sports program and in the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic has been life changing.

“Since starting adaptive cycling, I feel healthier and stronger,” said Carr. “I feel like my life has a purpose again.”

Navy Veteran Ramon L. Maldonado has been participating in Adaptive Sports for more than two years and feels that being able to cycle has helped to improve his overall mental health.

“Adaptive cycling has been really great for me,” said Maldonado. “It has really helped to improve my quality of life. The NF/SGVHS staff have really been instrumental in getting me out of my comfort zone and trying new things, and it has made all the difference.”

This year, the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic experience was tailored to bring Adaptive Sports and fitness to Veteran’s hometowns and homes. The at-home activities and in-person clinics focus on promoting rehabilitation through adaptive sports and recreational opportunities.

“The NF/SGVHS Adaptive Sports program is extremely important to our health system,” said Ilona Schmalfuss, Chief of Staff, NF/SGVHS. “It helps Veterans connect with their comrades, engage in friendly competition, and develop new skills and confidence while improving fitness and health at the same time. We are very proud of the Veterans who participated in the cycling event in Jacksonville and look forward to hearing about their progress as they continue to participate be engaged in the various Adaptive Sports options.”

Veterans interested in the adaptive sports program at NF/SGVHS can contact their health care provider and ask that a consult be entered. To learn more about the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic. Follow @sports4vets Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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