Dept. of Veterans Affairs Issues Grant to Disabled Sports USA

Mesa facility anticipates receiving a share of the funds

Over 1,500 severely disabled veterans, therapists and volunteers will benefit from two grants totaling $825,826 from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA). Programs will be conducted as part of DSUSA’s Warfighter Sports program and Adapt2Achieve training and education program.

Justin Murphy, program supervisor at Arizona Disabled Sport, a chapter of Disabled Sports USA, anticipates receiving a share of those funds. “Arizona Disabled Sports has been a recipient of this grant in the past, and has resubmitted to receive these funds again. We use the money provided from this grant for our programs most popular with veterans (cycling, archery and air rifle).

“When we receive this grant, we are able to purchase new equipment for these programs, but also allow veterans to be a part of these programs at no cost to them. This past year, veterans in our programs received the opportunity to ride in the Tour de Tucson, Compete in Desert Challenge Games (an international competition hosted by AzDS) and be a part of 12-week programs in the fall and spring. We have veterans in almost all of our programs, thanks to this grant, as well as others promoting physical activity for our veterans.”

Arizona Disabled Sport is located at 59 E. Broadway Rd., Mesa, AZ.

The Department of Veterans Affairs Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs provides funding to organizations to increase and enhance the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities for disabled veterans and members of the Armed Forces in their home communities. This VA program supports national sports governing bodies, veterans’ service organizations, city and regional municipalities and other community groups to provide a wide range of adaptive sports opportunities for eligible veterans and service members.

The first of these grants will provide free adaptive sports opportunities to severely disabled veterans. The second VA grant to DSUSA will elevate the quality and availability of adaptive sports programs across the US through training for VA and military therapists, as well as instructors, coaches and volunteers. The impact of these programs will vastly improve access to adaptive sports for thousands of disabled veterans and others with disabilities.

“Thanks to the Department Of Veterans Affairs, thousands of disabled veterans have experienced the power of adaptive sports,” said Glenn Merry, executive director of Disabled Sports USA. “This grant has helped disabled veterans rebuild their lives through sports.”

Founded in 1967 by disabled World War II and Vietnam Veterans, today, DSUSA serves over 60,000 people with disabilities annually through more than 125 chapters operating in over 40 states. DSUSA’s vision is to ensure that every person, regardless of ability, has an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation in their communities.

The mission of DSUSA is to provide national leadership and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop independence, confidence and fitness through participation in community sports, recreation and educational programs. Disabled Sports USA’s motto reflects this mission: “If I Can Do This, I Can Do Anything!”

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