June X, 2011—Rockville, MD— Hundreds of youth, severely wounded warriors and others with disabilities, will participate in 2011 Summer Fest, Disabled Sports USA’s nationwide summer sports learning and competition series. They will participate in more than 80 summer sports programs in over 20 sports in 28 states, offered by Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA), its local community chapter network and other partnering organizations.
The Summer Fest sports series is the only one of its kind in the nation helping to ensure participants with physical disabilities receive state-of-the-art adaptive equipment, instruction and competition in a broad range of summer sports including archery, cycling, athletics, kayaking, water skiing, sailing, canoeing, golf, hiking, rock climbing, SCUBA, fishing and more.
“The 2011 programs will include challenging outdoor sports that show people with disabilities that they can lead full and active lives,” said Kirk Bauer, JD, executive director of Disabled Sports USA and a disabled Vietnam veteran. “We are also integrating our wounded warriors into these community sports events to give them expanded opportunities to participate in their own communities.”
Military sports programs include the “learn to” events for wounded service members who have fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, offered under the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project in partnership with Wounded Warrior Project; as well as extreme sports programs under DSUSA’s Warfighter Sports. Now in its eighth year of service, all sports programs offered by Disabled Sports USA are free of cost for severely wounded service members and their families. Activities will be held for severely wounded service members rehabilitating at the major military hospitals, VA hospitals and other military medical centers across the nation.
Wounded warriors discharged from the military will also have the opportunity to continue to participate at DSUSA chapter programs throughout the USA, so they can maintain an active lifestyle.
The Warfighter Sports series will feature sports activities like the grueling 197-mile Hood to Coast relay race and the 100 mile Three Notch Century cycling event that require extensive training that test the skills, endurance and courage of the wounded warriors with their prosthesis and other adaptive devices.
In addition, SummerFest sports series includes national and regional competitive events and training opportunities, including: US Handcycling Series (nationwide), Desert Challenge Games (AR), Great Lakes Regional Games (IL), Endeavor Games (OK), U. S. Association of Blind Athletes Cycling Development Camps, and Adapt2Achieve Chapter Development Conferences- West Coast and Midwest.
Summer activities will be conducted at DSUSA chapter sports and recreation venues throughout the USA including: Alaska: Challenge Alaska. Alabama: Lakeshore Foundation. Arizona: Arizona Disabled Sports. California: Adaptive Action Sports, Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, Disabled Sports USA Far West, San Diego Adaptive Sports Foundation, US Adaptive Recreation Center. Colorado: Adaptive Sports Association, Adaptive Sports Center- Crested Butte, Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Challenge Aspen, Colorado Discover Ability, National Sports Center for the Disabled, Telluride Adaptive Sports Programs, US Handcycling. Connecticut: Leaps of Faith Disabled Water Skiers, Gaylord Hospital Sports Association. Idaho: Sun Valley Adaptive Sports Programs. Illinois: Adaptive Adventures, Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association. Kansas: Wheelchair Sports, Inc. Maine: Maine Handicapped Skiing. Maryland: Team River Runner. Minnesota: Courage Center- Duluth. Missouri: Disabled Athlete Sports Association. Montana: DREAM Adaptive Recreation, Eagle Mount Billings, Eagle Mount Bozeman. New Hampshire: Granite Adaptive Sports, New England Disabled Sports, New England Handicapped Sports Association, Northeast Passage. New York: Cape Ability Outrigger Ohana, STRIDE Adaptive Sports, Western New York Adaptive Water Sports. North Carolina: Adventure Amputee Camp, Bridge II Sports. Ohio: The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition. Oklahoma: UCO Sports & Recreation. Oregon: Happy Trails Riding Center. Pennsylvania: Two Top Mountain Adaptive. Tennessee: Sports, Arts, and Recreation of Chattanooga. Texas: Soldiers Undertaking Disabled SCUBA. Utah: National Ability Center. Virginia: Wintergreen Adaptive Sports. Washington: Outdoors For All. Wyoming: Common Ground Outdoor Adventures, Teton Adaptive Sports.
Major program sponsors of Disabled Sports USA include the following. Platinum: Ariel Corporation, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Chartis, U.S. Paralympics, WellPoint Foundation, and Wounded Warrior Project. Gold: Advocator Group, Anthem Life, Bank of America, The Chart Group, Fluor, Heisman Memorial Trophy Trust, Oshkosh Defense, PING, Tee it up for the Troops, and Trijicon.
To view the calendar of Summer Fest events click here.
Founded in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans, Disabled Sports USA provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to rebuild their lives through sports, recreation and educational programs. DSUSA is a national multi-sport, multi-disability organization serving more than 60,000 youth and adults annually. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, DSUSA offers programs through its nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters operating in 37 states.