Injured Veterans Attend New Rehabilitative Sports Clinic in San Diego

Sept. 30, 2008, 5:02 p.m. (ET)
More than 50 recently injured veterans from around the country are in San Diego to experience the thrills of adaptive surfing, sailing, track and field, kayaking and cycling at the first National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic, a rehabilitative sports experience sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and hosted by the VA San Diego Healthcare System.

"The adaptive sports offered at this clinic will provide these veterans a unique environment for self development," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.  "For many of these veterans, this event will provide their first exposure to recreational sports and other activities after being injured."

The National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic takes place Sept. 28 through Oct. 3 with opening ceremonies at Sea World. Other events will be held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Kellogg Park in La Jolla Shores, the Embarcadero Marina Park, the Mission Bay Yacht Club and the San Diego Marriott Hotel.  Admission is free for the public.

Recreational sports can be an important part of therapy for many disabilities.  VA is a recognized leader in rehabilitation, with therapeutic programs available at VA health care facilities across the nation.  Programs like the Summer Sports Clinic have helped many veterans with injuries to heal and gain confidence to pursue their ambitions.

The event is open to newly injured veterans who have spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, certain neurological conditions, amputations, other mobility impairments, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, works collaboratively with the VA and other partner organizations to introduce veterans to physical activity and Paralympic mentors as part of the rehabilitation process.