U.S. Paralympics and Paralyzed Veterans of America Partner to Create Handcycling Program for Injured Military

In Sports, Wheelin' and Dealin' by Beth Bourgeois

A grant from the U.S. Paralympic Military Program, a program of U.S. Paralympics’ designed to assist in the rehabilitation process for injured service men and women, will help support the partnership at the four locations as well as provide equipment and coaching and training support. U.S. Paralympics and the PVA will collaborate with local, community-based organizations and medical facilities in each of the four cities to help implement and sustain the programs.

“The USOC and PVA, through collaboration with Paralympic, community-based and Veteran organizations, are continuing to seek the most effective, efficient and impactful strategies to provide rehabilitative services and physical activity at the community level to those injured while serving,” said Charlie Huebner, Chief of Paralympics, USOC.

“Research continues to show the importance and impact of daily physical activity and mentors in a successful rehabilitation process that focuses on a return to an active lifestyle in communities throughout the U.S.”

“Paralyzed Veterans and U.S. Paralympics are groundbreaking leaders in the field of disabled sports,” said Randy L. Pleva, Sr., national president of Paralyzed Veterans. “A core mission of our organization is to provide sporting and recreational programs that improve the quality of veterans’ lives. Our members benefit from the camaraderie and physical improvements that result from effective sporting programs. Through partnership with U.S. Paralympics, we expect that more disabled veterans will advance their rehabilitation through sports.”

The first program kicks off in San Diego, Calif. on April 9th with Invacare – Top End and Paralyzed Veterans providing a handcycling clinic and product tour. Participants will be coached by Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Sanchez (San Diego, Calif.) and Paralympian Matt Updike (Denver, Colo.).

Beth Bourgeois, U.S. Paralympics – (719)866-2039 or beth.bourgeois@usoc.org

Geoff Hopkins, Paralyzed Veterans – (202) 416-7736 or geoffh@pva.org