National Junior Disability Championships

July 17, 2009, 5:09 p.m. (ET)

The 2009 National Junior Disability Championships hosted by the Disabled Athletes Sports Association is scheduled to be held July 25-Aug. 2 in St. Charles, Missouri.

Beginning in 1984, the National Junior Disability Championships now includes over 250 participating athletes, ages 6 to 21, with disabilities including cerebral palsy, limb deficiencies, visual impairments and spinal cord injuries.  Athletes travel from across the United States and from abroad to compete in the NJDC each year.

Kelly Behlmann of DASA says that the involvement of US Paralympics in this event "is a significant force in the effort to recognize the hard work of all athletes that compete in Paralympic sports."

This event features a wide variety of competition in sports such as swimming, track, field, archery, table tennis, weightlifting, and wheelchair basketball.

Not only do the athletes have the chance to demonstrate remarkable skill, but they are also given the opportunity to participate in fun, social activities that take the edge off the competition.  Activities such as movie and game nights, a basketball social and even a car show are offered to the athletes every day of the event.

Mike Mushett, Director of Community Programs for U.S. Paralympics, describes the NJDC as the "largest and most competitive event in the United States for children with physical disabilities and visual impairment.  The athletes competing in this event will become our future Paralympians."

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