Paralyzed Vets rollng out to event

Posted by Ralph | 11:07 AM

WASHINGTON, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 600 veterans with disabilities have signed-up to compete in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games, taking place July 13-18, 2009, in Spokane, WA. Now in its 29th year, the event has grown to become the largest annual wheelchair sports event in the world. This year's competitors come from 42 states, Puerto Rico and Great Britain.

"The National Veterans Wheelchair Games are sports and rehabilitation at their best for our brave heroes," said Randy L. Pleva, Sr., national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America. "From quad rugby to handcycling, power soccer to wheelchair slalom, the Games are an exciting combination of competition, camaraderie and courage."

The Wheelchair Games, co-presented each year by Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), are open to all U.S. military veterans who use wheelchairs for sports competition due to spinal cord injuries, certain neurological conditions, amputations, traumatic brain injuries or other mobility impairments and who receive care at VA medical facilities or military treatment centers. The Northwest Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans and the Spokane VA Medical Center are hosting the 2009 Games.

Sports are an important aspect of the therapy programs used to treat many disabilities. For many injured veterans, the National Veterans Wheelchair Games provide their first exposure to wheelchair athletics. At the Games, veterans will compete in 17 different sports: air guns, archery, basketball, bowling, field, handcycling, nine ball, a motorized wheelchair relay, power soccer, quad rugby, softball, swimming, table tennis, track, trapshooting, weightlifting and wheelchair slalom. For the third year, stand-up events will be held in archery and table tennis for athletes who have amputations and choose to compete using prosthetic devices instead of their wheelchairs. A golf clinic will also be held as an exhibition sport this year."


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