Therapeutic Recreation grant will assist injured soldiers

U.S. Paralympics – a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee – has awarded a 2010-2011 Olympic Opportunity Paralympic Fund grant to the city of Colorado Springs’ Therapeutic Recreation Program.

Therapeutic Recreation has received this award for the past two years.

Olympic Opportunity grants, between $10,000 and $50,000, were awarded to 55 community-based organizations to create and expand Paralympic sport and physical activity programs for disabled veterans and military personnel.

This grant will enable Therapeutic Recreation to launch a pilot program at Fort Carson’s Warrior Transition Unit, with the goal of increasing the number of injured service members who are assisted, by 50 percent.
Part of the physical training for injured soldiers at WTU includes adaptive sports, such as sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and softball, shooting, biathlon, cycling/hand cycling and aquatics.

The city’s Therapeutic program is one of the first community-based programs to receive funds specifically for military programs. Funding for this project came from the Department of Veterans Affairs to U.S. Paralympics.

“We know that sports and physical activity can have a transformative effect on those with a physical disability. These funds will help our community partners to expand and provide greater access to sports programs for injured Veterans, disabled members of the Armed Forces and all (those) living in their local area with a physical disability, said Charlie Huebner, chief of Paralympics, USOC.

Through this program, the city, the USOC and its partner organizations will collaborate to increase the number and quality of opportunities for physically or visually impaired veterans to participate in physical activity – not only within their home communities but also in regional and national Paralympic sport programs.