The Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced the availability of nearly $16 million in grants to qualifying organizations to help more than 13,000 Veterans and service members with disabilities participate in adaptive sports. This funding will help these organizations plan, develop, manage, and implement a variety of sports and equine therapy activities, including life-improving programs for Veterans and training for providers. More information about these grants can be found in the two Notices of Funding Availability.
Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational sports and activities customized to fit the needs of persons with disabilities, including paralympic sports, archery, cycling, skiing, hunting, rock climbing, and sky diving. These activities allow Veterans to rehabilitate through recreation and encourage an active and fit lifestyle.
“Adaptive sports improve Veterans’ physical and mental health,” said VA Director of the National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events Leif Nelson, DPT. “These VA grants will help ensure that Veterans with disabilities have access to sports and activities that build independence, well-being, and quality of life.”
“Without [the VA Adaptive Sports Grant] program, I never would have believed that I could ski with my disabilities,” said U.S. Army Veteran and retired infantry sniper Landon Ranker. “This program opened new doors for me in that way and allowed me to be a part of an active and athletic world that I never thought possible.”
In 2022, VA awarded $16 million in adaptive sports grants to 108 organizations headquartered in 32 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. VA has awarded a total of $100 million in adaptive sports grants in the last eight years to improve Veterans’ well-being and independence.
To be eligible for a grant, an organization must be a non-federal entity with significant experience in managing a large-scale adaptive sports program for persons with disabilities. Applications must be submitted online at www.grants.gov by 3 p.m., ET, April 11, 2023. VA will announce award decisions this fall based on a competitive selection.`
Details of the Notice of Funding Availability, including frequently asked questions and additional information can be viewed at VA Adaptive Sports Grant Program.
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